Just a big heads up - I went in a week ago with a large group of college students up the Little Indian Sioux River (going south). Incredibly beautiful and extremely slow. The first pool up to Sioux Falls is fine. After that it's a bit rocky with low water. We arrived at the Little Pony River around 3pm or so and my paddle partner and I headed up the river, into the rice which is growing across the mouth, only to slide to a stop. There is sheet water across the top, and muck just below. We couldn't really go forward, and the had to fight our way back. The muck was deeper than my 54 bent shaft paddle, so no way you could walk through it.
We then made the tough decision to forge on to the 200 rod portage into Bootleg. The river closed in, becoming a snake of a 2foot wide channel bordered by tall wild rice. If you missed the channel you edged to a halt. If you stayed in it you made a little progress but were still beating through the rice. And it was easy to lose the channel.
The 20rd portage has a very mucky start and is covered in poison ivy. We got there around 6pm and ate a bunch of gorp. The next pool was not as bad but had some rocks and a lot of grassy floating vegetation which also clung to the canoes slowing us down. We finally hit the portage at around sundown, and hustled over to get to the southern camp on Bootleg as the light was fading.
Two days later we were back on the river and again it was fairly slow. We stayed a night on Little Trout and I then made the bad decision to go out the creek to the south, which is nearly dry! This time we had to skate the canoes over the mud while trying to stay on the small sandbars in the middle of the former channel.
Definitely a growing experience for all my students. They did amazingly (1st time in the BW for all of them, heh) but we were pretty tired by the end of those three days given the slow travel on those rivers.
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