As we were loading the canoe, a couple of fishing parties in motor boats descended the rapids and zoomed past. We would be seeing them again several times today. We shoved off at 8 am and the river carried us along at a nice clip until we came to the next set of rapids. These we lined and waded on the left, and because they were quite extensive they required a lot of time. Eventually, as the river kept fanning out, it became a very wide section of shallows strewn with rocks and boulders everywhere.
Finally we took to the boat and started paddling. We started by facing upriver and were quite surprised to discover we could actually paddle upriver against the current. We front ferried across, moving forward or back to avoid rocks and rapids. Then finally in a good position we turned tail and sped with the current, dodging to the left or right to miss the canoe crunchers.
Paddling this rapid was quite fun and we regretted not having started farther upriver. We didn't realize we could do it. This put us in Lake 124 and then came a longer stretch of river which was again fun. In a couple of places, namely around the second island, the river was swift and strewn with various rapids that were easily avoidable but required careful attention. Through this section the water was quite turbulent, making for a rough and wild ride. We found a clear channel leading swiftly into Lake 107. Near the entrance to this lake we saw another group of seven musk ox. Nearing the islands on its far end we started seeing fish in the water. Mostly we saw their fins breaking the surface as they fed on bugs. But looking down into the water we saw about a dozen of them, swimming unperturbed past the boat. They were in the 16 to 20 inch category. And Jenny saw a much larger pike.
Eventually we reached Forde Lake and by then our energies were beginning to flag. Yesterday's exertions were catching up with us. Jenny washed our netting and shell clothes and a pair of socks each, then we spread them to dry all around us in the canoe. The clothes dried quickly beneath the cloudless sky and glaring sun. Late afternoon we trolled the lure and caught nothing but lake bottom three times, which was ironic because of all the fish we had seen earlier, and all the super fishing holes we had passed by today.
Near the far end of Forde Lake the map shows a river coming in on the left shore, and just past this we stopped at 7 pm to make camp on the low lying tundra. I walked about a mile back to the feeder river and up it a ways, looking for a place to fish, but didn't find a decent spot. This feeder river was not nearly as big as that shown on the map, at least not this time of year. 36 miles today!