Info on Verde River AZ between Sheep Bridge and Horseshoe Lake dam.

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
The flow was 800 CFM today with lake at a decent level so I headed out. I've never seen a boat on this lake and to no surprise the ramp was a major log jam. I put in the drain plug thinking I could back down and maybe clear a path when out of nowhere a guy in a bass boat flys around me and does a 19 point turn to back down. Age before beauty so I helped him get turned around and let him go down the long ramp. I rearranged the boat, played with the dog and enjoyed a cool drink. After he removed a couple hundred logs from the ramp I headed down to watch the action.

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Should I tell him ......

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I should tell him but he is doing such a fine job clearing the logs and sticks.

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OK Now I have to tell him..

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"You may want to remove that transom strap!" That's the strap that holds the back of the boat to the trailer. A trailer floating up or the rear of a boat sinking is a dead giveaway that the straps were forgotten. He left one on and his boat was sidways. He pushed that huge tree out of the way and I launched the boat.

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I'm glad to be out of that rats nest.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
You run out of lake quick and it turns to brush and trees.

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I found the river chanel but it became so murky I could not see the bottom.

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Oh well. I brought spare props.

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The pictures do the talking for the next few miles.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
3 miles short of Sheep bridge I was in enough current that I had to be on the throttle enough that the stern was drawing a lot of water. My real concern up to this point was getting washed and wedge in trees. That's when the river split. Right side had most of the water but it was really ripping thru the thick trees. I could see a 1 foot drop right in a sharp curve full of trees. No way.

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The left spit was clear enough but looked awful shallow. Look on the left. It got worse up stream. It's just a gravel and rock bar. In hind site and after looking on Google Earth again I should have beached the boat and walked up stream for real close look and a poke of the depth. I was solo with the dog so decision to puss out was made. Had I made it past these class one rapids it was one long straight stretch to the bridge.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
More pics of the beautiful area.

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It was a lot narrower than expected. I had to drive and not take pics in the trees but there were plenty of them.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
The very end is cool so hang on....

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When bushwacking in the desert I name cactus as land marks. On old scraggly one would the bum. This was happy guy.

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The three amigos

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Back on the lake where buddy woke up when he heard the cooler opening. 14 year old Blue Healer.

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If one picture could sum up the trip it would be this one of the endless sticks and logs.

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Wait until you see the dam!
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I've been visiting this for 7 years and have never seen water coming over the dam. They built a walkway into the dam behind the spillway for an up close view.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Water of any kind is an absolute treat when you live in the desert and to be able to walk under this and have it drip on your head is great. It was in the mid 80's today.

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That's a wrap.

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Amphibeast

Adventurer
Very cool…. wish I was able to join ya! I've been under that damn spillway many times as a kid & an adult…. Im gonna get the yaks ready for Spring. I'd like to go from Sheeps Bridge all the way to Mesa! Bartlett will be a long paddle but doable….! The pic I sent ya of Horseshoe Lake was from the West a top of humbolt mnt. w/ the radar….. Found a great 12 mile hike from Sevens Springs to Spur cross along the creek….. Could be a fun overnighter w/ swim holes too!
 

shasbot

New member
Looks like a great trip. I've done a little bit of boating on the Verde, but not that area.
Maybe I'll be able to join in if you go again.
 

ZMagic97

Explorer
Wow, the water is actually running off the spillway now?! I may have to go tomorrow...

I haven't walked under the spillway with water moving. Only when dry.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Round two! It was running over the spillway a little bit harder yesterday. I saw a lot of fish and one lady cought a 5 lbs bass.
We had to stop and put our hands over our hearts about a mile up River.

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I tried the first set of shallow Rapids again with Jackie probing for depth. It looked deep but it was 6"-18" deep. So we decided to try our luck and go thru the trees.

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Besides a lot of steering and throttle input, fighting the brush and limbs was not that bad but the easy direction is always up stream. With the 10 mph current and the boat needing to go at least 5 to steer heading back thru the trees would be stupid dangerous. We knew we could trim the engine up and float down the first fork that we could not get up earlier. That is the only reason we went upstream thru these limbs.

Made it an additional mile and got into white water. Well... It's white as heck if your in a 16' boat with a Johnson 60 and your crew is the wife and dog in the middle of nowhere.

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The boat had to be fully up on plane to make headway. It's really weird driving fast and going backwards but I could not resist having a little fun.

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I may be a little crazy but not so dumb that I did not expect to hit rocks. A plastic 4 bladed prob was used that I scored for $25 in an online clearance bin. Better to break a prop than drive gears. I can get replacement blades for 10 bucks a set while they last. hmmm The only problem is that if I fix the plastic prop I'll have to go back when the flow is higher. Will the third time be a charm or should I call it good?

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One out of four blades gave it enough propulsion to head back down 1/2 mile to a wide calm spot. We swapped props and headed back to joyride the river and lake. I love this state!
 
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