river level: 350cfs
lake level: 712.5ft
This was our best run on the Rockcastle to date and the most fun through the lower narrows. More water equaled more fun. The rating should be changed on AW to be II-III(IV) and not II(IV). All the lower narrows were in. The lake seems to be rising about ½ a foot each day right now.
On this trip it was Toby, Tim, Jay and I and we met Josh and Jim at the take-out.
From Frankfort it took only about 2 hours to Bee Rock. Of course the shuttle is 45 minutes one way after that and 1 hour & ½ to the pick up vehicles afterwards. But there is a trail at the narrows. So paddling up to them and hiking up the trail isn’t impossible.
The rapids break down this way:
Very fun. Rub multiple times, portage back up on river left, it’s easier.
•Beech Creek Narrows (IV)
Alright to run at very low levels like 140cfs. 300cfs and up the rapid is mean. At a high level there may be a left side chute available. Portage on the left.
Then there is a bit of flatwater after Beech, then the river turns sharply and the lower narrows begin.
To start things off there is a quick succession of three fun little class II ledges. You can easily eddy out after rapid A, but eddying out after rapid B is harder to do.
These next four come very quickly one right after the other. When the lake is high they are covered up.
•Rapid 01 (II+)
3 Ledges. The middle one is the best option. It’s wider than the one on the left and has more flow going through it. The right chute is a twisting, curling, mangled mess. Immediately comes the next rapid.
•Rapid 02 (III)
This one looks mean, even meaner from scouting above it on a rock. But, it is very straight forward. There is a tongue to ride straight down it. It is a big drop and can be run on the left or right of center, but we all preferred left of center.
•Rapid 03 (II+)
This a entrance rapid for the next one. It’s small ledge drop, you have to catch an eddy on the right or left afterwards to setup for the next rapid.
•Rapid 04 (III)
Last big rapid of the narrows. There is sneak along the left that is shallow and rocky but bypasses the big meat of the rapid. Run the meat in the center, right of a rock that sticks up and run it towards the left at the drop. The drop is diagonal with a large hole on the right. After this is a few riffles and squirrely water, then you are in the lake.