Looking for some info on the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.
I’m an east coast paddler and it’s my first time out that way. My plans are to paddle the upper strecthes (as high in the watershed as levels will allow) of one of these 2 rivers in late Oct. This will be a 5 day or so trip downriver, camping as I go.
Never having paddled either of these 2 streams my first question is - Would bringing a ultra light weight kevlar canoe be a bad idea? I know anytime you put a boat on the river you’re going to get some use marks, I just don’t want to beat the boat up. I’ll bring a Royelex hull if it’s just too rocky and bony.
Do anyone know at what guage level the river(s) are just too low to paddle a loaded canoe?
Thanks appreciate any info you might have.
Looking for some info on the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.
Excellent choice; these are beautiful streams. The good news is that they’re both largely spring-fed and keep good water levels most of the year. You should be fine in the Fall. If you use an outfitter to do your shuttle they can tell you if the water is too high, a much more likely scenario than too low. There are lots of outitters; just Google.
There’s never ever been an outfitter who won’t tell you that while your light canoe would be fine on other rivers, his is a canoe-eater to beat them all. Both the Curent and Jack’s Fork have lots of riffles, usually with plenty of floatable channels. If you just can’t avoid running head-on into big rocks get out the Royalex. Otherwise you’ll have no problem. I’ve used a wood and canvas canoe out there many times.
Have fun! That’s a great time of year to be padling down there.
You can see some pictures
of my day trips on the Current last fall at
When I was there last October I do not remember dragging bottom anywhere. I think the guage above Akers was reading around 300 cfs (maybe a little less). You can see the guages at
There were several kevlar and fiberglass canoes in our group. We did sections from Cedar Grove down to Round Spring. We did not do Bapstist Camp to Cedar Grove because the level was a little too low. Because of the many springs you should be able to find places to paddle farther downstream if the upper sections are running low.
Jack’s Fork was doable, but was told it was on low end when I was there, but I can not remember what the flow actually was. Hopefully some of the experts will chime in with more specific info and guage/condition info.
It is such a beautiful river. Hope you have a great time.
Music to my ears
Thanks for your reply. Most sites I’ve visited don’t consider either of these runs to be WW and it seemed I should be able to get a light weight cruiser down them. Before I posted I did call a local outfitter and got the response you suggested I would be likely to get - they are rocky runs.
I’ve got good boat control and avoid most WW river obstacles but some runs have ledges and complex boulders gardens that almost guarantee you’ll be scraping and sliding over rocks along the way. I wouldn’t want to take a thin skinned hull down something like that.
You’ve given me the confidence paddle these rivers and bring back my light weight canoe in shape to be able to use again.
Pictures worth a 1000 words
Thanks for the info and pictures. Makes me feel secure I’m making wise use of my time out there.
The Current if floatable year round. You do have to keep an eye on the gauge at the Jacks Fork. Above 2ft it is floatable.
Here are a couple photos of my wife and I running the Jacks Fork a month ago. The Current has similar scenery but is fed by more springs.
This is a link to the Jacks Fork River description http://www.adventurecanoe.com/forum/topic/jacks-fork-river-missouri as well as some other links to other places where the river is mentioned.
This is the Current River information http://www.adventurecanoe.com/forum/topic/current-river-missouri
I would not bring your kevlar boat to either of these streams. There is a high potential of dragging over the rocky stream beds and a couple of really sharp submerged rocks. Royalex is more appropriate. Any portaging will be less than 25 yards so weight isn’t an issue. Windy’s Canoe rental has a couple Nova Craft Prospectors and I’m sure in October you’ll be able to hand select a rental boat.
October is going to be a wonderful time for photographing the leaves and it should be a marvelous trip.
I would invite myself along but I am hosting an ACA instructor course on the 23-25 a little further south on the Spring River.
Order one of the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps http://bit.ly/114ZIW for some detail on take outs and points of interest.
There are several outfitters within a short walk to refill ice and stuff.
If you have any other questions let me know.
Given your info I’ll leave my kevlar boat at home. Better safe than sorry.
Several of your photos showed gravel bar bottoms. These wouldn’t worry me too much as I could hop out and gently bring to boat to shore. But sharp submerged rocks are an entirely different and more serious hazard.
Thanks for the other info as well - I’ll check out Windy’s. Never have paddled a Prospector before - it would a be great opportunity.
Grew up on east cost.Drive another hour and half and canoe the BUFFALO RIVER Gilbert to the white river.A 50 mile 5 day trip. Lots of river camping. More wildlife less people.Did Rush to the white a few weeks ago.It is a wilderness area.We camped and fish.It was three days before we saw another person.I canoe the current.It has alot of springs lots of water all the time.That means lots of people.The BUFFALO has few springs. It is 154 miles long and most people like to canoe the upper part. In the summer the upper is low but you can always float the lower.The BUFFALO has great bass fishing and the white has the best trout fishing in the country. I have been canoing the BUFFALO for over 30 years and still keep on comming back.
Buffalo and Kevlar
Hey DennisD - I’ve been wanting to do the Buffalo for awhile but the only boat I have now is Kevlar. How would that be for the lower Buffalo in the next month do ya think? thanks for your help!
Any canoe will do in lower buffalo.Upper has lots of rocks.I use royelex. Had to put skid plates on when I do the upper.If you need any help on what part or how to canoe It. I have lots of free advice.
You’ll also get better gas mileage by renting a boat locally.