Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Dad never forgot this rafting and fly fishing trip on the Deschutes River!

picture of large rapids on the  Deschutes River
Deschutes River Rapids 
It was a perfect day for rafting and fly fishing--no wind, the river was in good shape and the prospect for catching Steelhead looked good. My dad, Chuck Stewart, and I were excited as we launched our 6-foot raft at Kloan about one mile above Gordon Ridge rapids. It was a tricky run because as you entered a series of minor rapids you had to carefully line the raft up to avoid a large slab of lava on the left. If you missed a few stroke on the oars, the current would quickly force you against the basalt and cause the raft to flip. Luckily, I positioned our raft in the right slot and prepared for the huge suck hole and clashing 6 foot wave that was awaiting us. 

I hit it just right, but unfortunately by dad lost his grip on the restraining rope and fell back into my lap. The raft flipped and we instantly sank out of sight in the strong rapids. Thankfully, we had tied ourselves to restraining ropes and we popped right up. We also had the forethought to tie down all of our gear. The only things we lost was a half case of beer and our confidence.

After that near disaster, my dad never really let me forget that day because he would often tell this story to his friends. He would always start out by saying, “Yeah, I’ll never forget the time my son took me rafting on the Deschutes River. He showed me how to run it from the surface right down to the very bottom!”  

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