Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-17-2016   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,132
Colorado Catboaters: How Low Will You Go?

I thought we would have a longer season, it is only mid July and I am boating runs much lower than ever. How low will the following runs go?

Clear Creek: Used to think 400 cfs was pretty much minimum top to bottom. Did Black Rock to Rigo at 380, think it could go to 320.
Looked at it today @ 240 and no way! Did Lower Clear Creek today at 240 and Elbow and Diversion Dam were both surprisingly good.
Screaming Quarter required some dancing, but no boat abuse and only had to Flintstone once. My backyard run so I need to extend the limits.

Eagle: Dowd to Edwards Mile lowest I've done is 500, it is already 360 in mid July. Worth the drive?

Poudre: Have done Stephens to BTO at 2.2', I'm sure it goes lower but a long drive. Middle/Lower Narrows have only done at 2.7', it looks like it could go lower but at some point those drops will become steeper and sharper.

Arkansas: Pine Creek/#s, never done below 500, its already down to 580.
I enjoy picking thru the boulders at low flow, but how low?
Have done the Royal Gorge down to 500 and remember boats getting stuck in Sunshine and a shallow row out.

Colorado: Gore have run between 800 and 1200. My guess is it gets harder as it drops? Anyone know how long Gore will last?
Barrel Springs, have never done this one. Planned to this year but it is already down to 510. I thought it would still be good in
Aug/Sept, still hoping to get over there. Any local beta? And to be clear I'm talking below Lower Death. Any scheduled downtime on the power plant?

Thanks for any info and if anyone else is it to low water catboating, send me a message.

Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2016   #2
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,038
I've run the Royal Gorge down into the 200's with 13' rafts, and I'd be willing take my small cat down there that low( though at 500 or so the crux hole is particularly munchie for oar boats)

"Like a bunch of monkey's, trying to fuck a football."
mattman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2016   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Gore shouldn't drop much lower, s it is a major delivery system for agriculture.

Poudre should also come back up, as I heard they shut off the tunnel to look for a missing body.

Bailey was at a nice padded out 500. I've not seen anyone row this yet, but with a few portages maybe you'd be good to go?

(seven two 0)-298-2242
Dave Frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2016   #4
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,132
Dave, I have always been curious about Bailey, just how bad are the portages and how many? My new cat is about as light as possible.
Talked to Ian about it one year for Bailey fest but could not find another cat.

I've wanted to ask you about Boulder Creek, 4 Mile to Town. I've only scouted Elephant Butte section at low water, I can envision a line at high water, but at high water would an oar rig fit under the highway bridge?
I did not get up to Boulder Creek this year, when it hit 550 (the peak) I thought I would wait a week and get it higher (a mistake).

I have not done Gore in three years, it always beat me up.
But it could be the only thing flowing come Aug, good to hear it will stay at this level for a while.
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2016   #5
BruceB's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 170
The Boulder Creek highway bridge does not go at high water with my frame, which is about as low as any frame on the river. I was out there once paddle rafting and we had to pull out because the bridge did not go that day, even without a frame.

A Gore run may be in order and sometimes they give the Moffatt Tunnel an August burst so Alto Alto may go at some point. Run the three miles above Rollinsville for a total of six.

Personally, I am inflating my inner tube to extend the season.
BruceB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016   #6
Daryl's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 98
I'm still looking forward to running some low flow runs together Rich. Been on permanent vacation this summer but heading back soon.

Just curious about how you run your Cat down the creeks because I noticed that my downstream method is different than most. I ran paddle rafts down the New and Gauley in WV a lot when I hailed from the Midwest. That usually meant hard forward and the guide steering the ass end around obstacles (or one side forward and the other back) but rarely back stroking to pull away from obstacles.

I continue to have the same "paddle" mindset even though I'm pushing an 18' gear boat with 11' oars on big canyon runs. I read the water and run the boat almost never pulling on the oars. Some would call this macho if it were intentional by design, I call it ignorance because I revert to the paddle boat mindset. The good news is I've never had issues running the gear pig nose downstream so far.

Back to my original question, do you run your Cat more like a traditionally backstroked raft or like a paddle raft? Surely a combination of both are employed but is your instinct to back away or skid past obstacles and ship oars as you slide on by?
Daryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016   #7
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,038
Not sure if ya meant question for Rich or in general, but for me it depends a lot on the conditions. I learned to paddle boat on the Ark, so I tend to do a lot of bow down stream and push at least with with higher flows. Low water, I tend to run my small cat traditional oar boat style, with more pulling off of obstacles, it tends to be really easy, since you can let a lot of current just slip under your tubes.
In the end it is a blended strategy.
Who I boat with kinda changes things to I guess. If i'm running with rafts, I have to push down stream more, since they tend to move faster then me. If I'm with other cat boats, I can get away with more up stream ferry usage, and tend to work a little less that way.
"Like a bunch of monkey's, trying to fuck a football."
mattman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016   #8
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,132
When I am in a rapid, I like to slow things down, so I backstroke maybe 80% and push forward 20%. I want to spend as much time in the rapid as possible and have the most time to move back and forth across the river.
An ultra light boat helps with this.

Lower Clear Creek is hang on at 220, might try one more run this afternoon. Are you in town?
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016   #9
Daryl's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 98
Suffering in VA Beach but will be ready next week.

The mini cats do allow the user to pull, pull, pull then go very easily.

Thanks for the input. Hopefully we can hook up next weej
Daryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2016   #10
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,132
I'll be here next week but I'm not sure Clear Creek will still be running.
220 today and dropping.

Rich is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I know it's been asked, but how low is too low on the Ark? NolsGuy Whitewater Kayaking 2 07-25-2009 10:02 AM
Front Range Catboaters Unite! pearen Whitewater Kayaking 3 06-02-2009 10:32 AM
numbers, how low is too low? gh Whitewater Kayaking 2 08-28-2006 12:43 PM
how low is low water on the Ark. Larry Berger Whitewater Kayaking 6 08-17-2005 12:22 PM
Lower Clear Creek - How Low is Too Low skip Whitewater Kayaking 4 05-26-2004 06:26 PM

» Classified Ads
9'6" Polecats For...

posted by Colgador con Rojo

2 - 9'6" rope wrapped and counter balanced Sawyer Polecats...

Patagonia Guidewater and...

posted by clemkins

Two patagonia drybags, one is the guidewater II 50L, the...

small cat frame

posted by Gumbydamnit

Small welded cat frame I used on my 12' legend. It's...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.