Sunday, June 16, 2013

Salmon River - June 15, 2013

Paul and I had a good time running the Salmon River with Matt, Scott and the crew from Connecticut.  We had 7 boats – 2 canoes (me and Matt), and 5 kayaks (Sharon, Paul, Paul G., Ed and Scott). The river was a nice level – around 5 feet, 1,200 cfs on the East Hampton gage. 

The Comstock Covered Bridge
We met at the covered bridge on Comstock Bridge Road in East Hampton to run the shuttle.  The original Comstock's Bridge was built in 1840 and is one of only three remaining covered bridges in Connecticut.  We decided to put in on the Blackledge to avoid the portage on the Jeremy. The put-in for the Blackledge is the Blackledge Fishing Area off South Main Street near the intersection with Jerry Daniels Road in Marlborough.  The put-in for the Jeremy is at the commuter lot at the intersection of Routes 2 and 149.

The Salmon River is formed at the confluence of the Blackledge and Jeremy rivers and runs about 10 miles to flow into the Connecticut River.  It’s a pretty river that cuts a steep valley through the hills.  This section is about 3 miles long and runs through the Salmon River State Forest – a popular area for hiking, biking and fishing. The banks are lined with hemlock trees and mountain laurel, and small water falls tumbled down the banks into the river. 

A pretty section of the Salmon
The Blackledge is mostly quickwater, so it is little less exciting than the Jeremy, but I think it is more scenic.  After a couple of strainers, it opened up nicely.  At this level, the Salmon is a nice class II run - mostly easy wave trains with some nice surf spots.  We enjoyed the waves as we worked out way down to the largest rapid on the river – the broken dam.

The broken dam looked intimidating at first, but we all decided that the usual run through the slot on the right was the way to go.  The large standing waves below the slot made for a fun ride, so we hiked back up and ran it a couple of times before continuing downstream. Some videos from the broken dam runs here:

The best surf wave on the river is just below the broken dam.  We all took a turn, and I couple of us took a swim.   Matt described my swim this way:
Erik was looping, and when he went into a stern surf, the hole pulled him back at what had to be 10 was the coolest move I ever saw from my open boating play partner.
Thanks Matt.  


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