Could/Would you drift the Yakima in a canoe?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by swc7916, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. swc7916

    swc7916 New Member

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    In a old video on YouTube of Lee Wulff fishing for salmon in Canada (I believe), he was running a pretty swift river in a canoe. Does this require a lot of skill and practice?

    Right now, the only watercraft that I own is a 16' Old Town canoe. Is it advisable or not advisable to drift rivers in such a craft? I'm not talking about fishing FROM the canoe, just drifting from spot to spot down the river.
     
  2. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    I would not do it without taking some classes. There are some key strokes that you need to know and how to ferry across rivers, eddy turns, etc. It was one of these "key strokes" that kept me off a rock in the middle of the Smith River, MT. There is more to canoing a river than just pointing it downstream. Years ago, I took a class through Highline Community College. You should check with a few of the canoe vendors to see what classes they offer.

    MB
     
  3. ceviche

    ceviche Active Member

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    I drifted down the Yakima, once, from Bighorn to Red's. Myself and two other guys did it in a driftboat rented from Red's. That was last year, around this very time. The water up a bit and running kind of fast. There is no way in the world that I would try it in a canoe--either by myself or with another. For me to even begin to think about it, flows would have to be way, way down. At that point, you'd really be dodging boulders. If the flows were that low, I'd end up choosing to wade anyway.

    Anyone else think otherwise?
     
  4. Jerry Metcalf

    Jerry Metcalf FishyJere

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    I spent a bunch of years canoeing and I would not recommend it - unless you are very experienced. It is not your basic flat class I water.

    Jerry
     
  5. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I remember fishing the snoqualmie several years ago and some big german looking dude came downstream STANDING in a canoe using just a long pole to steer through some fairly fast water.

    Anyway, not all canoes are made the same. Some are made for rivers, some lakes, and some both\neither... I wouldn't do it. Maybe when I was younger.... My dad and a friend of his used to do some crazy stuff in canoes in the rivers - like running the skookumchuck at flood stage...
     
  6. patrick barta

    patrick barta Love'em - N - Leave'em

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    I don't think that's a problem at all. I float the Yakima alot. Got my boat parked down at Reds. Often I'll see canoes on the river... It's not very challenging if you stay in the Canyon. Unless you have some experience I'd stay out of the Farm lands (or farther up river) - That could be tricky.

    Don't forget your PDF though.
     
  7. APS

    APS New Member

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    For the simple reason that you felt the need to ask, definitely not.
     
  8. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

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    My father runs a whitewater canoe. it's a canoe made for rivers...
    on that note, i've seen more than a few canoes in the canyon. It can be done, but i wouldn't just go throwing my old town in the river and go for it. some lwhitewater lessons, maybe find someone with experience to go with you...
     
  9. Joe

    Joe Member

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    I floated the Yakima years ago in a 17" canoe. The only problem we ran into was that Mt. St. Helens erupted, and it was hard to see where we were going (in other words, pitch black).

    Joe
     
  10. prosopium

    prosopium Member

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    I had fun pulling two freaked out canoers to shore on the yakima last summer. They were really inexperienced and tried to put in at the east cle elum launch. They looked horrified before their canoes were in the water and a quarter mile downstream when i saw their cooler and then them floating down hysterically screaming i did my best to help them out but they were panicking and it took awhile to get them to stop trying to get in the boat. Anyways they dumped their canoe (later found out there were two canoes, both dumped) not five feet from the launch. And the best part about it was after i got them to shore the guy was a jerk and didnt even thank us for our efforts. Basically what i was trying to say is dont float the upper river. Stay in the lower canyon
     
  11. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    That reminds me of the time we spotted a group of kayakers desperately trying to get one of their kayaks out from under the logjam just downstream from the East Cle Elum launch. There wasn't anyone trapped in the kayak and there wasn't much we could do to help from the drift boat, so we just kind of gave them a "Man, that sucks" look and kept on fishing.
     
  12. Bryan Williamson

    Bryan Williamson Willybethere

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    I've seen people floating the Yak in canoes quite often, although that is not to say I personally would do it.
     
  13. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    camper or stillwater model?
     
  14. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    if folks have trouble running the yak in a watermaster, then (just winging it ) in a canoe is asking for it.
    it's not just the water flow that is an issue. the wind can ruin your day as well.
    there are some sections that are shallow.... one little unexpected bump and you can
    lose your balance.

    if you do go, aside from the obvious.....pfd, you might want a whitewater helmet as
    there are lots of rocks, a safety/water rescue rope is a good idea too.
    don't go alone, also don't bring anything in the boat you can afford to lose.
     
  15. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Just because someone in a Watermaster had problems doesn't mean an experienced canoeist can't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't do it in a canoe. But, some folks who are outfitted for running whitewater with their canoe would have no problem.

    There's a big difference between an Old Town canoe and one designed for whitewater though.
     
  16. swc7916

    swc7916 New Member

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    It's a Chippewean 16. This model hasn't been made for years - I bought it at least 20 years ago. It's made of what was then called Oltanar and is now called Royalex; which is an ABS/Foam/ABS laminate. Many canoes have a raised strip down the center that aids in tracking, but this one has a smooth bottom and is difficult to paddle straight, especially when the wind is blowing. However, it is very manuverable and the product literature from the time it was purchased shows it running whitewater.
     
  17. AFJBugger

    AFJBugger New Member

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    You can do it! I would recommend getting drunk firstptyd , while attending summer school in Pullman I went to fish the Yakima when I realized there was a massive rubber hatch. I figured if you can’t beat them join them. I proceeded to get wasted and floated half of the canyon in water-wings and then did the remainder in a canoe.

    That being said my buddy keeps talking about doing it in his canoe as he does not have a pontoon and I am not too sure about making the commitment. We both know a ‘few’ technical strokes but I am sticking with my gut.

    Apparently, turning 27 has turned me into a real puss!

    If you have some paddling experience and the right gear you should be fine, otherwise hit the classifieds and buy a used pontoon.

    Good luck!
     
  18. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    Hmm, don't really know that canoe. Stabilizers will probably help you out with the tracking though. They're pretty simple to fabricate, with some plastic pipe and foam.
     
  19. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    Sure, why not. I'd borrow a future ex-friends boat. Pick a warm day with reasonable flow, wear PFDs, not do a technical portion, bring nothing but lunch. Whats going to happen, you go swimming? Only after a couple runs getting comfortable in the canoe, would I bring fly gear.
    I too noted the canoe work on the Wulff vid. Pretty cool.
    I have no notion of being an expert canoeist. I did own a white water racing canoe for a few years though. What a tippy sumbioch this boat was. 18.5 feet long, kevlar, and a perfectly round cross section with no keel strip. Was talked into buying it, what a mistake. Was really fast on a lake but I'd never do a river in it. Even the slightest body movement translated into some hull action. I just mention this to point out that saying "use a white water canoe" has two connotations. You don't want a WW racing boat for sure.
     
  20. The down side is you might die!
    Frank.
    Don't do it.
    .02
     

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