Kayaking Monte Rio with the Water Level Up

Wednesday January 13, 2016 Monte Rio CA.

Waited for the rain to stop

It was raining again this morning as I got it going, but the weather guys said it would mostly quit soon. Jenner looked like it was going to be a bit windy today, so I decided to go on down to Monte Rio where the wind was a lot less.

The boat ramp wasn’t too bad when I got there, only a thin layer of mud from the recent high waters from the rain. I cleaned that up a bit and put my boat in the water. The water level was five or six feet above summer level and a bit muddy.

Steelhead running

I was headed down stream right here above what is called the slot, just up ahead, when I saw some big fish splashing and jumping just off to the left. That meant big fish were headed up the river to spawn, likely steelhead.slot

 

Muddy water is good

See how the muddy water protects the fish? No fishermen here, right? :O) As the water clears, there will be plenty of fishermen in this spot.

It looked like any more rain showers might hold off as I drifted on down the river headed for the Villa Grande hole down as far as you can see.river

 

Villa Grande Hole

This is just coming into the Villa Grande hole where I stopped and stayed for awhile. I was thinking of going down the river further but as I sat there I could feel a cool wind coming up the river, so I just hung around this spot for awhile enjoying the day.villa2

 

Eventually I started back up the river paddling along it’s edges as the current was a bit stronger in the middle. Not much current on the edges, so up I went.

Otter pops up

I was sitting in a spot when there was a big splash off to my side. I saw the splash, but not what made it, but I thought maybe an otter, so I kept my eyes open and saw one otter go into the bushes right next to me, so I moved closer. It had gone to shore in these bushes, but as my boat drifted closer, it went back in the water and disappeared.otter

 

Across the river from the otter was this great blue heron just sitting tight. It had rained a lot just before I put in today, so most of the wild life was hanging tight and just trying to stay warm.heron

 

Paddling up above the bridge

I continued on up the river past the boat ramp and just below the Monte Rio bridge and was going to go in for the day, but decided to go on up past the bridge.bridge

 

Break outs

There’s a swallows just below the bridge where the current is strong, so I  had to get through it. I call these spots , break outs, as you need to be smart and paddle harder to get through them. Once through a break out, the paddling gets easier. I hugged the branch just in front of me as there is less current there, then paddled like hell until I got out of the fast water and was under the bridge in some easier water headed up the river. This is the break out spot through the fast water. The current is much stronger in the middle than on the sides, so the trick is to stay on the sides, if possible.water

 

I went by these merganser ducks hunkered down. The white ones are the males.mergansers

 

Up river

I paddled just a little ways up the river, about a half mile going along here.upriver

 

I hadn’t planned to go far and soon turned my boat into the current and started to drift back down the river in the current.

I passed under the bridge where some of the local mallard ducks were hanging out.ducks

 

It wasn’t far from there to the boat ramp, where I pulled my boat out and went on home for the day. Note not much mud on the boat ramp.ramp

 

When I got home, the sun wasn’t out and it was cool so I went in the house and puttered for the rest of the day and that was my day.

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