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Old 12-18-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
adamg
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Default Wilson Minefield Copilot

I posted this once before but never found anyone. Looking for someone with experience rowing the minefield to hop in my boat and show me the line. I'm competent on the sticks but have only been through there once or twice with a guide and am hesitant to just go for it myself. In exchange I'll provide gas/shuttle/bait/gear, possibly even a ride to the river depending on where you're located. With the forecast what it is, I'd be available to do this during the next week when the river drops to ~5.8 - 5.5ft. Hit me up!

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Old 12-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

If you wait for 5.8/5.5 you'll miss the good fishing.
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamg View Post
I posted this once before but never found anyone. Looking for someone with experience rowing the minefield to hop in my boat and show me the line. I'm competent on the sticks but have only been through there once or twice with a guide and am hesitant to just go for it myself. In exchange I'll provide gas/shuttle/bait/gear, possibly even a ride to the river depending on where you're located. With the forecast what it is, I'd be available to do this during the next week when the river drops to ~5.8 - 5.5ft. Hit me up!
I did the first trip in the new 18x60 Willie the other day at 5.45 feet on the gage and the water was a bit higher than it should have been. The rock bottom in front of the gage fills in or drops and it affects the reading. Usually 5.45 is primo. I feel comfortable doing the Mine Field at anything over 5.0 BUT...... No matter what, make sure to secure your stern anchor. The two Whoop Te Doos just before the chute gets the anchor going in a good gyration and all of a sudden you have an unattended deployment. The boat that WAS going about 15 mph stops instantly and goes under with a big slurp while guys and gear continue on downriver in what's affectionately known as a garage sale. I like your idea of a co-pilot to get the comfort level up but, please, anchor that anchor!

All the steelhead stop at Mills Bridge so no need to go any higher anyway, OR so I've been told.

The other little area that has become dicey is just above the Siskyville slide. The left side of the island has become my route of choice as the right side gets down to about six inches deep and 25 yards wide then runs you right into the bank at full tilt. After each high water I worry about finding a log all the way across on the left side of that island that can't be seen until your committed. My first pass after a rise is on the right and then I can look over my shoulder to see of the left is clear for future use.

Good Luck
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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No matter what, make sure to secure your stern anchor. The two Whoop Te Doos just before the chute gets the anchor going in a good gyration and all of a sudden you have an unattended deployment. The boat that WAS going about 15 mph stops instantly and goes under with a big slurp while guys and gear continue on downriver in what's affectionately known as a garage sale. I like your idea of a co-pilot to get the comfort level up but, please, anchor that anchor!

Good Luck
Had a guide with two clients do this right in front of me on the Deschutes. The boat went down instantly.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Thanks for the feedback. I've got a clack with a foot-release anchor that stays secure but will stow it just in case. I plan to launch at Sisky until I'm comfortable with the run, then make my way up to Vanderzanden. Dont really care about catching right now, figure ~5.5' is low enough where you actually need to care about the rocks but not too high where you dont even notice them
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamg View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I've got a clack with a foot-release anchor that stays secure but will stow it just in case. I plan to launch at Sisky until I'm comfortable with the run, then make my way up to Vanderzanden. Dont really care about catching right now, figure ~5.5' is low enough where you actually need to care about the rocks but not too high where you dont even notice them
Foot release anchors scare me.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Foot release anchors scare me.
But it's easy to just tie a quick knot above the foot pedal. No more worries about unintended anchor release!
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Originally Posted by shouldbehunting View Post
But it's easy to just tie a quick knot above the foot pedal. No more worries about unintended anchor release!
A knot in the anchor line?! Not!
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Garage Sale, thats some funny stuff!
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pensacola View Post
I did the first trip in the new 18x60 Willie the other day at 5.45 feet on the gage and the water was a bit higher than it should have been. The rock bottom in front of the gage fills in or drops and it affects the reading. Usually 5.45 is primo. I feel comfortable doing the Mine Field at anything over 5.0 BUT...... No matter what, make sure to secure your stern anchor. The two Whoop Te Doos just before the chute gets the anchor going in a good gyration and all of a sudden you have an unattended deployment. The boat that WAS going about 15 mph stops instantly and goes under with a big slurp while guys and gear continue on downriver in what's affectionately known as a garage sale. I like your idea of a co-pilot to get the comfort level up but, please, anchor that anchor!

All the steelhead stop at Mills Bridge so no need to go any higher anyway, OR so I've been told.

The other little area that has become dicey is just above the Siskyville slide. The left side of the island has become my route of choice as the right side gets down to about six inches deep and 25 yards wide then runs you right into the bank at full tilt. After each high water I worry about finding a log all the way across on the left side of that island that can't be seen until your committed. My first pass after a rise is on the right and then I can look over my shoulder to see of the left is clear for future use.

Good Luck
Just checked the Wilson's water level at a shade below 10'. Now would be an excellent time to run the Mine Field as the rocks would be three feet down!

When you do go through at a decent level whip out your cell phone and video the approach to the chute. If you get lined up right (and secure the anchor) there isn't a problem until its around 5'. With the video you can imprint in your head the rocks above the chute to reduce the "pucker factor". It's a great stretch. I find the right channel above Sisky to be far more interesting!

Good Luck
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Thanks. I actually ended up going YOLO and running it a few weeks ago when the river was at 5.8 - 5.9 and it was the minefield was a total non-issue at that level. Based on the videos Ive seen, I was trying use the big rock on the right as a point of reference going into it and lining up to the right-of-center... But there was so much water that the rock wasnt visible till I was a few feet away. I ended up where I wanted and could barely see the bottom rock on the left but from what I could tell I was safe even if it was lower. If the rivers ever drop maybe I'll get to try it again closer to 5.5.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Originally Posted by rowmanholiday View Post
A knot in the anchor line?! Not!
And why exactly is that a bad idea to tie a knot above the foot pedal so the anchor doesn't accidentally deploy?
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Originally Posted by shouldbehunting View Post
And why exactly is that a bad idea to tie a knot above the foot pedal so the anchor doesn't accidentally deploy?


I’m guessing they didn’t think you meant a temporary knot just in front of the release before you go through to ensure if you do accidentally step on and it won’t deploy.


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Old 01-07-2020, 06:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

No need for a knot, just wrap it around the foot release and half hitch. Takes two seconds. I had to do this back in the day when my foot release wasn’t holding.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

I don't mean to make light of the potential danger of the Mine Field... but I just don't see what the big deal is.


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Old 01-12-2020, 08:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Originally Posted by shouldbehunting View Post
And why exactly is that a bad idea to tie a knot above the foot pedal so the anchor doesn't accidentally deploy?
Sorry, I missed the part where you say just in front of the foot pedal. That would work.



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Old 01-13-2020, 04:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Sorry, I missed the part where you say just in front of the foot pedal. That would work.



No worries. Thanks for the response. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Originally Posted by motoxaaron03 View Post
I don't mean to make light of the potential danger of the Mine Field... but I just don't see what the big deal is.


http://youtu.be/PMVYCxYNc20
Same.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

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Originally Posted by motoxaaron03 View Post
I don't mean to make light of the potential danger of the Mine Field... but I just don't see what the big deal is.


http://youtu.be/PMVYCxYNc20

Agreed.

While any rivers merits respect, the name Mine Field, makes it sound scary. It's not.

,

Find your line through this very typical run............



.



.



From below





And while it looks scary, it's not really too bad. Just take your time.

Highjack complete!!


.

.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:26 AM   #21
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

KG: Looks like several possible routes from the top view but much different from the bottom. Lots of side slipping so don't want an overloaded boat. Patience.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:27 AM   #22
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

adamg,

Sorry to highjack the thread. This has come up before and I posted in that instance too. Of all people, I appreciate caution. But so much has been made of the "mine field". That is a pretty straight forward piece of water. If I was closer, I'd take you through it in a heartbeat. If you were closer to the OP, i'd row you down Riverside to the Hatchery on the Sol Duc. You would never think of the mine field the same way again.


Dog,

The rocks are so close together you have to drop an oar in the dead water behind about a dozen rocks to pivot as fast as possible. I prefer my raft most days as you just can't miss them all........ ( the chines on my Clack show I didn't miss many )

The first pic shows the "line" best as I'm sitting right at the head of the drop. From below, it's far left in the pic or river right headed down river. It's not a clean line by any means.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

There are 2 to 3 rivers I float that at certain levels you just aren't going to get through a rock garden without bumping some rocks. If you can control yourself as best you can through the run, you should come out fine. The rocks that scare me the most are never seen. I hate those that are just below the surface through a run and there's not enough surface disturbance to warn you.

As they say, no matter what, keep on rowing and don't freeze up!
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:21 PM   #24
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

Once you enter it you'll find the rocks are further apart than they appear looking down river. Picking your line is always key but there is time before the next rock.
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Old 02-27-2020, 04:31 PM   #25
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Default Re: Wilson Minefield Copilot

So its not the actual "mine field" that I'm worries me but the final shoot at the end. I pick my way through the boulder garden below 4th bridge on the nestucca at low water levels, in fact I find it kind of fun.
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