Kayak in high water


I'm trying to understand the relationship between gage height and current/velocity. I want to get out on time Willamette but the high water makes me nervous. My assumption is that because the water is high, the current must be strong as well. Is that the case? It's hard to really see the current from the bank.
 

EOBOY

Well-known member
Your assumption would be right. The best thing about high water is MOST, but not all obstructions in the water are submerged. Last spring Hobs and I did the Mac when it was high, at first I was a bit nervous because i could feel the power of the flow. After going on down the river I realized that it didn't matter all the rocks were 3 feet under the water.
 
EOBOY;n612293 said:
Your assumption would be right. The best thing about high water is MOST, but not all obstructions in the water are submerged. Last spring Hobs and I did the Mac when it was high, at first I was a bit nervous because i could feel the power of the flow. After going on down the river I realized that it didn't matter all the rocks were 3 feet under the water.
Ok, thanks. That sounds like a one way trip right? I'd be hoping to get back to the launch if I'm on the Willamette.
 

rogerdodger

Well-known member
Moderator
out here on the coast, in the estuaries, we ride the tide flow to troll in that direction for a few hours, fish the hell out of slack tide, then ride the tide back in the other direction. the adjustment during the winter/spring months (with more fresh water flowing out) is that the outgoing tide flow is a bit stronger and incoming tide is reduced. low slack is longer; high slack can be really short.

it's like riding a bike downhill in both directions. :eek:)
 

hobster

Well-known member
EOBOY;n612293 said:
Your assumption would be right. The best thing about high water is MOST, but not all obstructions in the water are submerged. Last spring Hobs and I did the Mac when it was high, at first I was a bit nervous because i could feel the power of the flow. After going on down the river I realized that it didn't matter all the rocks were 3 feet under the water.
How’s that shoulder? :D miss you brother
 

EOBOY

Well-known member
portlandrain;n612294 said:
Ok, thanks. That sounds like a one way trip right? I'd be hoping to get back to the launch if I'm on the Willamette.
Yeah, I kind of figured that's what you were thinking. I'm not a Kayaker, I've done it in my Canoe and as long as I stayed out of the flow (along the shore) I had no problems.
 

EOBOY

Well-known member
hobster;n612296 said:
How’s that shoulder? :D miss you brother
Not bad since they shot it full of Cortizone. Been thinking of hauling the trailer down and using YOUR DB...........hehehehehe..............how's the river look?
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
It depends what part of the Willamette you're talking about. Above the Falls, high flow=fast current. Below Oregon City right now, there's essentially zero current, which has brought springer fishing to a grinding halt. With all the snowmelt coming down the Columbia (although even with low snowmelt, they spill a bunch of water at the dam to push smolts downstream this time of year), the water in the Willy has nowhere to go, so it backs up and forms "Lake Willamette" (there's a thread here by that very title posted in the last few days, even). So if you're talking about the Portland area, you shoud be able to paddle around at will, and the tides will have little effect.
 
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DrTheopolis;n612304 said:
It depends what part of the Willamette you're talking about. Above the Falls, high flow=fast current. Below Oregon City right now, there's essentially zero current, which has brought springer fishing to a grinding halt. With all the snowmelt coming down the Columbia (although even with low snowmelt, they spill a bunch of water at the dam to push smolts downstream this time of year), the water in the Willy has nowhere to go, so it backs up and forms "Lake Willamette" (there's a thread here by that very title posted in the last few days, even). So if you're talking about the Portland area, you shoud be able to paddle around at will, and the tides will have little effect.
That's fantastic news. I did mean below the falls, probably lake Oswego area. Thanks for the help
 
EOBOY;n612301 said:
Yeah, I kind of figured that's what you were thinking. I'm not a Kayaker, I've done it in my Canoe and as long as I stayed out of the flow (along the shore) I had no problems.
That makes sense, i do plan to stay along with edges, near the rock structure for bass.
 
rogerdodger;n612295 said:
out here on the coast, in the estuaries, we ride the tide flow to troll in that direction for a few hours, fish the hell out of slack tide, then ride the tide back in the other direction. the adjustment during the winter/spring months (with more fresh water flowing out) is that the outgoing tide flow is a bit stronger and incoming tide is reduced. low slack is longer; high slack can be really short.

it's like riding a bike downhill in both directions. :eek:)
That sounds like a good time. I've never fished anything coastal like that. I'd like to try the lower nehalem one of these days
 

pinstriper

Well-known member
portlandrain;n612306 said:
That's fantastic news. I did mean below the falls, probably lake Oswego area. Thanks for the help
Keep in mind that below the falls, the Willy is still tidal. And even if the "lake effect" is....um.....in effect.... you should still plan on putting yourself "above" your launch spot when you decide to return. In all cases. So timing of tides, accounting for current/flow and even wind all factors into what direction you go when you launch so you aren't fighting against it trying to get back to your launch.

USUALLY that means paddling upstream from the launch and riding the flow back to where you put in, when you are tired. However as an example I have launched in Wheeler on the outbound tide and rode the incoming back to town. The same applies in Tillymuck Bay where you launch in Garibaldi about 2 hours before low tide - just enough time to get down to the Jetty and fish the last of the outbound and low slack without getting washed out to sea, then ride the inbound tide back home.

So the general answer is "it depends". You gotta know the tides and flow and plan accordingly because you don't have a motor to bail you out.

Please DO keep in mind what was said earlier about "above the falls" - there ain't no tide there, so it's all running downhill. More flow means you REALLY want to head upstream from the launch location and not be fighting that to get home when you are tired. And ALWAYS have a secondary take-out already decided in case you have to bail. DAMHIK
 

hobster

Well-known member
EOBOY;n612303 said:
Not bad since they shot it full of Cortizone. Been thinking of hauling the trailer down and using YOUR DB...........hehehehehe..............how's the river look?
Anytime, we can probably get Brandon or Roger to go too. I'll call you
 

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