I have decided to take a trip with my cousin in mid july from manitowish waters to the flambeau flowage and maybe further.I am not sure how far I should plan on going each day. I have nine days to do the trip but i am not sure how far into the manitowish chain I should start. We would like to have time to fish while we are on the river. I would also like to have about 3 days on the flowage to explore. Lastly I am hoping someone can tell me what to expect on the flambeau river right below the flowage. I have little whitewater experience and my partner even less, so I want to make sure it is do-able for two beginners without walking the whole thing. I hope you all can help
Half an Answer:
I've paddled the first "day-trip stretch" below the flowage a few times. It's really pretty easy whitewater, and scattered whitewater at that. In any case it is very pretty and well worth seeing.
Can you do it? Should you do it? I don't know. Are you paddling a tandem canoe? Solo canoe? Kayak? Can you spot a deep-water channel among waves and swirls? Can you do some level of maneuvering? If you can't, can your boat tolerate a few collisions and hang-ups?
Plenty of rank beginners paddle tandem canoes on the whole whitewater section of the North Fork (and there are bigger rapids below the stretch you are considering) every weekend, and serious mishaps are rare. That doesn't mean you can't damage you or your boat, only that it's not a bad stretch on which to "learn some paddling skills", or more accurately in most cases, find out how badly you need to learn some paddling skills.
This site is pretty informative...
...but don't be intimidated by all the Class-II ratings. Strictly speaking, many of them actually are Class-IIs based on a very literal interpretation of the class definitions (because to pass through cleanly you may need to scout a path and must know how to maneuver), but they are way at the low end of the Class-II range and a lot of the seasoned paddlers on this site would barely rate them as Class I. A water level that is slightly higher than normal for summer will make most of the drops a lot more intimidating as seen from upstream, but they are usually easier to pass through unscathed at those times, especially if you aren't already "good at missing rocks".
I've paddled a couple sections of the Manitowish, but I don't know that river well. Durangoski knows every inch of it as well as every campsite along the way, and he posts here now and then. Maybe he can help you out. If he doesn't, find a post by him here...
... and I bet he wouldn't mind if you sent him an email.
that is very helpful
guieboatguy thank you. To answer your questions the boat i would use on the whitewater stretch is a 16 foot dagger legend that i just bought this spring. I can read moving water a little bit and my paddling partner and I can move that boat pretty good. I was planning to use my wenonah champlain for the flowage and the manitowish part as long as the river is easy enough.