I’m tentatively planning an early trip in October (weather depending) and was curious if water level is a concern. I was hoping to make a loop from Sawbill through the ladies to Wine and back but I want to make sure the river is passable this time of year. Any thoughts?
If water gets low, portage landings may get a little nastier, but I think the paddle worthy sections will be fine. You may have a harder time with sections of the Phoebe River than the Louse if water gets low. Always worth a call to Sawbill to check current water levels.
I have paddle the Louse in a low water condition. The Louse is somewhat less impacted by water levels than say the Frost. There are some sections where lower water levels are preferable due to beaver activity making portages wetter than they might otherwise be. We paddled in a "dry" August year and though not full of water, we were able to paddle all sections. The low water did make the Boze/Frond portages more confusing, but not impassable.
We loved paddling the Louse River. Not for the faint of heart, but a beautiful and wild place for sure. Saw a bear on Bug Lake. Had a magical moment or two on Trail Lake. The river from Frond to Malberg is full of beaver dams at every choke point and some of the most ancient feeling river paddling anywhere. Have been through once and our second attempt was scuttled due to equipment failure. I will try again soon.
Always good advice to call Sawbill about the water levels on both the Louse and Phoebe rivers.
I just tripped from Dent to Wine about a month ago. The portage from Bug to Louse and Louse to Poe haven't seen regular maintenance in quite some time. I believe the Dent Mesaba route would be faster, less work and less stress. Just my opinion. Either way, have a good trip.
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” John Muir
That loop is fantastic, but once you get back there trails dissappear and it sometimes will be bushwacking/climbing over 8 foot tall beaver dams. Not an easy stroll, but well worth it. Plan accordingly. I went in late September and the water was fine.