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zmcc6

Buffalo River Trip (need Advice)

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4 hours ago, zmcc6 said:

Are their any trout in the Buffalo? or is it just the white? 
 

Is there anything you wouldn't recommend taking? 

I’m sure there are “some” trout as you get close to the White. That said, we fished that last mile hard and did not catch or see any, but I’ve heard of them in there. 

Are you going to be in a kayak or canoe and do you have a list going of things to bring? I have a lean packing mindset so things that other people may bring may never occur to me to warn them about. Like, a couple weeks ago, I saw this YouTube video where I guy brought a post hole digger, post, and quickrete to make hammock stands. It was probably 50# of bulky crap to do something that a tree does.

It would probably be more beneficial to post your list for critique :) 

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For your first trip down , as has already been mentioned, maps maps maps. You want to be able to relax and fish holes , and knowing where you are allows more of that. Also 4 days is much more relaxed.

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The Buffalo is a warm water stream.  It gets a few trout occasionally coming up from the White River in the last few miles, but not enough to make it worthwhile to actually fish for them.

I agree with Troutringer...post whether you'll be in a canoe or in a kayak, and post a list of what you plan to bring.  I've floated that section a bunch of times in several different times of the year, as have others here, so we can definitely steer you in the right direction, but we don't know your experience level with overnight floats.

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We'll be in a canoe's. I'm trying to pack as light as possible so here's what I'm thinking

  • 6 person tent 
  • cots
  • 1 Cooler per canoe
  • Propane grill
  • paper plates, napkins
  • Trash Bags
  • 2 rods and reels per person
  • Extra Clothes
  • Fillet Knife
  • probably two 3700 size plano boxes of tackle
  • Life straw's

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zmcc6 - I have done this trip and it is a blast. We did 2 nights and 3 full days of floating. The last sections required quite a bit of paddling to get to the White so be prepared to work for it in near the end. 

 

You might want to consider bringing:

  • extra paddle or 2. If you lose one, especially right when you get started, it'll make for a long hard trip.
  • Walmart has some sort of environmentally safe soap options if you plan to bathe in the river.
  • Don't forget some whiskey to keep you warm on those chilly nights
  • Tarp and rope 

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Whiskey or a cold beer is great to cap off your day of floating and fishing, but no glass is allowed on the river. So you will have to take cans and transfer your whiskey to a plastic flask. Large dry bags are a must. Walmart sells some pretty good ones that are inexpensive. 

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I thought whiskey and beer are a given lol. 

Extra paddle is a wonderful idea. Most likely won't be taking a bath in the river. Tarp and Rope will be added to the list!

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6 hours ago, zmcc6 said:

We'll be in a canoe's. I'm trying to pack as light as possible so here's what I'm thinking

  • 6 person tent 
  • cots
  • 1 Cooler per canoe
  • Propane grill
  • paper plates, napkins
  • Trash Bags
  • 2 rods and reels per person
  • Extra Clothes
  • Fillet Knife
  • probably two 3700 size plano boxes of tackle
  • Life straw's

Personally, I’d ditch the cots in favor of a Thermarest but if that’s what you have and they are the cylindrical folding type, they’ll fit in the canoe fine. Propane grill could be replaced by a collapsible grate and use wood for fuel. Bring starter sticks in to light wet wood in case of rain. 

Couple things that haven’t been mentioned yet:

Bring a compass to help orienting with the map. If your canoe seats don’t have backrest, do your back a favor and buy some stadium seats and attach them with bungees (you’ll thank me later). If you wear contacts or glasses, bring an extra pair. Instead of filling your cooler with ice, use frozen water bottles then you are also carrying drinking water. I pack my cooler full with the food stuff and frozen water bottles then use bags of ice and shake the cooler to fill the voids. You can also freeze gallon jugs of water. If you keep them out of the sun, you’ll have cold drinking water for almost two days without taking any cooler space. 

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Good advice by Troutringer.  Personally, no matter whether you use a cot or a pad, some kind of pillow is one of my more important pieces of sleeping gear.  I have carried a cloth bag empty and put my extra clothes in it for a pillow, but a real pillow is better if you have the room.  I don't like the little camp pillows.  I've also never been a fan of cots...much prefer a 2 inch thick Thermorest type self-inflating pad--with a folding closed cell foam pad beneath it, or in cool weather a goose down-lined backpacker's air mattress.  It will probably be cool that time of year, so a decent sleeping bag is important, but I also carry a soft cotton bag liner that I can use as a sheet if the night is too warm for snuggling down in the bag.  As you can tell, sleep is important to me!

Tent--don't know who you're going to be sleeping with, but if floating with non-spousal units, I much prefer to have my own tent--and since I'm in a canoe and carrying capacity isn't a big problem, I go with a 4 person tent just for myself.  Gives me plenty of room, and more importantly, gets me away from the snorers.

Cooking stuff--the propane grill is fine, just don't forget to take something to cook your stuff in!  I once did a 4 day backpack hunting trip and forgot to bring any pots and pans.  Ended up eating dry ramen noodles and spruce grouse roasted over the campfire.  So cooking pots, skillet, and utensils, along with salt, pepper, and any other spices.  A small roll of aluminum foil can come in handy--take the roll out of the box and flatten it to save on room.  As for water--freeze several containers like half-gallon or gallon milk jugs.  Take along a water filter/purifier if you want, but if you have enough jugs full of water frozen, you probably won't need it unless you're doing a lot of freeze-dried food.  What I like to do is to have two coolers.  One of them has some frozen water jugs and the meals and beverages for your first half of the float, the other has the same for your last half.  You keep the second cooler covered with something to protect it from the sun and you don't open it until halfway through the trip, period.  That way you're preserving the ice and it will last you the rest of the trip easily.

Don't forget to bring enough clothes to layer for warmth, and have a pair of dry socks for each night and some dry camp shoes.  It's a tremendous luxury to have dry, warm feet at the end of the day.  And don't forget rain gear, even if the forecast doesn't call for rain.  It's not a problem to get wet in the summer, but in April it can be.

Choosing a campsite.  It's already been mentioned to choose your gravel bars with an eye to escaping rising water.  As has been said, that section of the Buffalo is a canyon with NO bottomland, just a bluff on one side and a steep hill on the other, the gravel bars, and the river.  So it rises FAST, and can get incredibly high (70 feet is not unheard of!)  So if there is any chance of rain, pick a high gravel bar (there are plenty of bars at least 6 feet higher than normal river level) that backs up to the hill side and not the bluff side, with no lower ground between the bar and the hill.  And keep in mind that a rain the day before somewhere 75 miles upstream will raise the river the next day where you are, even if you don't get rained on.

Tent sites--ideally, you want a level spot with fine gravel.  NOT sand.  Sand gets tracked into your tent and is generally a real pain.

Don't get bogged down in fishing.  You will be floating the premier "wilderness" river stretch in the Ozarks.  If you're into photography, climbing a big bluff or two just to see what the river looks like when your canoes look no bigger than ants down there is well worth the effort and time involved.

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