Back in Ostrobothnia (my roots) over a long weekend, due to autumn break at school (and with an opportunity to work remotely, visiting friends and family back there), a plan was fixed to try and paddle down the Orismalanjoki, which starts from lake Kotilammi and runs past my in-laws house in Orismala, finishing in Kyrönjoki.
It's been a dry autumn also on this region, and water levels are really low. This raised some concern whether the river (or stream, as Orismalanjoki is pretty narrow even in high water, except when it floods to the fields) would mostly be dried up, and not possible to paddle, even with a packraft. First snow fell a day before the paddle but most of it was quickly gone, leaving only patches of white and frost on the ground.
Paddling could not be started from the lake, as the upper part (down from the regulatory dam) was completely dried up. But after 2 kilometers or so, there started to be a visible stream around 2 meters wide, and I was able to put down the raft.
Upper part of the ca. 15 kilometer long river was narrow, shallow (mostly less than 50 cm in depth) and paddling was interrupted with regular touchdowns into submerged rocks and tuft, some of it requiring a quick step out from the raft.
After the dam, river had again some movement, keeping the amount of ice manageable, and paddling was sped up a notch. Few more small rapids, and other small obstacles and picturescue spots eventually brought me at my in-law's house, some 1.5 kilometers before the river drains to Kyrönjoki. Having spent over 5 hours on a stretch of fair 10 kilometers, and running late for some family errans, I left the last short bit undone and called it a day.
Fun little outing with a twist, and a great way to spend a cool autumn day in the sun. Perhaps this was it for the paddling season - but who knows, winter is not here yet!