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East Fork Whitewater River - July 5, 2014

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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: East Fork Whitewater River - July 5, 2014 Reply with quote

The following trip report was submitted by user Thom Crouch. Note that it is for the EAST Fork of the Whitewater River, which is not on the "navigable waterways" list, and so is not described on the website.

EAST Fork, Whitewater River
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Put in: 2:25 pm, NW corner of bridge on Clifton Rd.
Take out: 6:05 pm, public access site on SR 44
Abington USGS discharge rate 195 cfps, gauge height 3.21 ft
Total time: 4 hr 20 min with a lot of float/fishing

After planning an Abington to SR44 trip, we decided to start at the first bridge downstream of Abington instead. We ran into some kayakers on our day-before recon who were putting in at Brownsville who warned us that our trip would be a solid day of paddling. We wanted to do some leisurely fishing so we decided to cut out 1/3 of the distance and start further downstream. I wish we hadn't!

My sister dropped us off on a rural road and we walked a not-so-well-worn and steep path 30 yds to the water. It didn't look like there was any easy parking available near the bridge. Although the water looked a wee bit low when we started, it ended up being just fine. A delightfully swift set of rapids met us at the put-in bridge and that pretty much set the tone for the day. Since our kayaks only displace about "two knuckles" of water, we only had to scoot a couple of times; never had to walk. There were many tree trunks down along the banks but nothing dangerous at this water level. The first part of the trip had steep rapids around every other bend for the first hour. Nice ones with decent drops. A couple actually had white caps and splashed up and over the bow of my kayak! Nice! After an hour, the river seemed to calm down and widen a bit. At 4:05 pm we reached the bridge in Brownsville. 1 hr 40 min.

The first 1 1/2 hours south of Brownsville were rather tranquil and we were able to do a lot of fishing in the numerous "holes" along the steep banks, overhanging branches, and behind logs. We caught a small panfish and a couple of large-mouth bass; one small and one about 12". My accomplice hooked something massive that bent his pole and dragged him across the river and into a small cluster of logs. After wrapping itself around some submerged tree limbs, we finally had to cut the line. What a shame. We assume it was a hefty catfish.

Two or three bends before the SR 44 bridge we enjoyed the biggest and best defined set of rapids of our journey. It was so fun that I was tempted to drag my kayak back up and run them again. Prudence prevailed and we floated the last 15 minutes down to the access north of the bridge at 6:40 pm.

This was a surprisingly swift and exciting trip with some of the best little rapids I have yet experienced this summer. I will definitely do this run again, but starting upstream of Abington next time!
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