Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jim Speaker, Jan 17, 2009.
Yep. I always stop if not immediately certain of my route.
Or sitting in an eddy line or sitting on a wave. It is entirely possible to boat scout if you have the boat control & elegant boat placement skills.
Jim: Your prudence is obvious and so is your confidence in your present set of skills. You probably are quick to learn from any mistakes or "problems"--major as well as minor--right? You probably also tend to keep a sharp eye on the water ahead and are not easily distracted, right (The easily distracted mind tends to stray into disaster)? These are some of the signs of alert prudence and confidence. Combine that with foreknowledge of the water you plan on drifting, and I'd tend to think that your progress into greater experience should be fine.
Yeah, I like the little eddies behind rocks for chillin' a second to scope things out. I mean, this is a really easy example, but in the rock garden on river right before the Slab in the Yak canyon I like to thread my drift boat thru and catch the little eddies to drop an anchor in so I'm set up to cast to the feeders there, or to hop out and wade if flows are low enough.
As a guide for class IV whitewater trips on Idaho's Lochsa and Selway Rivers, I've found that just about anyone can blunder their way down a river. The sign of a really good boatman is being exactly where you want to be on the river at any given time. I know I've had a good run when I pick my line, visualize the run, execute it, and end up at the bottom of the rapid exactly where I wanted to be. A good boatman has the ability to slide by a rock, missing it by two feet, because it's the perfect setup for the next cast. Become a perfectionist, challenge your skill set, and you will become an expert boater.
One word of caution. Low water doesn't always mean that the rapids get easier.
Ham Rapid on the Selway at low water:
Ladle Rapid on the Selway at low water:
Similar to a couple other pics I've seen of the Selway at low water... looks like damn near nothing fits at those levels, an 8' pontoon would have to be dragged through it appears.
How about trying to move up the Yakima a bit. The Thorpe Canyon is a little more challenging than the lower canyon (There's a little rocky strech just above the Thorpe bridge). The strech from the Mormon camp to Bullfrog is a bit more challenging than Thorpe. The strech from Bullfrog to South is the most challenging strech on the river.
If you're comfortable with the lower canyon, maybe you just want to expand your Yakima horizons before you drag your boat too far down the highway.
Just a thought.
Not a bad idea at all, actually. There's a lot of the river through there that I haven't fished. :thumb: