instantaneous. One is launched, so to speak, into the new sport of synchronized wading. Also, the brittle sticks break right at your hand, and the longer section, which you might be tempted to grab for, floats rapidly and buoyantly downstream. Thus the origin of the phrase "getting the short stick". In mid-stream, suddenly staffless, I was awkward at first, but soon had a feel for the
pirouettes and arm-swinging contortions, accompanied by grunts and expletives, that characterize a beginner at synchronized wading. One rapidly recognizes the origin of the floor routine
in Gymnastics.
Hereabouts, when discussing the best rivers on which to practice synchronized wading, the two perennial favorites are the Deschutes, and the North Umpqua. The challenges are
different between them, of course, but I would give my personal nod to the North Umpqua because of the regular occurrence there of granite bedrock. Bedrock is to river bottoms what rubber
soles are to wading footwear. The Ultimate! I have found through experience that if I am wading and realize I am standing on bedrock, I break out into an instantaneous sweat and begin
shaking. It's actually the same reaction I have in anticipation of boarding a flight on XXXXXX Airlines. Finding bedrock, I know I'm rapidly going to be showing my skills in synchronized wading. The usual advantages of bedrock are obvious; the current oriented channels to challenge the cross current wader, the lack of gravel or structure to create unwanted friction, and
the often utter fishlessness of the environment. At least for me. I never catch fish over bedrock, I am so absorbed in the synchronized wading. While the Deschutes has occasional
bedrock, the North Umpqua takes it a step beyond with bedrock RAMPS.
Imagine a 50 foot perfectly smooth bedrock ramp oriented downstream with a six inch drop from top to bottom ending in deep blue (naturally). It kind of makes your mouth water, doesn't it? Like the perfect wave. I found such a ramp on the North Umpqua. I know exactly where it is, and I'm not telling. Like good fishing holes, such knowledge does not come easily. It starts just a few steps downstream from the obvious casting point on a very good hole. Keep looking, you'll find it for yourself. I know I'm not the first to discover this ramp, because someone else coined the term "inexorable". I have, however, relived the sense of excitement as that person conceived, defined, and patented the word "inexorable" during the 50 seconds or so it takes to slide down to the end of the ramp. It's just amazing what a slow current and a 1/2% grade can do when there is absolute zero friction! This is an excellent ramp on which to perfect such standard synchronized wading

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