No other amenities are available at this location. Run this dangerous obstruction on the right (looking downstream) or portage it. The Breaks Interstate Park is the perfect headquarters for a fall weekend of floating, fishing, hiking and scenic grandeur as inspiring as anything found out West. The Box has changed enough to be runnable at very low flows (180!!!). View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. This river runs through the Grand Canyon of the East- with beautiful high walls and overlooks and big whitewater. These lures are especially effective in the Russell Fork because the stocked rainbow trout also love them. Rocks have shifted in the Maze entrance drop creating two holes at the bottom to punch. The low water line into river left eddy is tighter, but the middle line is cleaning up. At El Horrendo, a rock has settled at the top of the plank on river left, siginifantly altering the top river left eddy and the dynamics of the plank itself. First time for me on the Russell Fork River with my Nephew Christian . Scout this rapid! A four-wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended. The Russell Fork’s assault on 125-mile long Pine Mountain, now called Breaks Canyon, forms the mountain’s northern end. The next rapid, Johnny Rock, is long and should be run on the right as well. An email address is required to associate with your Fishidy premium subscription. You’ve arrived at the take-out when you see a derelict, rusty bridge with a new concrete one just downstream. In mountainous streams such as the Russell Fork, smallmouth bass favor lures with some flash that mimic baitfish such as an in-line spinner or a chrome minnow-shaped crankbait. At Fist, the center (Fist) rock continues to shift. The section of river at this site is best suited for canoes, kayaks, and bank anglers. This section of the lower end of Breaks Canyon lies just upstream from Elkhorn City, Kentucky. There are 3 sections to this famous extreme whitewater river of the east: The upper is from Flannagan dam near Haysi, Virginia to Garden Hole. Lord of the Fork Race: The Lord of the Fork is our annual extreme Class V downriver race in the gorge. Elkhorn City is very friendly to boaters and the Breaks Interstate Park is a very good place to enjoy a weekend or a week! Carson Island Park: (Additional Information/Directions). A gravel/dirt access is located in the Kentucky portion of Breaks Interstate Park just off US-80 east of Elkhorn City. Not many open canoes run this rapid. Followers 131 Catches 1 Spots 2. The middle is the bad boy, mostly class 4s and 5s, from Garden Hole to Ratliff hole. High water big lines are open, very pushy classic Class V creeking. This geologic fight between river and mountain is preserved within the 4,600-acre Breaks Interstate Park, a joint state park between Kentucky and Virginia created in 1954. The main rapid on this stretch is called the Meatgrinder, awaiting paddlers just downstream of the high railroad trestle. The River That Flows Both Ways: Short Film Paddling the Hudson River. Caution should be taken when launching at this site as rapids are present a half mile downstream from the launch point. If you need fishing tackle, or are looking for a fishing guide or fishing charter please visit Tackle, Guides, Charters It may be the most scenic float in Kentucky. guest-paddler, A self-supported trip created by Run this rapid on the right. Rafting: For information on upper & lower fun runs, contact Kentucky Whitewater online. No Activity Yet. Some are more obvious at lower flows, but many are in play at release flows. This section of the Russell Fork lies completely in Kentucky and offers good fishing for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. This is a gravel/dirt access point located on the outskirts of Elkhorn City on Carson Island Road. Kayakers with world-class skills have lost their lives on this stretch in just the last decade. guest-paddler, Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River in Kentucky, Folding Kayaks - Everything You Need to Know. Do not miss this take-out or you will be committed to the extremely dangerous 4-mile Breaks Canyon run. The Ratliff hole is a play / hole, put in on the KY side of Breaks Interstate Park. Please don't cut down trees, no matter how dead they look. The Russell Fork’s tussle with Pine Mountain left behind huge sandstone boulders in the bottom of Breaks Canyon, forming some of the most dangerous and challenging rapids in southeastern United States. Considered one of the best fisheries in eastern Kentucky, this man-made lake was created by impounding the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. A large, paved parking lot, with seasonal bathrooms, and a covered pavilion are available. The add-up is 618cfs. Run it down the center. © 2014 Commonwealth of Kentucky All rights reserved. This float makes a 2.5 mile, half day trip. Some bedrock has sheaved off just upstream of El Hydraulic, changing that feature at release. At Tower, a boulder has partially blocked the preferred Double Boof exit and the left exit has smoothed some. This gravel/dirt access is situated next to the Center Street bridge (US-80) in Elkhorn City. Is a Double Blade Paddle Good in a Canoe? The Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River is one mean, determined stream. A chrome or white topwater propeller bait also works well from mid-spring to mid-fall. The add-up is updated hourly, so still the more accurate in real time. The middle is the bad boy, mostly class 4s and 5s, from Garden Hole to Ratliff hole. In the region of the country where John Henry bored railroad tunnels through mountains with his hands, the Russell Fork did the same to Pine Mountain. Discretion is your friend. Rock shifting in Dave's Rapid has created stickier holes at release levels. The river upstream of the Russell Forks’ dangerous section flows through Virginia and gives the paddler three lengths of floats. The Flanagan page is an excellent resource. They also hide behind partially submerged rocks and ambush unsuspecting prey. Target the deeper boulder-strewn holes in the Russell Fork at this time of year. Tightens the line significantly. The rock in the drop backs up a lot more water in the middle of the drop, making the exit much steeper and narrower at low water. Beautiful River! You are trying to access a feature that requires a Fishidy account. Race history here. In search of the monsters lurking in Southwest Virginian waterways. A tributary of the Big Sandy River, the Russell Fork River is a scenic series of rapids, pools and tortuous twists. Shut down center lines at low water, also. No open original containers please. It can be run year round at 300 cfs or better on the Flannagan Dam gauge and the Russell fork at Haysi, Virginia gauges, (add the two together to get the flow for the gorge) but first 3 weekends in October the corps of engineers release 850 cfs on three Saturdays and Sundays and then the final fourth weekend they release 1100 cfs. 1-276-865-4413. Public alcohol and other temptations can get you in trouble . Smallmouth will lay in wait in the roiling water just downstream of a submerged boulder and crush baitfish. After a long, slow hole, the take-out at Garden Hole is on the right. Next rapid is class 2 Pinball that needs to be run right side. Rocks have shifted in the Maze entrance drop creating two holes at the bottom to punch. Predicting flows, especially from the dam a few days out is a fool's exercise. It was dedicated by President Lyndon B. Johnson when it ... Northern pike and channel catfish are stocked annually. Breaks Interstate Park: A section of the Russell Fork in Pike County, Kentucky. Next is the worst rapid , a class 3 that at certain water levels can become class 4 called the Meat Grinder. Walleye and musky are present but in relatively low numbers. The float from Ratliff Hole River Access to Carson Island Access is roughly two hours, much shorter than floating into Elkhorn City. The release water usually hits the Ratliff hole around 11:30 am. This adds over a mile to the float, but makes for a much longer shuttle to the take-out at the Garden Hole Access off VA 80, just south of the park.

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