First Time Cowlitz Float

BrianT

Active Member
Hi All,

A friend and I are taking my new (to me) 14' NRS raft out Thursday. Our plan is to float from Barrier to Blue Creek. Everything I've read implies that this is a pretty straightforward float with little technical difficulty. I've had an Assault XX that I've floated the Snoqualmie and Sky in, but nothing too technical. I would describe myself as pretty green still, when it comes to experience on the oars. Obviously we'll have PFDs on. Anything we should know about this float? Thanks in advance!

Brian
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Very easy float compared to some other rivers.
Like all floats, pay attention as there may be new hazards after our recent high water and wind event.
The levels look OK at Mayfield and are dropping, but it might be worth a call to the campground to see how the clarity is.
It looks dry this week except for Wednesday.
Have fun.
SF
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Easy float. There are a couple sharp bends, but you know to row toward the inside. One of those is a channel split almost half way down. Take the left channel, no issue. If you go right you may have to row hard to stay away from the outside bank.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
There's one spot I've seen a whole bunch of people have trouble while I was anchored and fishing, and it's because of a weird eddy that pushes you in to some trees hanging over the water on the right side. It's about 3/4 through the float. Otherwise, super easy.
 

BrianT

Active Member
Thanks, Evan. Is that eddy unavoidable, or are people getting pushed into the trees because they aren't avoiding the eddy. Thanks!

Brian
 

GOTY

8x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
Easier float than most stretches of the sky but biggest thing will be you adjusting from rowing a ferrari (scadden) to a school bus (bigger raft). The raft is much more capable overall but expect to use 3x the oar strokes to move the same distance, so set up earlier.
 
Last edited:

GOTY

8x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
There's one spot I've seen a whole bunch of people have trouble while I was anchored and fishing, and it's because of a weird eddy that pushes you in to some trees hanging over the water on the right side. It's about 3/4 through the float. Otherwise, super easy.
I believe the great Coolio once rapped about that run, Keep swingin most our lives, Livin' in a kayak paradise
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
I believe the great Coolio once rapped about that run, Keep swingin most our lives, Livin' in a kayak paradise
Haha... you knew exactly what I was talking about.

Sat one day and watched about a bakers dozen canoes just plow right in to the same tree. Caught a steelhat while I was at it, too. Great day.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Thanks, Evan. Is that eddy unavoidable, or are people getting pushed into the trees because they aren't avoiding the eddy. Thanks!

Brian
You have to go through it. Best way to do it is to just turn the back of the boat downstream and row backwards fast enough that you don't get sucked back upstream.

Here's an infographic on the hydraulic nature of said Eddy
upload_2017-10-24_7-33-10.png
 

Shad

Active Member
Never had even a spooky moment rowing that float. I can hardly imagine a raft getting into any real trouble, but it's always a good idea to ask. Best advice for a greenie rowing a raft is, as said before, start your moves well in advance, because while rafts are probably the safest boat on the water, they're not the easiest to row. Luckily, the Cowlitz is good about showing you what's a half mile ahead much of the way, which makes planning easy.

Have fun!
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top