Upper McIver boat ramp float, whoa!

H
Herefishyfishy
So, we did the float from the upper launch at McIver to Barton yesterday for the first time. We had heard about the first set of rapids and the "minefield" but my buddy is what I would consider an expert rower and I'm progressing pretty well so we went for it. The first set of rapids is exciting, not that bad. That minefield is freaking intense! I have never seen anything like that!!:shock: At the water level the river was yesterday we did not see a safe way through and ended up walking the boat down the far left side without too much problem. We ended up doing that two more times. What an adventure!! There is some pretty hairy water in that stretch but also some very awsome fishy water. At the first run just below the mine field I had a trout double on the first cast nymphing with a dropper! About ten minutes later....Steelhead on! About ten seconds later.....Steelhead off! That was the only steel action I had all day but what an awsome day! If there is any question about steelhead in that river..I saw (thanks to my fathers day gift of awsome polarized glasses) 5 pairs and 3 loners during the length of the float, 1 pair right above the ramp at Barton! I saw 2 caught. So, I am 100% fly now and yesterday was the first day I felt confident all day, even swinging! I am looking forward to that run again but I'm thinking another foot of water will have to there!
 
J
jrbecca
Sounds like a great day! I've not floated the river, but have fished the Clackamas at McIver several times. It's clear you guys had a blast. Love to hear you're all fly now. Welcome to the fold. ;) If you ever do that float again and have an open seat, I'd be game. I'll bring food! :)
 
H
Herefishyfishy
We will keep you in mind! I'm sure it will be fall after a lot of rain! It was an awesome and exhausting adventure!I am fully addicted to fly fishing now, my wifes thrilled (not!) since I am starting all over on my fishing gear! I love that Hunter S. Thompson qoute!!!
 
troutdude
troutdude
Herefishyfishy said:
I am fully addicted to fly fishing now, my wifes thrilled (not!) since I am starting all over on my fishing gear!

If you want to OFF, your spinning/casting gear...

PICK ME, PICK ME!

Glad to see that you had a good time.
 
J
jrbecca
Herefishyfishy said:
We will keep you in mind! I'm sure it will be fall after a lot of rain! It was an awesome and exhausting adventure!I am fully addicted to fly fishing now, my wifes thrilled (not!) since I am starting all over on my fishing gear! I love that Hunter S. Thompson qoute!!!

Woohoo! I've always wanted to float and fish the Clack. I have a single-person river kayak, but I've been advised against multitasking on that particular river in a kayak. As for your wife's dismay...you're not starting over, you're upgrading. If all else fails, throw "A River Runs Through It" into the DVD player and let her watch Brad Pitt wrestle a fish. ;)
 
J
Jiggy
jrbecca said:
Woohoo! I've always wanted to float and fish the Clack. I have a single-person river kayak, but I've been advised against multitasking on that particular river in a kayak. As for your wife's dismay...you're not starting over, you're upgrading. If all else fails, throw "A River Runs Through It" into the DVD player and let her watch Brad Pitt wrestle a fish. ;)

I've never seen the movie, but I ran the upper rapid around Easter this year. That was the biggest water I've been in, and it really got my heart pumping. Some friends just ran it a couple weekends ago and broke their oars on the upper rapid. Bring an extra, and some oar locks too, and your right about some water helping that problem as well.
 
J
jrbecca
Jiggy said:
I've never seen the movie, but I ran the upper rapid around Easter this year. That was the biggest water I've been in, and it really got my heart pumping. Some friends just ran it a couple weekends ago and broke their oars on the upper rapid. Bring an extra, and some oar locks too, and your right about some water helping that problem as well.

Good to know! Thank you for the tips. I'm noting them. :)
 
V
veilside180sx
Jiggy said:
I've never seen the movie, but I ran the upper rapid around Easter this year. That was the biggest water I've been in, and it really got my heart pumping. Some friends just ran it a couple weekends ago and broke their oars on the upper rapid. Bring an extra, and some oar locks too, and your right about some water helping that problem as well.

Out of curiosity do you know which line they took through the rapid? I've run that rapid hundreds of times, and am failing to see how they could get themselves into that much trouble w/o taking a weird line.

The minefield I can see pinning your oars in the rocks, but Upper McIver is pretty straight forward.

This is Upper McIver and the Minefield.

http://vimeo.com/39874594
 
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J
Jiggy
veilside180sx said:
Out of curiosity do you know which line they took through the rapid? I've run that rapid hundreds of times, and am failing to see how they could get themselves into that much trouble w/o taking a weird line.

The minefield I can see pinning your oars in the rocks, but Upper McIver is pretty straight forward.

This is Upper McIver and the Minefield.

http://vimeo.com/39874594

im not sure what they did, I think their oars were too short for the raft they were in. I ran the left side, I could only see two large rocks at the time. I've just heard of a lot of people breaking oars and locks in general, especially in 9' pontoons. They had used wood oars on one boat, aluminum on the other, and they broke both.
 
S
Steeliekiller
Great vid now I see what people are talking about when saying not recomended for beginners.
 
L
Leon Fish
Nice. Who's ready to do this?
 
J
jrbecca
Me!
 
L
Leon Fish
Cool! Today? Tomorrow? my fishing raft only has one seat though. do you have a float tube or raft?
The water seemed pretty mellow, but some of the toobers were saying they flipped in the big rapid.
I was also thinking about trying the Estacada lake. Figured if no shuttle or 2nd vehicle that would have to do.
 
P
perfectg03
Please don't bring float tubes down from the upper put in at McIver. The rapids directly below are a lot more gnarly than they look. A float tube could turn out very badly as could any small crappy raft.

Take it from someone who floats the river daily during the winter. Also do many floats after the splash and gigglers are off the water cleaning up the river. I have seen multiple people flip there, and have seen some that required immediate medical attention afterwards.

Be smart
 
L
Leon Fish
Thaks the info. Always best to play smart. Perhaps you'd be interested in going ? I'd be down for going without gear to learn the river.
Seems like the toobers don't have much trouble though, and when I had a fishcat I used to take it down IIIs and mild IVs without gear for fun w my friends. As long as you keep your legs up it was fine.. but its always good to be safe, no matter how smooth the water.

Some one mentioned launching from feldheimer too to avoid those rapids.
 
P
perfectg03
Leon Fish said:
Thaks the info. Always best to play smart. Perhaps you'd be interested in going ? I'd be down for going without gear to learn the river.
Seems like the toobers don't have much trouble though, and when I had a fishcat I used to take it down IIIs and mild IVs without gear for fun w my friends. As long as you keep your legs up it was fine.. but its always good to be safe, no matter how smooth the water.

Some one mentioned launching from feldheimer too to avoid those rapids.

If you have run class III and IV rapids in a float tube you must be crazy!!! Sounds like fun though don't get me wrong, just crazy.

If I had a free weekend I would love to join, but alas it is Fall Chinook season and my weekdays and weekends are booked solid through September. Launching from Feldys isn't a bad Idea, lots of shallow water in that stretch right now, with limited holes that fish will be stacked in, although there are some nice ones. Most fish will be up higher in the system, along with the better water.
 
L
Leon Fish
perfectg03 said:
If you have run class III and IV rapids in a float tube you must be crazy!!! Sounds like fun though don't get me wrong, just crazy.

If I had a free weekend I would love to join, but alas it is Fall Chinook season and my weekdays and weekends are booked solid through September. Launching from Feldys isn't a bad Idea, lots of shallow water in that stretch right now, with limited holes that fish will be stacked in, although there are some nice ones. Most fish will be up higher in the system, along with the better water.

Its an absolute blast. and while they did have me tested I apparently failed - which was a relief.

Thanks again for the info.

Editted to note that I did have a lifevest and helmet... I have somehow gotten smarter in my old age.
 
F
fishsauce
perfectg03 said:
Please don't bring float tubes down from the upper put in at McIver. The rapids directly below are a lot more gnarly than they look. A float tube could turn out very badly as could any small crappy raft.

Take it from someone who floats the river daily during the winter. Also do many floats after the splash and gigglers are off the water cleaning up the river. I have seen multiple people flip there, and have seen some that required immediate medical attention afterwards.

Be smart

I also must reiterate this. That first set of rapids below the upper McIver launch is gnarly. Please be safe.
 
D
DrTheopolis
As the new guy here, and as someone who has done that float well over 100 times, I'll chime in.

Not sure what kind of raft you're running, but you said it only seats one? If so, I assume it has a rowing frame or oarlocks of some sort? If you can't actually steer with two oars, I'd recommend against it. If it rows like a frame/pontoon, whatever, you'll be fine.

From the upper boat ramp, the rapid in question is immediately below... like immediately. What you want to do is row slightly upstream and across. Get to the far bank as quickly as possible. Then hug the right (far side from the ramp) bank tight. From there, you'll ride the wavetrain down. Once you get towards the end of thw whoopies, start cutting left as best you can, since depending on water level (death-low right now, which actually makes the first waves bigger), there's an eddy at the end on the right that tries to keep you there (although not dangerous at that point, energy-consuming to get out of).

I've rarely seen anyone have trouble as long as they stayed right of the first big wave. Last time I went through there, a couple of years ago, I was in a little 8' pontoon, which was a pretty effortless run. My friend (also very experienced there) and I had trouble once in 25 years, when we decided to take a run at the left side -- the hydraulic ate us for lunch -- very bad situation, and we were told later that multiple people required rescue that day, due to the oddball water level.

When you do get through, there's a long fairly flat stretch that curves right a bit. Either take the right side, but stay well left, since there will be 1273 lines in the water at Dog Creek, or you can stay right, but you might be walking it through. After that is the Minefield, which kinda sucks in low water. There's ways through far left, or far right, and they both kinda suck. Just don't whack an oar or sideswipe a rock there. After that, much of the run is pretty froggy. Make sure to keep a sharp eye out for the lower boat ramp if you do the McIver drift, since it can be hard to see if you're not familiar with it. Or you can run a bit farther to Feldheimers, which gives you another cool rapid.

If you're planning on fishing, get there very early, before the Idiot Armada in their KMart Coffins show up. If you want to watch the bikini hatch go off, go in early/late afternoon.

Enjoy.
 
L
Leon Fish
Hey thanks for all the info. I'm bummed I didn't get a chance to run this with anyone here, but I had a great day out there... sun was out and the river was not that busy.

I could definitely see how at certain flows these runs could be a bit more trouble.

So for only my second time on somewhat swift water with this new to me raft, it all went pretty smooth.
But I definitely need more practice. The only run that gave me trouble was basically right below the lower McIver launch - I missed the oar and hit the hydraulic. Yeah. Coulda been bad, but I rode the bull for a few and pushed out. Too much fun.

I know you guys want to here about fish though... So yeah, I saw a few here and there.
I think next time I'm gonna bring the fly rod and side drift some dries all lazy like.

All in all I went upper McIver to Barton in about 6 hours, I had a time frame to keep, and I think the facing wind slowed me down a bit... But it coulda been the chit chat with a few of the locals I met. either way, still a great day.

Thanks again OFFrs.

Fish on.






Sent from a stoopid smart phone.
 

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