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Dam to McGinnis float

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  • Dam to McGinnis float

    So I've been out in the new drift boat from McGinnis to abbotts a few times and am ready for some rock dodging. My questions are:
    1) can it be floated without generation? (Real draft is 4 inches max)
    2) it's around 8 river miles, without stopping to fish will it be an all day 6+ hour float?
    3) is it guaranteed that the West Bank park closes at 5? Or can you leave a vehicle there later?



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
    -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

    "Stop Whining"

  • #2
    It can be done, but that will be a long day and you may be pushing to get back in time to get your car in time.

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    • #3
      Did it a few years back.. started as soon as dam opened. Very long day..3 spots come to mind first the big rock north of 20, second the fish weir south of settles, third a big rock and drop closer to McGinnis,,all were negotiated but can be tricky.. another thought is if the corp has a reduced release 600-650 it could make it tougher, we did not stop to fish much (streamer fished most of day) also started paddling toward the end to beat darkness, It was a great trip had 3 nice browns roll on big streamers but caught no big ones, over all a good day fishing and I would do it again.

      I would not attempt it on a release, I believe floating is not permitted then.

      As for park closing they will tow if you are not gone by 5.

      During the shorten park hours and with the time change I do think a shuttle driver would be best.
      Last edited by Fishemon; 11-11-17, 09:02 AM. Reason: txt
      Lake Lanier & Brevard NC

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      • #4
        Originally posted by troutbum69 View Post
        3) is it guaranteed that the West Bank park closes at 5? Or can you leave a vehicle there later?
        If the 5:00PM time is currently being applied, they tend to lock the gate promptly and will have vehicles inside towed.

        I guess you're good to go with the big chutes above Hwy 20 and at Shakerag.
        If this were rocket science most of us wouldn't be doing it. - Terry Creech

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        • #5
          I would worry the most about the big stair-step run that takes you to the end of Bowman's Island. It is narrow, bony, and weaves down the riverbed. I think you might be banging your beauty's chines on the rocks, no matter how well you run it.

          It would be a great idea to scout it out first, either by kayak, or with a hike up from the hatchery.

          FM
          The tug is the drug!

          "Grow a pear!" - Groundpounder

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fishemon View Post
            Did it a few years back.. started as soon as dam opened. Very long day..3 spots come to mind first the big rock north of 20, second the fish weir south of settles, third a big rock and drop closer to McGinnis,,all were negotiated but can be tricky.. another thought is if the corp has a reduced release 600-650 it could make it tougher, we did not stop to fish much (streamer fished most of day) also started paddling toward the end to beat darkness, It was a great trip had 3 nice browns roll on big streamers but caught no big ones, over all a good day fishing and I would do it again.

            I would not attempt it on a release, I believe floating is not permitted then.

            As for park closing they will tow if you are not gone by 5.

            During the shorten park hours and with the time change I do think a shuttle driver would be best.
            It has been done in a Jon boat during a release. There river channel when a release comes through there has some 4-5ft standing waves at Bowmanís Island which makes it challenging in a non boat but not as much in a drift boat. Once you pass that there is 20 rock which if you stay to the right youíll have a deep channel to go through no problem but do not go left, it gets nasty at high water. After that there are several shoals and fish weirs but at higher flows they are washed out so itís not a bad trip.
            If you go low flow, I would be concerned bout banging your chines up as FM mentioned around Bowmanís. 20 rock again has a deep channel river right(facing downstream) which is easy to navigate. Between 20 and Settles there are several standing waves caused by rocks that are very low in the water but you can hear them to avoid them. They also are river right. The fish weir at Settles or going down Shakerag Shoals is easy, just go for the tongue of smooth water and youíll have no problems! Look forward to seeing a trip report!!!
            #JBNavy

            "Everyday is a new life to a wise man."
            -Chinese Proverb

            ďAt sunrise everything is luminous but not clear.Ē
            -Norman Maclean

            "We are what we hunt."
            -PH

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            • #7
              Thanks for the responses y'all. I guess that is a big section to try and tackle in a day. So besides the logistics of getting the truck out of the lot in time, and the rocky stretch at bowmans it's do able. That a fair summary?


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
              "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
              -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

              "Stop Whining"

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              • #8
                I floated from the dam to McGinnis in my boat last Sunday, first day of the time change. We drove up from LaGrange and got to the dam before they opened the gate. Unloaded the boat and all of our gear. I stayed with the boat and my son ran the trailer down to McGinnis. He ubered back up to the dam and we were on the water by 9:00 am. Ubering also solves problem with the end of day gate being locked as we didnít have a car up there.
                What was said above about the short stretch below Bowmanís was correct. That by far is where I have the most trouble as it is very tight. I do end up bumping some there but my boat has a hdpe hull. I would just be careful with your boat there. We fished all day, ate lunch around 1:30 at our lunch spot just below 20 at Fish Weir shoals. In the afternoon we fished all our normal spots but didnít waste a lot of time at any one location. Did have to row out pretty strong at the end of the day but got to the takeout just fine right at dark. Great day and a fun run. Didnít catch as many fish this trip as we did when we floated it a month ago. I donít float this enough to know what I needed to do to change that. Part of the learning curve.
                I did the Abbotts to Medlock float a couple of years ago but I didnít really enjoy the scenery. Much nicer on the dam trip but a much longer day too.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by troutbum69 View Post
                  Thanks for the responses y'all. I guess that is a big section to try and tackle in a day. So besides the logistics of getting the truck out of the lot in time, and the rocky stretch at bowmans it's do able. That a fair summary?


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  And the fact that your boat has furniture quality woodwork.

                  I dont think the risk is worth the reward. Everyone wants to fish that virgin water, I get it, but not in that boat. There are plenty of big fish on down.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Didaniel View Post
                    I floated from the dam to McGinnis in my boat last Sunday, first day of the time change. We drove up from LaGrange and got to the dam before they opened the gate. Unloaded the boat and all of our gear. I stayed with the boat and my son ran the trailer down to McGinnis. He ubered back up to the dam and we were on the water by 9:00 am. Ubering also solves problem with the end of day gate being locked as we didnít have a car up there.

                    What was said above about the short stretch below Bowmanís was correct. That by far is where I have the most trouble as it is very tight. I do end up bumping some there but my boat has a hdpe hull. I would just be careful with your boat there. We fished all day, ate lunch around 1:30 at our lunch spot just below 20 at Fish Weir shoals. In the afternoon we fished all our normal spots but didnít waste a lot of time at any one location. Did have to row out pretty strong at the end of the day but got to the takeout just fine right at dark. Great day and a fun run. Didnít catch as many fish this trip as we did when we floated it a month ago. I donít float this enough to know what I needed to do to change that. Part of the learning curve.

                    I did the Abbotts to Medlock float a couple of years ago but I didnít really enjoy the scenery. Much nicer on the dam trip but a much longer day too.


                    Thanks, Uber is a game changer for shuttling. At least around the few urban rivers. Were you bumping and grinding down bowmans or did you get out and drag?


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                    "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
                    -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

                    "Stop Whining"

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                    • #11
                      I have a flycraft two person raft that I use to float that section often. It is definitely an all day affair to run that stretch and you had better have your vehicle out of the dam boat ramp parking lot at 5pm sharp. I had a friend almost get his car towed a weekend or two ago. He heard the tow truck at 5:03 and walked over to see what the beeping sound was and ended up avoiding the tow but still received a $50 ticket. If you want, I'd be happy to run it with you one day in my boat so you can see the obstacles. PM me if you want to set something up.
                      "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed with the things you didn't do than by the things you didÖ Explore. Dream. Discover" Mark Twain, 1879

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                      • #12
                        Like Fishmonger said, that little section is very tight and has skinny water. You have to make several eddies and switchbacks to avoid bumping rocks. I usually hit a little something every time I go thru there. I have had to drag off of a rock in there before when I didnít quite make a turn and get sideways up on one.
                        I will offer to carry you in my boat as well if you want to make a trip down to get a better feel for it before you decide to carry yours. If you decide to float in yours, I guess you could get out of the boat and hand guide your boat thru there, too.
                        A couple of good runs you need to make are the toccoa dh section and the tuckaseegee dh section. These are both great runs and will give you even more experience in your boat with minimum risk of messing it up.
                        On another note, I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed following your boat build on the forum. I appreciate your dedication to the project and know how much you have put into it. I love my boat and enjoy being on the water in it, and know that, with the time and effort you have put into yours, you will enjoy yours that much more.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Didaniel View Post
                          Like Fishmonger said, that little section is very tight and has skinny water. You have to make several eddies and switchbacks to avoid bumping rocks. I usually hit a little something every time I go thru there. I have had to drag off of a rock in there before when I didnít quite make a turn and get sideways up on one.

                          I will offer to carry you in my boat as well if you want to make a trip down to get a better feel for it before you decide to carry yours. If you decide to float in yours, I guess you could get out of the boat and hand guide your boat thru there, too.

                          A couple of good runs you need to make are the toccoa dh section and the tuckaseegee dh section. These are both great runs and will give you even more experience in your boat with minimum risk of messing it up.

                          On another note, I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed following your boat build on the forum. I appreciate your dedication to the project and know how much you have put into it. I love my boat and enjoy being on the water in it, and know that, with the time and effort you have put into yours, you will enjoy yours that much more.


                          Thanks for the info. And the offer. I'll be in touch for sure. I guess I'll take the canoe from the dam to settles and see what's up. I need to update that thread. I've finally made head way on the interior. Sounds like worse case I'll get out and guide it. I was picturing a dry riverbed with a trickle on the right side of bowmans.


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                          "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
                          -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

                          "Stop Whining"

                          Comment

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