From Bastrop the river was flowing very nicely. We reached the 7-mile checkpoint in about 2 hours...didn't do much fishing. After that we let off the paddles (and pedal) and fished a little. Ended up with 7 small bass, the largest going about 12". The scenery along this stretch of river was amazing. There are supposed to be 2 pairs of bald eagles along the river, though we didn't spot them. We did see an Osprey (one of my favorite birds of prey) and a lot of other wildlife.
We camped on a sandy beach on the side of the river as the designated camping spot was overgrown and occupied. The weather cooperated with us most of the way, though we did have to outpace a thunderstorm and had a bit of a sprinkle while setting up camp. I castnetted a few perch and tried to bottom fish, but the loose weed in the river made it near impossible to keep the bait in the water.
Got up the next morning to a river that was 6-8" higher than when we hit the sack, I believe 'they' were releasing water for the rice farmers. The second half of the trip FELT long, as we were all sore and tired, but it passed very quickly.
This was a nice trip, and now that I know how easy it is I plan on going again when the weather gets a little cooler, and when the river won't be so dirty from the release of water for the rice farmers. A few things I'll make sure to do next time:
1. Pack lighter- I was in an Ultimate 14.5 Propel, and was loaded for bear. That thing is a barge with that much weight on it, and I was caught in every cross-current in the river. My girlfriend used a T-140, which seemed to handle the river a little better. We had too much gear on her yak, too. Looking back I'm glad we packed like we did, but now that we have a little experience it's obvious that we could have cut out 25-35 pounds of gear and food.
2. Get an earlier start
3. Take a water-resistant GPS! We had a satellite printout of the river, but it was near impossible to figure out where we were by the map alone. Knowing how much farther we needed to go would have made the trip much more enjoyable, and a little less rushed.
4. Leave the propel system at home. The river was full of weed (hydrilla?) that kept getting caught in the propel system. When it was clear I was haulin' donkey, but would get behind while trying to clean it out. 12 pounds is a lot of unnecessary weight when this thing is not in use!