Lower Stouts Creek

Run description provided by Chuck McHenry.

This is listed as a Cl-II run, which is only at the barely low flow in which you would want to try this section. Certainly at higher flows (2 feet plus on the JT gauge), it is anything but Cl-II. After Killarney Dam the river moves with speed until about 3 bends and there you come to a set of really superb, smooth green surf waves. This is Easily attained as well. Three people can easily surf, one behind the other, on the three waves!

Below this,  keep your eyes open, the river bends right and left and some of the good looking routes wind up in brush. There is especially, about 2 miles down, an area, easy to miss, where the river sudden jogs 90 degrees to the right and through a narrow slot that then curves left in a cl-III rapid.

When we did the first descent of this section, we named almost all of the rapids- which even I have forgotten- except McDermitt’s ledge (Greg Brown’s humor), just because the name is relating to nothing except the ledge….but two rapids have names that have stuck. The first is 5 boat hole, so named because five boats went in, and none came out with boaters. You will see from upriver, a beautiful slab of granite on the left, moss covered. Otherwise the hole is hard to see. You avoid it by going far left and hugging the bank, or going far right, where a series of great surfing waves await you. Whatever the case- don’t relax- Second Helping is just 50 yards below, and at the right levels, is equally retentive, although easier to avoid. From here to junction with the Saint, just below 72 bridge, there are just a few more easy Cl-III rapids.

We did this section at 7 feet and it becomes very dangerous. The possibility of vegetation pins is exponential. Even odder is that above 5 boat hole, out of the blue, the river becomes a war zone of class III rapids, which on the day we did it, almost put us into 5 boat hole, mostly because we had no idea where we were!

Difficulty

Class II

Location

Iron County

Put-in/Take-out

The put in is below the dam at Lake Killarney. This is a private lake and the locals will run you off. Get permission, which I doubt you can get, or drive about 1/2 mile past the lake and on your right will be a dirt road that leads to a Bible Camp, just put in where the road crosses the creek.

The take-out is the Saint Francis River. Stouts enters the river about 1/4 mile down from the upper put-in.

The put-in is at the end of this private lake.