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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Awhile back there was a thread asking about drifting the Molalla River and what sort of run was in there. I posted that it was not a good river to drift without good technical skills. Another ifisher brushed that off and said it was all to protect the river from outsiders. With that being said I loaded up my drift boat and headed for Wagon Wheel park to drift the distance to Canby. Af first it seemed a pretty easy drift until we reached the railroad tressle and then there it was. Huge logs stacked up against the tressle and the left side completely blocked. The right side had logs above the water and one log all the way across just barely submerged, maybe 2 inches under water half of the way and above water the rest of the way. I have never had to do this before but I turned the boat upstream and rowed hard downstream backwards and basically jumped the log. There was just enough water to allow me to do that. The rest of the way down the river looked like a hurricane had hit it. Logs and debris all over the place. Had to jump another log about a mile down from the railroad bridge. Also there were several areas that if you didn't read it right you would be trapped in a channel with no way out due to the logs and current. By the way I fished it hard and did not get one take. Down stream from Canby there is a log jam so large you can not row around it. You have to drag the boat around it. So with that being said PLEASE don't give information to beginning drifters unless you know it is ok to drift. This could have been a serious lesson for someone if they had tried this drift. I have the pictures to back up the story but they are very large resolution and I don't think I can get them on the ifish site. If anyone wants a copy I will try and email. I held off on this story for awhile since I don't want anyone to take this personally. Not everyone can row a drift boat equally and no sense in any of us getting hurt or worse because of bad info.
Haftafish


[ 05-22-2003, 09:24 PM: Message edited by: Haftafish ]
 

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i had a discussion with a fellow ifisher awhile back regarding this type of thing. he was under the impression that folks were exaggerating the difficulty of a particular stretch of water simply to keep other folks out of some good fishing. i disagreed. when people here give advice, particularly about dangerous water, it is to be heeded wisely.
 

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I know I'm not that good but. I'd like to see the pics just to see what that river looks like..I've heard to many stories about that river.All I know is that fish arn't worth that much to me. :hoboy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hope some folks just think before going to these types of rivers without knowlege. I had not drifted that river in probably 10 to 12 years and I live here.
 

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I feel a dangerous situation is any rapid - log jam, sweeper, or current that slams and boils into the bank etc where you are forced to navigate toward and around or next to. If it is closer than 3 mistakes it is extremely dangerous. For me, no intermidiate rower should be on a river that you can't read the water from the boat and easily pick the safest route and not be closer then 3 mistakes.

What is 3 mistakes? Well, picture yourself in the gut of a shute heading toward a sweeper, brush pile, log jam. You don't want to go there so you are digging hard and catch a crab on a wave, panic and then miss the next dig, then realize if you don't get your stuff together you are going to die. So you gather yourself on the third stroke and then you are back into the rythm again. You can divide the mistakes up any way you choose. This is just one senario.

When I post about a dangerous river, this is the criterium that I base it on.

[ 05-20-2003, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: BUGLEMAN ]
 

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I had not drifted that river in probably 10 to 12 years and I live here.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">haftafish, would that be 10-12 years for that section of the river, or any part of the mollala? :whazzup:

gus
 

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A rafter drowned on the river last spring I seem to recall, Log jams and snags are more often the most dangerous of any river hazard, period. Glad you had the presence of mind and skills to avoid
a tragedy. Be safe haftafish!
 

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I drifted from the slide at 211 to Wagon Wheel this Sunday, only boat on the river. Its not for the faint at heart or the beginner. Scouting, boat skills and good river reading are a must least bad things can happen. The float from Fryers' to 211 is even more interesting. Don't try either of these upper floats at anywhere below 900 cfs, 1200 is ideal, at 1500 and above the type of problems increase exponentially. Haftafish' desciption of the lower is right on, but once you know where these trouble spots are, they are much easier to avoid in the future, the tressle just gets worse every year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gus,
I haven't had a drift boat in 10 to 12 years and just got new one when I retired last year. So this was my first drift on the Molalla in that period of time. Still have the rowing skills but maybe not the zeal to drown myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Finally able to add a picture.
 

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Just a random question, could that mess at the tressle be cleaned up with a chainsaw? You know, cut away some of the snags and let it go on down the river in smaller pieces? Would that eliminate some of the danger, or be even worse?
 

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You could clean it up with a saw, but the water is very deep here meaning you'd be clambering around on the logs. Its heard to tell that from the pic. In other words, you'd want to take an old saw.
 
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