Quebec's Moisie River: Tres Wild, Tres Buggy

The Pekans River where it empties into the Moisie. Photo Tom Downer.
The Pekans River where it empties into the Moisie. Photo Tom Downer.

Our print issue coverage of the Moisie River delves into all the blackfly-tortured details of a 400-plus km journey on northern Quebec’s wild waterway. Here follow some vids and more photos of this pristine, savagely beautiful and challenging route that is for hardy experts only.


If you’re pressed for time, ff to 11:08, where the whitewater “fails” begin. By Jay Stiles.


Here’s a second movie that emphasizes more of a “life on the river” POV. By Rich Fletcher.

Photo Jay Stiles.
Photo Jay Stiles.
Camp Boreal. Chris Davenport shot this one with a film camera!
Camp Boreal. Chris Davenport shot this one with a film camera!
Typical portage, except it appears a lot flatter than the norm. Photo Chris Davenport.
Typical portage, except it appears a lot flatter than the norm. Photo Chris Davenport.
The Blackfly Apocalypse rendered Chris Davenport (left) and Tom Downer unrecognizably puffy. Photo Jay Stiles.
The Blackfly Apocalypse rendered Chris Davenport (left) and Tom Downer unrecognizably puffy. Photo Jay Stiles.
Ian Carr (stern) and Tom Downer submarining Trestle Rapids. Photo Jay Stiles.
Ian Carr (stern) and Tom Downer submarining Trestle Rapids. Photo Jay Stiles.

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3 thoughts on “Quebec's Moisie River: Tres Wild, Tres Buggy

  1. Thirty years ago this summer I was part of a 12 person group of 15 and 16 year olds that paddled the Moisie. We jumped off a QNS&L (Quebec North Shore and Labrador) railway car at some unmarked mile marker in the middle of the bush at the headwaters. Some 28 days later we were passing through Railroad Rapids (I think you’ve called it Trestle…). It was a formative and defining experience. For some of us it led to a number of years as paid river guides traveling different valleys and corners of this country. Deep experiences to be sure. It is said that one doesn’t forget their ‘first’. In this case, it is true.

  2. Sweet trip!
    Thinking of doing this in the foreseeable future, the thing i’m wondering is that when i look at your canoes they seem to have sprayskirts? Any chance you can tell me where you got those or who made them?

    Thanks for your time,
    Looking forward to all the blackflies :p

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