River trips bring out a lot of emotions and the experience can leave a mark for a long time, especially if you get a tattoo.
January 25th – Dolores River Boating Advocates 6th Annual Permit Party
Join our Southern US Territory Manager Aaron Stone in Dolores, Colorado on Friday, January 25th from 6-10 PM. Click here for tickets and more information to support responsible recreational use and balanced flow management while protecting the watershed for the health of the natural environment and livelihood of future generations. Silent auction for a set of Polecat Oars with Dynalite Blades!
March 2 – Blackfoot River Outfitters
Join us in Missoula, Montana for the 8th Annual Fly Fishing Gear Swap & Skwalapalooza event at BRO in Missoula, on Saturday, March 2nd. Watch the BRO website and Facebook pages for more details. We’ll have special pricing on new paddles and oars, and oar locks.
March 15 & 16 – TU Western Regional
Sawyer has supported Trout Unlimited‘s cold water conservation work with our special label Polecat oars, and will be expanding the ability to show your support with new products, launching in 2019. Join us in Olympia, WA at the Western Regional meeting to see what’s new and learn about TU’s work in Washington.
April 4 – 7th – Great Alaska Sportsman Show
We’re headed to Alaska for this big show, taking place in early April. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for pre-orders.
April 5-7, Raftopia with DRE, Colorado
April 13, Utah WW Gear in SLC, UT
April 19 & 20 – Gold Hill, Oregon
It’s our annual Spring Consignment and New Product sale! We’ll have a great selection of new and used boats, boards, IK’s, canoes and river gear with store-wide discounts on a number of awesome products. 20% off all Paddles and Oars 20% off all Dry Boxes 15% off all Boats and Boards 15% off all Life Vest and Dry Bags Discounted Consignment Products. See you at Sawyer Station in Gold Hill. Kid friendly, 10 am to 6 pm each day.
April 25-28th – Orvis Guide Rendezvous
We’re back to Missoula in late April for the ever-popular 33rd Annual Orvis event that draws guides and outfitters from across the country to Missoula. There’s a fly fishing film event, community day at Caras Park, and more. See the Orvis website to register and bring your professional water sports guide licenses to sign up for the Sawyer Pro Program. Make sure to order ahead and we’ll deliver your new oars to Missoula for a big savings!
April 26-28, Colorado TU Rendezvous
May 4, Eddyline Boat Swap, Moab UT
May 17-19, DRE Rendezvous, Buena Vista, CO
May 18 – Caddis Festival Craig, Montana
What can we say, Montana is a great place to be and the Missouri River is hallowed fly fishing water in the Western US. The Caddis Festival is a community-wide event that features artists, kids events, BBQ cook off, and more. Look for Big Red parked in front of Cross Currents Fly Shop on Main Street – can’t miss it! Guides and Outfitters, save your early season tips and pick up a new set of Squaretops!
May 30-June 2, Yampa River Festival, Steamboat Springs, CO
June 13-16, FIBARK River Festival, Salida CO
June 20-22, Gunnison River Festival
July 13, Town of Frisco Triathlon, Frisco CO
July 13-14th – Outside Experience, Chicago Illinois
We’re excited to attend one of the premier events in 2019, the Outside Experience Show in Chicago the weekend of July 13-14. Along with way, we’re stopping at water sports hot spots like Bismarck, ND & Madison, Wisconsin for product Demo Day’s with local shops. Watch for the Big Red Road Trip in your town!
August – Paddlesports Retailer, OKC
In August 2018, we joined the world’s best brands and retail shop owners & buyers in OKC, Oklahoma for the PSR event. With on-water demo opportunities at Riversport OKC and the man-made whitewater course (amazing, to say the least!) including live music we’re not alone in wanting August 2019 to hurry up and get here.
September 28th- Casting For Recovery
We’re on the road to Hamilton, MT to support the Casting for Recovery program that enriches the lives of women in all stages of breast cancer through outdoor retreats that transform their healing and create communities of support. There’s a set of Artisan Series Brown Trout SquareTop Shoal Cut oars up for auction to help fundraise for retreats. See you there!
23 stitches. That’s how many were needed to patch-up one of our oarsman/solo boat trip members before we even left the launch, and coincidentally the same years of marriage my wife and I were celebrating. He slipped getting out of his truck and onto the trailer his left shin went, kicking in our WFA plan. We evacuated him to Craig’s ER with the help of the NPS Ranger. These are the reasons why you train, prepare, and punt when needed. So we punted.
Well past 10 am, our launch finally went at 4:30 pm after a terrible night of mosquitos. Yes, a full-body net would have been a great idea. The sand and cart system (take some WD40 for the rollers) was better than hauling rafts and gear, but not the easiest. Great experiences like these take some hardships, however. First night at Wade & Curtis turned out to be a prescient decision. A wonderful evening and opportunity to regroup and talk about the next day – a big travel and rapid day down to Rippling Brook II.
We read and ran everything but scouted Hell’s Half Mile, and at 2000 +/- cfs the river pretty much pushed me right and away from Lucifer but close enough to earn it’s rating. We camped at RBII knowing that we had some play time and a beautiful spot to SUP, enjoy a casual morning, and push towards Limestone. Not the camp I chose but that’s how it ended up. At 10:45, a commercial trip pulled into the RBII and announced “This is our site tonight” and immediately began off-loading and setting up tables. One of the guides moved towards our groover spot when I asked them to wait as we had until noon. It was not what we expected and the commercial trip clients were just as surprised. The Outfitter has already responded to my request to provide feedback. The right thing to do would have been to pull in downstream, leave your unpacking until we left, and graciously share this beautiful canyon.
Limestone was a decent camp, but it gave us a long day to Island Park in the direct sun but fun read and run rapids all along the way. A Red Fox burgled a bag of peanuts left out at night, and we spotted the beginning of the Dollar Ridge fire directly to the west. We used the refuse containers at Rainbow Park and met some day users there. Thank you to the NPS for providing and taking care of our public lands. The Takeout at Split Mountain came with great SUP opportunities.
Great wildlife viewing along with an overall great trip – Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, a Moose above Rainbow Park, raptors, beaver, and of course mosquitos but the launch at Gates was the worst. FYI no fires or fire pans allowed, complete ban. Propane fuel only.
If you have the opportunity, this is a river trip and experience you want in your bucket list.
Join your friends and fellow river rats for a evening of tales, ales, and sales – Sawyer style!
Professional Water Sports Program registration with additional discounts, in-house discounts on Hala SUP, AIRE boats, and River Rat Dry Boxes.
Friday, May 4th from 6 pm to 9 pm, at Sawyer Station in Gold Hill, Oregon.
Permit season. Not the line-reeling salt water version of a Siamese Tiger, but the nervous anticipation of the Four Rivers Lottery for multi-day trips through millions of acres of publicly-owned wilderness. It’s the kind of thing that hopeful river runners dream of, and once you land one of these coveted permits, the kind of thing that river runners have to hold close to their chest; not because they’re greedy, but because it is indeed like winning the lottery, and everyone becomes your best friend and wants an invite.
There’s a lot of preparation that goes into a trip like this; it’s committing, both in gear, risk, and in keeping everyone happy for as long as you can. Great weather helps, great company is the trip leader’s responsibility. Group dynamic is paramount. Set the tone early, everyone has responsibilities, no-one is above cleaning the groover or doing dishes. Groover? Yes, the polite name for using a Leave-No-Trace toilet in the wilderness. The Three P’s – privacy, proximity, and panorama. Where you do number two is part of the experience.
This was my first run on the MF, and it was an amazing trip. By the way, did you get a permit for this year? We’re friends, right?