I am still working to learn the rivers on the south coast and have drifted the Elk four times in the last week and a half until it became too low to enjoy. This last Saturday my two kids joined me in my first run on the South Fork of the Coquille just south east of Myrtle Point, OR. It seems the river gets early steelhead and is fairly easy to navigate. Well, mostly true until about two miles into the drift, due to low water conditions, the channel narrows substantially and is mostly covered by a large Myrtlewood tree uprooted and horizontal about two feet above the water. The limbs protrude into the water both up and down river. I was not able to pull away from the tree when we hit the bottom of the chute and became entangled in the mess perpendicular to the current and taking on some water over the upriver side before transferring weight. It took us nearly ten minutes to move gear and work the boat to the end of the tree to continue our down river trip. I think the next run will be with a chain saw.
It seems a pontoon boat also hung in the tree and was swimming to get out.
All in all, a nice drift and the best company to share it with. No fish caught on the trip and none of the other boats had fish on board either.
Leo runs a shuttle service and has his sign on the road as you approach the launch areas. One launch area is restricted to boats with motors as a few fights and arguments have taken place when some motor back upstream to monopolize the best fishing holes.
Next trip will be the Sixes, but not until some rain fills it up a bit.

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Comment by Randy Dersham on January 22, 2009 at 6:07pm
I'm glad your are ok. Those spring strainers are very dangerous. Thanks for sharing.

I think I need to put a little bulletin board area up for known water hazards on rivers. Seems like this group would be able to help out a lot with that. I'll look into it.

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