Class V above 5,000 cfs.
3,500 is a nice medium, IV-V level
If you do the run, please report level and your take on it in the comments.
Stream: A medium sized, rainfed stream with 4 large bedrock ledges/falls mixed with easy floating.
There is currently a lot of wood placed in the stream as fish habitat, in 2017 it was all passable, but at high flows created large, uniform hydraulics like those found below a low-head dam at high water.
Docs drop is at the put in, it is a 15-20 foot broken falls that has been run via many different lines. Scout before putting on.
Watch out for fish habitat between Docs and the next drop, Reader Falls which can be scouted from a bridge during the shuttle.
A short stretch of open bedrock with perhaps the highest density of anthropogenically placed fish habitat lead to Naked Falls. In this stretch is a tributary on the left that enters via a long slide that can be run, again watch out for the fish habitat near the base of the slide.
Naked Falls should be run right, beware the shallow landings over there though. Far left is a 10 foot drop into an extremely backed up hole, it is to be avoided.
More fish habitat keeps paddles engaged below here, be careful not to end up in any of the sticky hydraulics or strainers. Fortunately there is usually a route around the hazards.
Eventually the next horizon line is reached at Dougan Falls, which is the drop visible from the take out. The typical line is down the right, a good finale.
Rumor has it in 2018 the fish habitat was modified to make boat passage less hazardous, if you have done the run since then please give your take on the state of the river as it relates to boaters in the comments below.
check out the Washougal Waterall Run page on Jason Rackley's site.
video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pQVJzL_WQY&feature=youtu.be
Myself and a small crew went to check this out on 4/11, a few days ago. Rain had come down heavy the night before and we were considering a variety of runs. We tarted by heading up to check this section out. I believe we got on the water around peak level for the day 6200cfs on the main Washougal gauge. I should have gathered photos as this was clearly much higher than the linked Jason Rackley story above. None of the rocks often visible in Reeder drop were showing during our scout. We looked at eachother and all decided it was a go so we set shuttle and began.
Doc's Drop was my personal 2nd favorite of the day and the first drop of the run. There were multiple lines seen but we all decided to take the same line. There is a narrow pinch on the left that was discussed, the far right line, and a cleaner looking slot on the left below the pinch. The right line was a close second choice but the hole halfway down that side looked mean and had a sketchy pocket you would certainly get stuck in if you weren't successful in punching that hole. In the end we took the slot just below the pinch and charged left for a flare boof off the furthest left pillow, Overall solid lines through Doc's were had!
Boogie water until Reeder's drop.
Reeder's drop, we didn't scout well from the bridge it looked like a wave train. Once we rolled up on it we all ran it center charging left to hit a huge flair boof onto a decent sized eddyline. One person missed the boof, took a ride in the middle hole then failed to roll up after multiple attempts pushed against the wall. Eventually that paddler swam. We were able to get the paddler to shore quickly but struggled and lost the boat. Unfortunately the boat went down the left and we knew we wanted to stay right for Naked Falls. The swimmer hiked up to the road and walked up to get the shuttle car at the top and planned on meeting us at the takeout.
Immediately following are a 1/2-full mile of manmade fish habitat with chained to the riverbed, almost riverwide, logs creating near lowhead dam like features. We had to boof a few of those but they are all passable, typically on either side but a few had clear V-channels down the center as well. Boofing them was easy but the consequence of a mistake could be drastic, be cautious.
As the horizon line for Naked Falls comes into view start working, if you aren't already, far right staying roughly 15 ft off the wall and keep you boat straight for a nice autoboof. Note multiple holes could knock you sideways shortly before the the autoboof, the flake is about 8 ft wide so sideways isn't terrible if you at least headed off the flake.
For fish habitat for another 1/2-full mile. About halfway down this section we spotted the lost boat and chased it down, eventually snagging it and getting it to the roadside shore right as our swimmer was driving by so they picked up the boat and head for the takeout.
Then finally we came upon Dougan Falls, Simply charge this one right. It tried to push all 3 of us to the a bit further left than we wanted but we none of us had problems getting stuck in a hole, we plugged right through no big deal.
You could takeout right below Dougan falls on the right. However, at this flow that eddy was hard to stay in and there was a super fun looking boof onto a meaty hole below the bridge and an easier takeout eddy on the right below the bridge too. We all fired this one up and boy oh boy, maybe the rowdiest part of all our day. It's tough to describe but the strength of the current from Dougan made getting lined up for the boof astronomically harder than any of us expected and the meaty hole was about 6-8ft vertical. Our first guy went and it looked like maybe he rode the curler boof into the hole but his surf ride was hidden by the horizon line. After a good 30 second wait I went. I repeated the same mistake, failing to line up pointed right, hit the boof but didn't gain enough distance and got tractor beamed into the monster, flipped, then rolled up in a side surf. I rode the hole as I watched our third and final member nail the boof, get spun around, squirted almost vertical, and barely paddle away. I scream a curse word thinking I'm not getting out of the hole only to work my way out a few seconds later.
We all reconnect in the takeout eddy below the bridge, highfive, and agree this run was worth the mission but was much rowdier than expected and some of our harder/sketchier/more fun runs any of us had under our belt.
Based on the photos in Jason Rackley's report and what we saw and experienced, I'm surprised they ran it. Although 6200 was rowdy and I'd confidently call it class V. I'd expect 4000 to be on the lower end of enough water but I'll need to take a drive up there at lower flows to confirm than. More water probably wouldn't hurt this run either
There is still one large log wracked up on fish habitat jam that is unsecured between Reeder Creek bridge and Naked Falls. Metal hardware was removed from this log but the log itself remains.
Also, new wood placement in 2018 between Bluebird Creek confluence and Silver Creek confluence are hazardous until sediment layers fill in.
Realtime DOE gauge: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/wrx/wrx/flows/station.asp?sta=28B080
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Hole below Dougan's
Hazard above Naked Falls
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