Hi Bobbuilds: Just saying, trying to be helpful or not, YOU are mostly wrong...I have a tip for you guys and I am trying to be helpful here.
I don't mean YOU in particular, but small cat fisherman. You should be weight centered or forward of center in your craft rowing forward, facing down stream. All to often I see them with the frame towards the back of the cat feet out, lounging. When you get to the rapids this will hurt you, you need to get your weight forward.
Oh, and for what it's worth, thats a shitty hole. You guys did good. As for your gear, well its headed to burns. Start with the fishing outfitters at rancho and see who knows what down there in burns. last I heard they had more phones than teeth per capital so odds could be good, I recon'.
In a rapid, a good oarsman rows forward unless an emergency warrents. In flat water, fishing boats tend to row backwards more than rafts in order to offer more casting opprotunities to an angler.3) No, one should not row forward unless pushing through a hole. Pontoons, like rafts and driftboats, are rowed backwards to navigate the river by using ferry moves across the river, pivoting as needed and rowing backwards.