Thoughts from a fellow OC1er
Sammer here. Now you'll get feedback from a canoer. I think I somewhat know your paddling ability, and what will interest you in the class 4 to 4+ range, and what does and doesn't go for open boating. Keep in mind though, that i am assuming that what would interest and be fun to me, would be the same to you. I might be wrong though. Also, I am accustomed to pushy, continous, volumous colorado water. So, even though it is just class 4, I am not sure how you would feel about some of the upper level flows I have recommended. I still plan on seeing you in yur parts around the 13th!
Slaughterhouse on the Roaring Fork (Aspen)is one of the best class 4 to 4+ runs in the state. Highly recommended. However it will be the farthest drive of all mentioned here. Go for 500 cfs and up to 2000 cfs.
Gore Creek, another great option, the lower section, through Dowd Chute (remember this is the run we did together at a low flow), go for 450 to 800 cfs max for OC. Watch out for pipes!
Waterton Canyon might be fun at any level, but I would personally give it alot of water to make it really interesting, 700 cfs and up. Be prepared to hike or wheel your boat back up a mile or so at the end.
Clear Creek, is okay class 4-. Lower or Upper sections. Give those a lot of water also to make it interesting.
Barrel Springs on the Colorado, is fun. This however is more in the class 5- range. It can be continous and become combat canoeing if you miss your eddies. At lower flows that shouldnt be a problem. Go for 500 cfs to 800 cfs max. Be careful of flows higher than this for OC, especially for you east coasters. To get the flow for Barrel, subtract 1200 cfs from whatever is reading on the Shoshone gauge.
The Numbers on the Arkansas, which I am sure you have done, is a straight up class 4 at most levels. However, again, to make it really fun, I would give it high flows, like 1000 cfs and up to 3000. However, it will get pushy and huge holey at those higher flows.
The Upper Blue, I dont think you would find interesting.
10 Mile Creek, the upper section (class 5) is really ugly, boat abusive, rolling is not much of an option, super continous, almost void of reasonable eddies, and not very fun. I dont recommend it. However, the middle and lower is okay.
And, I dont know much on the front range.
If you want to paddle with other OC1ers who can hang with you on class 4, contact: Bob Cook (email@example.com) and Justin Gilbert (firstname.lastname@example.org), they would be very happy to paddle with you, and I have already told them about you.
Let me know if you have questions bud!