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Salt Lake City, Utah

Boat People Part 3 - Schooled by the Old Pro

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Boat People Part 3 - Schooled by the Old Pro

An Dinh

I convinced Jac, a seasoned rower from the Netherlands, to show me the ropes on the Lower Provo.  He was a skeptic at first.  Jac has owned some nice rafts and other watercraft and feels that with all the gear, frames and oars they become too much of a hassle to use often enough to justify them.  But that's why I needed something that was functional in a frameless configuration since I'm not gonna want to tow a big boat just to take the kids out for a paddle on Mirror Lake.

Behold the K-400 hand pump!  It actually pumps up the raft plenty fast.  It's a huge pump but still packable.  And it floats.  No electric pump necessary. 

Note:  For quick inflation - open the valves and use the HIGH VOLUME barrel on the K pump, then close the valve and switch to the HIGH PRESSURE barrel.  This cuts your inflation time in half and you push against much less resistance.

We have and anchor!  It's a small 3lb grappel anchor, for stillwaters and low flow rivers, it's fine.  I set it up as a "rock rigged" anchor so if it were to jam on a rock we would be able to pull it free.  By journey's end we found that it could catch on bank side roots and big rocks and start to drag.   Pulling on the anchor rope to keep it taut and out of the water after bumping obstacles should handle this problem.

We have a Yeti!  It was painful to spend the big cash for this ultra tough cooler, but I'm glad I did. 

The Yeti Tundra 65 is just barely luggable by a one person fishing machine (me).  If it were stuffed to the gills, I would need the portable dolley or a buddy to move it around.  It is shorter than most of the other Yetis which put it in a sweet spot for my raft.  It fits the raft's width and doesn't put the rower too high to work the oars.

There were a lot of fisherman on the river trying to catch big fish during the spawn.

Once we found a run to ourselves we anchored and dredged up some fish on nymphs.  (Yes, Lance, they ate the rainbow warrior)

Jac coached me through the upper half of the river and got me to a point where I could weave the raft between boulders without high centering us or over rowing into the bank.

Then we switched out so that Jac could show me how it's done.  I got to sit back and enjoy the float all the way to the take out.  There were a few gravel bars where I needed to hop out and pull the raft.  Even Jac couldn't row fast enough in the shallow water to avoid a 90 degree bend that sent us into the trees.  Overall it was a smooth journey home.