Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bourbouse River, June 26th, 2011: Tough paddle with storm on back

I have to say I love each and every single opportunity to kayak, especially on rivers.  It seems like when you step out on a river, there are always new lessons.  This river and put in point is special....It was the first river I kayaked when I got my first kayak a few years ago. I wanted to come back and check it out again and do a little fishing.
The current on the Bourbouse at this point is somewhat strong, but what makes it a challenge (in regards to paddling up stream) is that it is skinnier and has a lot of debris in the current.  There was one point I had to get out of the boat and portage, get back in and paddle 75', then get back in, repeat process.  I almost think sometimes that will wear you out more than anything.  As I stopped at the last sandbar, it had looked like a storm was moving in, so I got busy getting back to the car with a sense of urgency.  That is the reason I paddle upstream when I kayak alone....always a wise move.

Paddle ON!



  1. Mike,

    Your Blog(s) are great! My wife and I just started kayaking together on some local lakes in our new WS Tarpon 100 SOT Yaks. (Port Hudson Conservation Lake, Simpson Park Lake in Valley Park) In the month we have been doing it, we have worked up to about 4.5 miles per outing. We feel fairly confident on the lakes even in a good wind. I was wondering what the water speed is like on the Bourbouse under normal conditions? We are planning to put in in Union and paddle up river for a couple of miles a few nights a week to help build up our strength. Our Yaks are short, 10', so they are not extremely fast....

    Thanks, and keep up the good work! Your blogs are very helpful.

  2. Hi,

    Thank you so much! I am glad they give you some ideas :). I think I know the set in point you are speaking about- that is where I put in (right at the 44 bridge). The bourbouse (at this spot) was the first place I ever kayaked a river, so it has a sentimental spot with me...that being said, I found it to be a challenge with my SOT 12' fishing kayak. You can get about 1 mile up, and then it starts to get quite "wrangly" (i.e. narrow runs, sweepers and log jams about and below the water, etc). It was also a challenge due to the fact that at these points, there was not a lot of points to get out an portage (more mud than sand or gravel).
    I do not want to scare you out of the paddle- I find it to both be physically and mentally challenging (I paddle up stream on rivers, then usually drift fish all the way back to the launch site)
    Here is an idea for an alternate point very close: Robertsville State Park- the Meremac is quite scenic, and I had some fun with the SOT in this area (I am really looking forward to getting my sea kayak up on it for some milage)...If you go up stream, this is where the Bourbouse connects with the Meremac...only draw back is more engine/boat traffic than the Bourbouse.
    Thank you for reading my newsletters...if you would like to message me direct,

    Good Paddeling to you!!