July Deschutes Report: Part II

TMC 2012 Spring plus Class 027

Ah, Whitehorse Rapids! No trip down the Lower Deschutes, below Trout Creek, increases the “pucker factor” to maximum as this rapid. The first quarter mile, with the correct entrance, is only the beginning of the journey. The next mile is boulder strewn with extremely turbulent and fast water. Many a drift boater has backed off the pucker factor achieving success on the first section, only to be lured into a lapse of attention and serious trouble going through the boulder garden of fast water.

The TMC has been going down this nasty section for a few decades and nothing like the site of the “knuckle waves or butt cheek waves” above, to get the blood and bowels going. These waves pictured above, are the key to the entrance of this rapid.

TMC 2012 Spring plus Class 028

TMC 2012 Spring plus Class 024

TMC 2012 Spring plus Class 032

On this trip we saw some friends of the Caddis Fly Shop community. We saw Ethan Nickel working with a client and we saw the son of one of our TMC members, Matt Baldwin, running baggage and setting up camp for an outfitter on the river. We did not get a picture of Kyle Duke, but we do give him a shout out as he was setting up camp for Ethan.

TMC 2012 Spring plus Class 094

TMC 2012 Spring plus Class 057

So, another trip down on the books and more memories to recall. I had the opportunity this trip to row alone. I had time to reflect on the magnificence of this river and canyon. It always holds a special place for me not because of the fishing, but, of what it represents. The canyon represents time, precious time, and the river represents the constant movement or changes we all must endure as we proceed down the journey of one lifetime.



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3 Responses to July Deschutes Report: Part II

  1. David Jensen says:

    This isn’t exactly a post regarding Lou, but does have to do with water safety issues, one of which is a (hopefully) temporary emergency. Friday, an aluminum boat got stuck in Marten Rapid on the McKenzie. Coast Guard helicopter lifted out the two boaters who had been stuck there for 4 hours. The boat remains there, 1/2 in, 1/2 out, of the water, making this rapid more difficult than usual.

    I fished for steelhead from the dam to Leaburg. For the people running wood boats, I recommend having your guests wade to meet you after the first pour off which puts you in the main channel. With just an oarsman, you will still have a couple of rocks to kiss even with a perfect line.

  2. Greg Hatten says:

    Nice post Lou. Admire the fact that your group has stuck together through the years and the river miles to make that Deschutes trip… very cool. I always enjoy reading about exploits of the TMC.

  3. David Jensen says:

    UPDATE: I walked in Ben & Kay Dorris this morning. The stuck boat is far right of the line you take to run the rapid. If you could row it before yesterday, it is still navigable. Remember, however, that as water levels drop, Marten Rapids becomes more difficult.

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