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Old 07-11-2009   #1
Mancos, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Rogue River; Rainie Falls

We have an Aug 4th permit on the Rogue. Wondering what is the best way through Rainie Falls. We have four 14' cats and one 16' wood dory. Experienced boaters, but our first time on the Rogue. Wondering about running the cats through the falls and lining the dory at the fish ladder. Is there a third way through besides the falls and the fish ladder? Any thoughts?

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Old 07-11-2009   #2
SMCanyon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 78
We did the fish ladder. We brought some paddles to use for pushing/paddling raft down it (oars are useless). Bump and grind. We watched an 18' raft drop Rainie and it got vertical. The oarsman in the front smacked his head o the cooler or whatever he had in front of him. Ouch!

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Old 07-11-2009   #3
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 133
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dude seriously, run that shit, especially in a cat, safety up and run it, we did the fish ladder but it was october and we had rafts, run it run it
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Old 07-12-2009   #4
spartankayaker's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 70
Rainie Falls

We did the Rogue in February and nobody in our group of 40 (yea, you read right, 40) ran the falls. There were several cats and kayaks that ran several of the slots that are between the Fish Ladder and the falls... not as much gnar as the falls, but a little more exciting then the fish ladder.

There is a HUGE pool above the falls and great scouting of all lines (except the fish ladder) from river left.

Have a great trip... enjoy Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar!

Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional
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Old 07-12-2009   #5
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
The fish ladder is a royal pain, but with a wooden boat there aren't many good options. The middle chute (pic) has almost always thrown me into at least one rock - either during the entrance or on one of the two drops. I wouldn't do it in a wood boat, but in rubber I think it's the way to go.

The good way through the falls:

The not so good way:
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Old 07-12-2009   #6
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
I've done the falls, the shute and the fish ladder. It all gets you to the same place and as long as you are on the Rogue it's hard not to have a good time. The fish lader is no problem if you put two paddlers up front for bow thrusters. Infact I 've really enjoyed it in a kayak and a raft. The shute is really fun also as long as you get lined up for it then pull you oars in. And there is not lack for action if you go for the falls. It is quite the impact when you hit the bottom and don't forget to hang onto something when you whole boat goes under water or you will float out. I did break a rib on the falls last time, but I had a great time and I'd do it again (just as soon as my wife lets me, she didn't enjoy that drop as much as I did).
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Old 07-13-2009   #7
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Greeley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 84
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 137
This was my back yard. Call for info if need be.

970 405 8002
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Old 07-13-2009   #8
Keizer, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 28
My husband and I boat the Rogue every year in our 16' cat. We always run the fishladder. While some people have clean runs at the falls, there are often flips, swimmers that flush out of the boat, and impact injuries (heads hitting frames or dry boxes, etc.).

Rainie Falls comes early on the first day of a wilderness trip and, while we'd probably be fine running the falls, we'd prefer to avoid potential problems. There are hiking trails to the falls, but no roads or help immediately available. To us, it's just not worth the risk.

I am attaching a close-up and distance shot of the ladder at about 3,000 cfs. When you go, it will be substantially bonier.

In terms of the middle chute... it has its own problems. See the following video:

Other things to note:
1. The vast majority of boats on the Rogue elect the fish ladder.
2. If you have to line any boats down the ladder (like your wooden dory), do it from river right. Do not line from the bank between the ladder and the middle chute. The bank here can be unstable. And, make sure you have ropes that are long enough!
3. Tuck-in your oars on the ladder. There's just not room to use them effectively and I have seen injuries to boaters from renegade oars.
4. Unlike the falls and the middle chute, scouting the fish ladder is difficult. The only place you can attempt to scout the ladder is from the right bank, and it's not easy due to to brush. I would hug the right bank, scout from the boat, and go for it.
4. The BLM has an excellent guide to the campsites and rapids on the Rogue. I would make sure you download or pick one up and take it with. It is especially useful when combined with a GPS.
5. In addition to Rainie, I recommend that first time boaters on the Rogue scout Upper Black Bar Falls and, of course, Blossom Bar. Both rapids are VERY easy scouts from river right.

I'm sure you've already done this, but you should be certain of the correct line at Blossom. You tube is a good resource. 2 people died at the picket fence portion of this rapid last year, so it's not to be taken lightly.
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Old 07-13-2009   #9
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150
Dory-line in fish ladder
Cats-milddle chute for easy and fun
Both rigs-run Rainie for best adventure with safety set downstream
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Old 07-14-2009   #10
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
I ran the falls in early May in my 16ft cat and my buddy ran it in his 14 ft cat; there was plenty of water (6,600 cfs) to push us through and it seemed easier then getting into the ladder at that level. Now I would probably run the middle chute or ladder because the level is down. I have run the Rogue 6 times and only ran the falls once.

You will have a great time; it is a beautiful place. I hope to get down there again in September once the kids go back to school and it's a little less packed.

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