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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By Earl
#2286158
Date: April 24-28, 2019
Location: Mulberry River, Ar; Redding Campground
Mulberry River gage:
https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/uv/? ... 0065,00060
DDRC members paddling, Earl, Anita, Randy, Ray, Kerry, Terry, Faisal, Mike, Poncho, Manny, Alfred, Anthony, Jaws, Pat, Matt, Austin, Michelle, Alan, Keith.

I arrived early Wednesday morning hopeful I could get in some paddling for a couple of day before the main DDRC groups arrival. After I got camp set up Anita and I decided to run from Wolf Pen down to Redding. The river was at a fair level for us and we were on the water by about 10:30. Randy, Kerry, Terry, and Ray elected to put in a little later and at Indian Creek. Anita and I enjoyed the date a bit overcast, cool but no rain. We made a stop at Highbank for some lunch and a break then paddle on down. Just as we are coming up to Indian Creek Randy and group were just putting on the water so we all paddled together on down to Redding.

After an all-night gentle caressing foreplay of showers by Mother Nature, the campground was filled with puddles and water running through campsites, yet the river docile. I call that all teasing and no pleasing. I thought perhaps there was enough rain to support paddling the Little Mulberry. After driving up and scouting it early in the morning my initial assessment of Mother Nature’s teasing proved true. I thought the Little Mulberry needed to come up a good 6-9” and there was no indication of a rise as the water was clear. Anita and I decided to paddle from Redding to Campbell’s cemetery for the day. Again cool day with some spotty showers and fair amount of river flow. After running my truck downstream we got going and made a day of it. Randy and crew elected not to paddle for the day. Once we got off the river and back to camp we could clearly see that the river had come up about 20” and the water was chalked up despite no rain during the day. Randy came over to inform me that the Little Mulberry was responsible and had come up very nice during the day. I missed an opportunity to get on it that day, I guess the teasing rain led to much delayed reaction by the river. There must have been a spot on shower during the late night to early AM along the upper part of the Little Mulberry.

The remainder of the DDRC contingent started to roll in about dinner time and campground filled up later that evening. After some discussion with a few we decided the Friday paddle would be from Wolf Pen down to Redding. I got us coordinated with people, boats, vehicles and time of departure so we could be on the water before noon.

Everyone was up and ready to drive up to Wolf Pen by 9am and we all on the water by a bit after 10. I personally made sure I saw or touched everyone’s PFD and helmets and did a safety talk before we put on. Single file through the rapids, if you come out let the boat go feet up and float down out of the swift water, others will get your boat and do not stand up in the rapid. The water level was good and air temp in the low 50s but sunny and warming fast. I took point and Randy did sweep. Making several breaks along the way and stopping at Indian Creek for lunch taking our time on the river made for a very enjoyable day. We did have some swimmers with only one of some concern. The low bridge after Birds where the river does a hard left just after the bridge we had one come out of their boat and decided to stand up in the rapid. After some coaching from me they decided to sit with feet up and float out of that rapid to their boat swirling in the eddy. We all arrived at Redding just before 5pm, tired, wet with no injuries or missing boats, and ready for happy hour. After dinner we made our Saturday paddle plan, Redding to Campbell’s cemetery but would be minus 3 paddlers.

Again everyone was up with lunches, boats packed and ready to run shuttle by 9:15. We were on the water by 10:45 with temps in the low 50s and a sunny day and great water level. I ran out front to capture pictures of everyone as they came through the rapids, Randy ran sweep. We pulled over on a gravel bar on river left just below Turners for some lunch and a break. We did not have any swimmers until the very last rapid right at Campbell’s, Another great day on the water with no issues and everyone back to camp safe and ready for the nights pot luck dinner.

Dinner was fabulous with so much food you could feed a couple of Arkansas counties. Dinner was mostly down and everyone sitting by the fire when we began to get a few sprinkles then followed by a heavier downpour. This had everyone scattering to clean up and get to their camps. Another very nice Mulberry river trip with great people, great water, weather and great food. As I was packing up Sunday morning I found a nice copperhead under my firewood in my camp. You just never know when or where they will be.

Here are a few of the 370 pictures I took.
These pictures and others can be found at the link below.
https://imgur.com/a/q59YCzW

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SYOTW,
Earl
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