Saskatchewan Safari Ep. 4 – Bears on The Portage Trail

Saskatchewan Safari Ep. 4 – Bears on The Portage Trail


(Spoiler alert): Putting the Porcupine River behind us, we camp on a large, and spacious esker on the Fon Du Lac River. Our guide book calls the site “Camping For Millions”. Soon after, as we  approach  the Burr Falls portage, we see a mother bear and two cubs right on the tail! I fire a bear banger to scare them off, and we give them a few minutes to clear out as we eat lunch while taking in the beauty of the Falls. The ensuing portage  was a little more nerve racking than most, do we run into the bears again while on the trail? Soon after the portage, the weather get’s really really crappy, and we make camp at the mouth of the river, right before massive Black Lake. The end point of our trip, lies across the huge lake, 40km away in the community of Black Lake. But there’s not way we can paddle in the huge waves, and we’re still windbound the next day. Luckily, the weather breaks after a full day of waiting it out, but I found a moose skull with full, intact antlers attached while we were waiting out the wind. It was half-buried in muck at the side of the river. Tori and I dig in and paddle 40km in one day while the weather is on our side. I catch a couple nice fish while trolling on the big lake, and we camp about 2km from the community of Black Lake. That evening, we take in a spectacular Northern Lights show. The next morning, our canoe glides over the glass like waters of Black Lake and we end our journey in near perfect weather conditions. What a trip!



is the morning of day 11 and we have

completed the porcupine River and it’s

still cloudy and horrible oak day after

day of cold overcast windy rainy weather

we’re kind of getting used to it one of

the many bonuses of bringing your canine

friend on a canoe trip is that he licks

off your plate you know we can wash this

before the next time we use it it’s

especially nice when you take dinner and

you put about a bad you don’t have to go

with your dishes and you don’t want to

worry about fairs so you just let your

own little fluffy bear lick it up or the

other bears get it right up now we’re on

the Fond du Lac pretty flat here again

we’re out of the rugged Canyon country

is going to lead us up to per Falls

which is our longest and last portage of

the trip is the mother and two cups of

oh you’re so cute the lungs is so

awesome the mother bear and two cups are

literally right on the portage trip it’s

just a little love and launcher a little

truth Claire bear banger on top of it

and I think I’m just going to shoot this

right now the state

we stomped on this little island Burr

Island the Falls actually goes down on

either side the Bears were right on our

portal channel I don’t think there’s

really all that much to be concerned

about but just to be smart I’m going to

reload my bear banger here there’s a

little primer in here and that launches

the explosive it’s not going to hurt the

bear but it’s definitely going to scare

it pull this back he let it go really

lunch here on this island and give them

some time to leave I don’t think we

really have a problem but it’s good just

to be safe

come on fuck off we’re just gonna do a

tour cause you can open it you can

create a gun with me a good day together

you don’t have any bear problems I think

they’re scared I think they left because

they smelled it coming take a break here

midway through the fourth college moving

I think I’m up a really steep hill which

was needy but up now we’re about to go

back down now the hammering rain does

feel so great but I just realized that

bloody near the shoulder the canoe when

you put your arms on the inside of the

guns like that

drop the cream in the old side or else

because you get away

all right one trip done no bears

so far we’ve legs I think they’re scared

not really worried

super falls there and eagles no starting

on tree beautiful oh there we go few

casts the debates of birf all decided to

just stay a bit longer and take a few

cops caught dinner beautiful looking

walleye right there I did nice to catch

something different than Pike up on the

board of the walleye Tori and I just got

to camp it’s almost dark and the weather

thought randomly shitty and we’re just

at the most of the Fond du Lac on Black

Lake and Black Lake just looks massive

ominous and there’s just huge rollers

and Whitecaps on it as the wind howling

and it’s just terrifying because there’s

no way we can title it not just to try

to do and be suicide so we’re really

really hoping it clears up tomorrow

because we have 40k to paddle unlock

legs just like that we’re not going anywhere

beginning a day twelve and I woke up to

hear ripping winds it was windy and wavy

last night sunny day

yes great types of Sun but the wind is

strong and the ways on Black Lake are

huge and so as of right now we are wind

bound at the mouth of the Fond du Lac

all we can do is just be patient and

wait and not get out there and do

something stupid like paddle in this

because you’re probably dying okay well

it’s the morning of day 13 so a quarter

after 7:00 in the morning it looks way

better than yesterday so we’re going to

pack up pretty quick and make a break

for it here and see how far we can make

it yesterday while we were waiting out

the wind saw a moose skull with the

antlers attached it looked like a pretty

big moose too so I thought that was a

really cool fun a thing I’m going to

take that home as a souvenir from the

trip so we are about to push off

40k of our trip okay so I’ll just roll

in here using a triple swivel rig and a

small spoon and hooked into this nice

lake trout real beauty we’re going to

save that one for dinner maybe we can

get something even bigger today

pretty nice lake trout maybe half of the

fuck down birthday yeah if you don’t in

this lake but that’s all we need all

right hook into the stable Pike here

trolling on Black Lake good size for

sure we already gone lake ohrid in a

setting like this I’m just pulling up to

camp after paddling 40 kilometers today

we were hoping to get as far as we could

and it turns out we made it as far as we

activate alright so we just got to camp

and I caught this nice lake trout good

eating size color and black lake today

and I’m just going to clean up here and

I’m going to show you my favorite way to

cook lake trout lemon herb seasoning and

we’re just going to load this right up

with onion slices and squeeze this down

the fish and that’s going to cook up


there we go relatively easy way to

prepare fish and just absolute form a

delicious meal look we already got some

Northern Light to come out so here we

are on our last day and we made that

crossing last night well it looks like

we really didn’t need to because the

lake is beautifully calm but we’re glad

we did just in case and now 2 2 K paddle

to the community of Black Lake so we can

pretty much say the trip is done and

there it is the community of Black Lake

northern Saskatchewan

our final destination what a trip it has

been weather wasn’t on our side but we

experienced an awesome country tons of

fun rapid great fishing and just the

enjoyment of just being out here in this

truly wild country like this in northern

Saskatchewan and it’s just been an

unreal trip and definitely a memory

that’s going to stay with me for the

rest of my life that’s for sure


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Jim Baird is an Adventurer, videographer, writer, photographer, and talent. His previous rolls include extensive work with a map company as well as guiding and prospecting. Jim has shot video for Cineflix productions, BBC Worldwide, 13 Minds, and The Weather Network US. He's produced video series such as “The Kesagami River Solo” and “Lessons From The Trail with Jim Baird”. Jim’s content has also appeared in print for several publications that include Explore, Canoeroots, Real Fishing, Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Canoe & Kayak, and Field & Stream magazines. Jim is an expert woodsman, white-water canoeist, survivalist, and a bold wilderness navigator. His expedition experience includes a solo trip down the canoe eating rapids of the Kesagami and then along the tempestuous James Bay coat, an 800-mile snowmobile expedition across the Northwest Passage, 300miles above the Arctic Circle. A month long descent of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River in the Arctic Archipelago, followed by 120-kilometers of paddling on the Arctic Ocean. He's also completed a 33-day canoe expedition via four rivers including the Adlatok in northern Quebec and Labrador.