Put IN

Recently, my family canoed several miles of the Clarion River in Western Pennsylvania. A few hours of summer canoe rental is a good opportunity to test drive a water craft to determine if purchased, whether it will be used on the water or as a drink cooling conversation piece.

Though the river was bustling with a big weekend crowd, we enjoyed our paddle and quickly learned some quirks not only of canoe maneuvering, but of our family communication skills as well. The person at the front has the better view to avoid canoe bottom contact with rocks through low-water conditions. Yet, the majority of the steering falls to the person at the back, so it is important to be on the same page and communicate quickly and effectively.

“Your OTHER left!”

Intriguing as it may be, canoeing a river is more complicated logistically than canoeing a lake. Two vehicles and a predetermined termination point are necessary to prevent turning a relaxing float trip into some brutal exercise regimen.

Registration of “powerless” watercraft varies from state to state. Even though the river was crowed and low, the quiet canoe allowed us to rapidly scout potential fishing areas for our return, where part of the family has expressed interest in test driving the more leisurely, always-wet backside sensation of tubing.

We got wet but only by choice, stopping a few times to splash around and catch crayfish. And although it was only our first trip, we learned enough to know that our canoe won’t get a chance to be a drink cooler.

You Might Also Like

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.