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  1. #1
    smcnearn Guest

    Default High Season Rowing

    Well I had a scary moment on the Gunnison this weekend. Coming down a narrow section in a Boulder Boat Works highside proguide with two quick turns and a strong eddy in between them, the current sure wants to push you into the riprap on the cut bank and that eddy will spin a boat putting you sideways into rough water below.

    Well here I am lined up to slide down the middle, miss the eddy and be in position to pull off the riprap at the bottom of the second corner when a group of kayakers catches up with us attempting to pass underneath my oars. (No "hey we're coming down behind you, watch out!")

    My oars did not stop working and I'd say those kayaker have the shoalcut shaped bruises to prove it.

    I don't think these folks understood how quickly things can go badly and how much respect the power of water deserves. I'm certainly going to take an extra minute from now on to let people at the launch know we need a little more space to maneuver these driftboats compared to their kayaks.

    Great river, great fishing, and an awesome local scene.

    Edit:
    I will also say I have found a flaw with the BBW, the yeti beer koozies included do not fit my tallboy eddyline cans.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  3. Default Re: High Season Rowing

    Crazy,

    Way to keep your head up. It's always up a glance over your shoulder here and there to know who/ what is behind you.

    First drift boat I have ever seen sunk was in that river. Right below the canyon. People in it were lucky to be alive.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pinedale, WY
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    Default Re: High Season Rowing

    I agree, crazy turn of events, good for you to keep your cool and keep yourself out of danger. The kayaks are more maneuverable, no need for them to be right on top of you like that.
    Larry


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  7. #4
    smcnearn Guest

    Default Re: High Season Rowing

    Quote Originally Posted by pho_phizzat View Post
    Crazy,

    Way to keep your head up. It's always up a glance over your shoulder here and there to know who/ what is behind you.

    First drift boat I have ever seen sunk was in that river. Right below the canyon. People in it were lucky to be alive.


    Yeah I should have had my head on a swivel more. Being newish to the oars I was intently plotting my maneuvers/line through the obstacles ahead.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  9. #5

    Default Re: High Season Rowing

    I had a close call in exactly the same boat. The Upper Madison was flowing very high, but rainbows were taking stoneflies as long as they were literally within 1 inch of the bank. We were on our third day of floating. There is a small, privately-maintained wooden bridge with pretty narrow margin of error shooting the gap between the uprights. When we got within a few feet, we saw there was a log trapped about a foot deep under the water blocking about half of the opening. I was able to spin the Boulder so that we hit it in a glancing fashion rather than head on, and the slickness of the polyethylene allowed us to slide right off. The surface was slightly dented but no major damage. Later that afternoon a fiberglass boat was breached against the log, and given the climbing ropes hanging from the bridge I'm guessing FWP et. al extracted them from above. Pretty scary given the high flows and cold water.

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  11. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
    Posts
    11,303

    Default Re: High Season Rowing

    Young fellow, a local, wanted to become a 'Guide.' Trip 'one,' he had no clue how to handle the oars on my drift boat. I rowed the rest of the day! **

    Took him to two river's (Chetco and Upper Rouge) after we'd been on the internet to 'explore' both rivers. The Chetco (upper) is 'child's play' unless you miss the last take out.

    Then you're in deep do-do!

    The Rogue, next take out can be 7 miles down stream; you miss the last one and more DO-DO.

    ** Took him to a local lake, let him just row, spin boat, etc. Shouting at him LEFT OAR!! PULL, PULL HARDER, RIGHT OAR!!! ROCK, PAY FUKING ATTENTION TO ME!

    Next day I put him on the Rogue, bad water bit ... bit of fishing gear.

    'Why were you shouting at me?'

    'If you get it wrong some one's going to get seriously hurt.' He's been a Guide now for several years.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

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  13. #7

    Default Re: High Season Rowing

    ........dress to swim and rig to flip.

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  15. Default Re: High Season Rowing

    Quote Originally Posted by jwdow View Post
    I had a close call in exactly the same boat. The Upper Madison was flowing very high, but rainbows were taking stoneflies as long as they were literally within 1 inch of the bank. We were on our third day of floating. There is a small, privately-maintained wooden bridge with pretty narrow margin of error shooting the gap between the uprights. When we got within a few feet, we saw there was a log trapped about a foot deep under the water blocking about half of the opening. I was able to spin the Boulder so that we hit it in a glancing fashion rather than head on, and the slickness of the polyethylene allowed us to slide right off. The surface was slightly dented but no major damage. Later that afternoon a fiberglass boat was breached against the log, and given the climbing ropes hanging from the bridge I'm guessing FWP et. al extracted them from above. Pretty scary given the high flows and cold water.
    I’m pretty sure your talking about the Wolf Creek bridge on the Madison. Lots of boat wrecks - dangerous for sure. I think the railroad bridge on the Rio Grande above South Fork is worse, the locals call it death bridge. The guides pucker up going thru it.

  16. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: High Season Rowing

    I've had similar experiences rowing. People in kayaks fail to realize there is bit more at stake for us, and that we aren't planned to, or meant to recover from a flip like they are. It's amazing that with an entire river they can find a way to crowd you.

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