Whooeee - Mild WW and smallies!

Took a four day trip to the New River and had a ball with about 40 of my closest friends, a few of which I didn’t meet 'till I got there. To top off the fun, I took one of my oldest surviving friends along, paddler extraordinare and even better tier down of kayaks.

Learned some good tips on paddling from folks a lot better at it than me. Learned some good fishing tips from folks a lot better at it than me. Ate too much, drank too much, stayed up too late, and generally did all the things that are done in a river camp.

Friday I took the boat from the “I am just that stupid thread” on a test run in moving water. The water was new to me, but the folks in camp said, “It’s no problem D, just run it.” You think at least one of them could have mentioned the big haystacks just a couple hundred yards into the trip. That boat scooped up water on every bounce. I worked my way to the side mid-rapid and bilged out a bunch of water. Back into the fray, back to the side to pump again. Portaged the rest. Fished like heck. Got to some more big water. Pump some more. Another portage. In all, I think I had to pump out about five more times and portage twice more - all in less than three miles of water. Then I ditched the rods and reels, enjoyed some frosty cold beverages, borrowed a more suited boat and went back to get a lesson in surfing waves from my buddy who was surfing a class II in a Perception Swifty! I got the pleasure of beating the heck out of someone else’s brand new fiberglass paddle in shallow water and seeing him laugh about it.

Next day was a longer float on the same river with another borrowed boat more suited to the water. Took one nice smallmouth and some dinks. Got into a nice hole and took a few from the same spot. The last one wiggled and snapped the line, landing right on the spray skirt. On this particular day, I picked EVERY worst line possible for every rapid. Bad mojo. Probably from beating the heck out of that brand new fiberglass paddle. At one point, I was sitting in a class 3 rapid wedged between two ledges with water pouring over the bow from two directions, and somehow didn’t get pinned. I did the only sensible thing to do. Cast to a couple of eddies. I didn’t take anything, but it sure felt good to make lemonade with those lemons. As I sat there, ShenandoahRiverRat and another buddy of mine (the one with the Swifty) cruised right on down the center chute easy as you please, laughing like schoolkids they were having so much fun. I made it through without any major mishaps, catastrophes or swims. I considered portaging back upstream and running the rapid after ditching my tackle, but just didn’t have the oomph to do it.

Got back to camp and had a great meal prepared by someone else, tortured some folks with my harmonica playing, then tortured them more by singing after I had the sense to put away the harmonicas. After a couple of cold refreshing beverages, I fell asleep at the campfire and woke up to hear folks discussing what they should draw on my head while I slept. There were enough empty bottles around the campfire to know that there was enough stupid in the air that they’d have gone through with it if they could have come up with a plan. At that point, I went to bed.

Great trip. Learned a lot. Shared a lot. Had folks share a lot with me. Met some good people to share a campground with. Generally had a ball.

  • Big D

Sounds like great fun on the river.

Fun on the river
Wow Big D - sounds like you had a great time … uh, just how many scratches did you put on my paddle??

Class III? Never saw any until we ran the Gorge on Saturday. But you’re right about the surfing waves on that Class II section. I timed myself and spent over 5 minutes on one wave.

I caught 94 smallies and only drank 14 beers for a bass-to-beer ratio of 6.71 (decided to not count camp beer this year or I’d have been below 1.0 again)

Lookin forward to next years shindig and we can go surf our Approaches together. (once you buy one)

How’d ya like the CD?


The Class III was above Brooks

– Last Updated: Aug-08-06 12:17 PM EST –

I'm calling it a Class 3 just because of it's length. Low consequences, but high possibility of capsize. Sounds like a Class 3 to me. For you, maybe a kind of quick current.

CD is great, but White Oak and the next to last songs are all boogered up on mine. If you've got a copy of it on your computer, send them over e-mail to me, please. No need to compress, I've got broadband on both my work and home addresses. I'll copy the first eight from the CD and take the two clean copies if you can send them, and make myself a new one and one for Spiderman too. I didn't want to complain, because I hear the guy who made them did it with a cheap microphone in a spare room under the influence of adult beverages and I didn't expect much for nothing. It is definitely a "get in the mood" CD for any and all river trips. Spiderman has a copy of Alex Bevin's Watersongs, which also falls in that category.

I put a LOT of scratches in your paddle. Just keep drinking beer, because you're going to have a fit when you sobor up and see what I did to it. I dumped your boat, too. So if you haven't dumped it yet, I got to be the first. That Approach is nice. It seems a lot roomier inside than the Axess. It's possible that I'll sell a boat or two to buy an Approach.

I'd rather not discuss my BBR, as I caught few fish and drank many beers. How many beers does a bottle of wine convert to for BBR reckoning? Did you Love My Goat?

- Big D

Class III???
I was beginning to think me and D had gone to different places! But his discription fits…nothing higher in that run than 2 feet…but it’s probably 200 yards long in two stages just above the take out. Ya gotta keep your wits about you and pay attention. Low consequences if it happens…but good chance of a capzise over that distance. I had already been wet one time earlier in the day, due to lack of good sense, (and being old and slow with a brace) and said to heck with it,strapped down the rods and gear tight and ran it skirt-less…felt good too!

Dirty Ed…you are true artist my friend. That CD is right now, in the truck and I have played everytime I’ve gotten in the truck since you handed me a copy of it. Makes me feel like I’m right back there again.

“White Oak

It ain’t no joke

You’re just lible to go down there and getcha head broke!

I’ll take my boat and walk thru the trees

and my shorts may offend your o-factorys…

Cause I ain’t got enough Sick Leave

to be running White Oak!”

-Dirty Ed

Pure classic, campfire-sing-along poetry!

This thread is getting me primed!!!
We will hit the upper Gullay 3rd week of Sept for a great day of Class V rafting then hit the New for 3 days of Canoeing and Fishing. It sounds like you guys had a blast. What part of the new did you do? Did you leave us any fish?


We left you all the fish
Some of them will have sore lips, though. Catch & release only for us.

Still in West Virginia but upriver from the gorge is where we were. Beautiful location. Good luck on the Gauley. I did it last year with a guided raft group. It took about six months for my butt to unpucker enough to take care of business. If they had glued the nipple from a baby bottle to the raft tube, I’d have been able to hold on with my butt. I slept twelve hours straight on the sleepover between Upper Gauley and the Middle/Lower. Middle and Lower is wicked cool. Upper Gauley is never to be recommended, but only for those who go in voluntarily with their eyes open.

  • Big D

We were all over the place
down there Van. Parts of our group covered every mile of the New from Hinton all the way thru the Gorge. (No one was foolish enough to try and run Sandstone Falls thank goodness) But Only Hinton to Meadow Creek got fished. Some of us made the trip over Big Bend Tunnel to the Greenbrier and ran the stretch above Alderson there. Last year we covered the Greenbrier from Alderson to Blacks pool, Pence Springs to Talcot, and Willow Wood Bridge to the conflux.

Fishing was better for numbers up on the Greenbrier, but for size…go to the New. We were having our best luck on FLukes and Jack’s Worms (See Case Plastics website) but spinners were working as were buzzbaits early and late in the day.

Remember: Practice CPR (Catch, Photo, Release)

Have fun on the gooolleeee VAN!

Been a while since I’ve yakked the Gauley and know I don’t have the skills anymore. Still, I think I know the routes well enough that I could row my raft down, but I’ll be in Quetico during Gauley season.

Big D, I’m curious about the CD. Did you get one of the copies I made or a copy of the copy that was made at the rodeo? I’ll try to send you the last two songs.

You gave it to me
I don’t know who made it.

  • Big D

thanks guys,
i had a great time at the rodeo! always great to see old and new friends . the trip thru the gorge was GREAT! wish i had a roll so i could try it in a yak.there was a lady who stayed near us for a while who looked bored in her yak; and she was floating alone, wow. tnx Ken for the tunes. i’m looking forward to #2 coming out! sorry you won’t make it in sept ken, but i;ll see you other two there. …mikey

You won’t see me there
I’ve got other business to attend to in September, unfortunately. Spiderman is so stoked, he’s working plans to come down without me. He loved the time away, and I don’t think in twenty-some years of knowing that guy that I’ve ever seen him as comfortable with a group of people as I saw him there.

I do hope that I’ll see you some on one of our rivers up here, though. It’s always fun to watch you catch three fish from a hole I’ve just abandoned as fishless.

  • Big D

You tell Spiderman
to come on down D…we’ll take good care of him and send him back more or less intact.