First Swim of 2024

I’m off to an early start. I had my first swim of the year at the Route 149 Rapid (aka “ the Old Dam Rapid” or the “Old Mill Rapid”, or simply “where the old dam was”) on the Jeremy River.

After a 10-year hiatus, this is my second time running this river in two weeks (this was the run two weeks ago). During my 10-year absence a new rapid was revealed when an old mil dam was removed. I ripped the latex bootie in my drysuit when I ran this two weeks ago, so I skipped the new rapid. I gave it a try yesterday, and it didn’t turn out well.

This new rapid has two drops. The first is a 1-2 foot drop where the river takes a hard right turn and Pine Brook joins the river. There is large breaking wave at the bottom. The second is a 2-foot drop through a jumble of rocks where the old dam stood.

Route 149 Rapid - I swam the drop at the top

I never made it past the first drop. I drifted down the drop without much momentum, got spun sideways on the breaking wave, and flipped to my offside. After a feeble attempt to try to get my boat to shore, I let the guys chase it down and focused on getting myself to shore before the next drop. Water temps are in the mid-30’s around here, but I was out of the water quick and never got cold.

My boat ran the next drop perfectly, and Jim got it to shore for me. The rest of the run was uneventful. Lesson learned – don’t just drift into breaking waves at the bottom of a drop. Paddle into it to get some momentum so you can break through without flipping – I should know that.

Living the old saying - “if you not swimming you are not trying hard enough”. I guess I’m still trying.

Few other pictures here.


I was wading while fly fishing on the Chattooga River last week with a new euro nymphing rod (sounds like porn doesn’t it). :rofl: The water was just above freezing when I got there it was overcast and light rain off and on all day The high was 39F. Caught a number of trout. One was a 14" brook trout. Anyway, standing in thigh deep moving water trying to get my camera unstuck from my shirt to take a photo of the colorful rocks underwater, I dropped the rod and then managed to trip and fall recovering it. Took on water in my waders. I was dressed in wool and synthetics. Even with the water in the waders and being wet I never got cold and fished another hour and caught 3 more fish. When I began to get chilled the long walk back to the car warmed me up. I always have a dry change of clothes back at the car. I was glad to change into them when I got there.

I never did get that photo. This one will have to do.

Brook Trout


Ah yes, I’ve often found that my canoe runs rapids better after I’ve exited.


Did you eat the trout?

That section of the Chattooga is delayed harvest until mid-May. So no, that fish got a reprieve. It is one of my favorite spots to fish. However, another favorite I have been fishing is the lower Chauga River where you can still harvest trout with a 5 per day limit. I have about 7 in the freezer at the moment and have been bring home fish every time I fish there. I still release most of what I catch. Fresh trout are fine eating. As any WW paddler knows a wild mountain river is a wonderful piece of paradise. I love wading those rivers and the scenery is hard to beat.

When is the fish fry, or bake ?

The invite only goes out to a select few. I’ll have to check the list to see if you are on it. :rofl:

Ya know, if you come into/come back to Erick’s thread a tad late, and disjointedly look at the threads, the tattered mind then might think (okay, okay, THIS tattered mind DID think):

First Swim of 2024
But did you eat the trout?
The invite only goes out to a select few.
I suppose the chosen baptized are dining about.

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I saw some great pics today from my buddy in Chattanooga on the Chattooga. Sucker season has started. He had 5 browns over 22” and the guide was disappointed. Too cold for me to canoe to the holes but soon. Paddle the Chattooga, not yet

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ok I went for three swims yesterday, low water on paint creek, barely runnable in the long boat, bad combo, kept getting caught up on rocks, too shallow to roll but still difficult to get boat to shore and dumped out, today much bette,r cherry-gauley river combo.


Had a swim over the weekend coming in through confused surf.

But more amusingly, I tried to swim yesterday but failed.

I’m working on my (kayak) high brace and, although I wanted, to I couldn’t bring myself to mostly-capsize in the 40º water. :laughing:

I did dunk my head in for as long as I could at the end of my session, though! :cold_face:

Tomorrow I’m going to wear the neoprene hood. And I’m gonna do it this time!


Second swim of the year for me yesterday. I filled up my boat running the bottom of a rapid called Chimney on the Scantic in CT, and over I went. Every time that happens I think its time to put in an electric bilge pump, but I never do. Pictures from the 3 drops on this river.


Run rapids and you are going to get wet.

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