Rowing a drift boat from the Nisqually to Luhr Launch?

Anyone try this? Am I an idiot for thinking about it Tuesday? Launch at the campground early, fish down river through the incoming (11ft high at noon) and then head down on the outgoing and row across to the takeout at Luhr Launch (5.75ft low tide at 5:30pm).

I have only floated from the Powerhouse down to the campground before and haven't messed with the lower stretch. I have years of whitewater experience but zilch in the Sound. Looks like it would be a mile or more of rowing, which isn't an issue.

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Thanks for any feedback.
 

Jake Dogfish

Active Member
Sounds like fun I have thought about trying it! I would make sure to leave early enough so you don’t get stuck out there. Good luck!
 

wetswinger

Active Member
I have canoed from Luhr up the river a couple miles for birdwatching many times. I would advise you to do it, but only at peak high tide. It is a long way around when the tide gets out but not bad at hightide as you can beeline it over there. Make sure you hit the peak of the tide, even then you'll skirt some shallows. The current down the river is strong even at the peak tide. Lots of flounder out there....do you have access to a trolling motor?
 
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No trolling motor. Just my arms and back. It's a very soft afternoon tide, we will try to take out in the early afternoon when the tides still around 8'+. Soft tidal swings also mean less current, I hope.

So you would only recommend attempting it if we take out at the extreme high tide of 11' at noon? That eliminates a lot of good chinook fishing on the morning incoming.

Edit: Finally found a thread where someone did the same float. Only an 18 year old thread! They mention a 2 hour row to the take out in the salt.
 
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wetswinger

Active Member
No trolling motor. Just my arms and back. It's a very soft afternoon tide, we will try to take out in the early afternoon when the tides still around 8'+. Soft tidal swings also mean less current, I hope.

So you would only recommend attempting it if we take out at the extreme high tide of 11' at noon? That eliminates a lot of good chinook fishing on the morning incoming.

Edit: Finally found a thread where someone did the same float. Only an 18 year old thread! They mention a 2 hour row to the take out in the salt.


The tide height changes quickly. A foot in elevation per hour in this case. The water is shallow mud flats even at high tide here. It's your choice, just know that the later you come in the farther you'll row. I have fished with spin gear using jigs in the entrance, catching only starry flounder. The tribes set nets right to the entrance. The flatwater is a good time to let your partner's take a turn at the oars, so enjoy and plan on some rowing. You'll see a lot of seals near the entrance and perchance the peregrines will be chasing the kingfishers about. The estuary is a nice place to be.....there really is no current until you close in on the boat ramp, then it makes you work as the area towards the freeway drains down and you'll encounter a head on current..enjoy.
 
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Well at least my passengers will be good for something this trip. They need experience on the sticks. I am planning on a couple hours to row to the take out. Most of our fishing will be upstream closer to I5.
 

Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones
I've done it and the river either side of I-5 was productive and downstream was free of two legged folks, but there were LOTS of furry critters around, and duck hunters complete with lead flying around. The row from the mouth to the take out at Luhr beach did take a while, but wasn't bad. Hopefully the tide is high enough you have water over the flats and can more or less row direct for the launch. Whatever you do don't get out of your boat, people die on those flats.
 
It was fun. Good learning experience. We did shoot down a bit early to cross at a high enough tide. We were in tidewater from I-5 to the takeout. I let the newbies row from I-5 to the flats and I rowed across the shallows. Took a bit under 2 hours from I-5 and could have gone faster.
 

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