I was one of 8 lucky people in America to not have off July 5th. I know that because there were only 7 other cars on the road at 6am Friday morning.
So be it.
I loaded up the Kayak the night before and planned on leaving work a few minutes early to hit the river for the first time. The DesPlaines river was still somewhat high and pretty fast but I have seen Kayakers on it over the past few days and thought it safe enough. I arrived at the Boat Launch on Irving Park Rd at about 3:50pm and started trying to navigate the mud slope of a ramp there. It was horrendous. I brought the kayak as close to the water as I could and then loaded up the gear.
- Tackle Bag
- River Anchor
- Life Vest
- Trolling Motor
I realized after my third trip back to the kayak that I need to pair down a bit what the hell I put on this kayak. After it was all loaded I shoved her into the flow!
Once underway it was a lazy float down the DPR! Weather was beautiful, breeze was nice and the scenery was great. Fishing was second on my mind. I found myself spacing out several times just staring.
I casted a few times out and managed two smaller pike but it was awkward casting with the flow as fast as it was. I floated for about an hour and a half before turning on the trolling motor for the first time and heading back upstream.
The trolling set up worked great! I kicked it on full speed and just sat back and let the motor do the work. It took a bit to get used to the steering and we struggled a bit when going under bridges. At most bridges on the DPR these days there are some sizeable log jams causing some awesome current breaks. A few times I was pushing against to different breaks hitting the kayak and I just seems to sit still with the trolling motor on full blast. Most times a little maneuvering got me through it. Once I had to bust out the paddles to assist.
Other than that, it was pure heaven. I kicked my feet up and just coasted back upstream. Working against the flow it took longer than I thought to get back. And hour and a half down, an hour back with the trolling motor on full. If you look at the video you can see I was going at a pretty good pace. I will be taking it out later today on a lake and see how it works on still water.
A few times on the way back I actually caught myself dozing off. My eyes were heavy and my head would slump down. It was so peaceful. The humming of the troller, the sound of the river against the hull. It all lulled me to sleep!
I ran the motor for about an hour straight on full throttle. Im not sure how much of the battery I used. Ill have to get a charger with a meter on it.