Thursday, February 7, 2013
River Float on the Stanislaus River
Monday, my friend Terry Gowen and I took our JAckson Coosa's down a stretch of the Stanislaus River from Knights Ferry to Orange Blossom. The flows were perfect at 900 CFS, but for some reason the fishing was slow. I would highly recommend this run for a semi experienced paddler looking to a mild class I-II section of river. The parking was free at both the take out and launch, and both parks had someone ether living on site, or working so your stuff is secure. The trip took about 4-5 hours (We were having so much fun we lost track of time) and could be made shorter if one wanted to focus on just fishing the top section.
In the first quarter of a mile you hit the first and only major rapid. This spot is called Russian Rapids. It's a class II with very minimal consequences if thing go bad. I swam this rapid multiple times while trying to surf a standing wave. The rapid can also easily be portaged for those who would rather watch and stay dry. The rest of the river winds through rolling hills and along beautiful canyon walls. There are lots of riffles and swirly eddies, so don't let your guard down. Also there are some strainers that could really do some damage, but can be easily avoided with good stokes and by keeping your head about you. I could see some drunken tubers having a really bad time in these areas though. Here is a little video I put together from our trip. Only one fish, but the paddle was absolutely delightful.