4/20/13 Holyoke Ma. to Essex Conn down Conn river in high water.

Starting Location: 
Holyoke Ma.
Days On The River: 

Put in just below holyoke Dam at 8:30 sat apr 20, my 55th birthday, with buddy Gary. I was in my 12' Psumani kayak, he in a 14' Perception kayak. Water level at Holyoke dam at 35,000 cfs, just below flood stage. river running fast but no rapids, not over banks. Smooth sailing all the way down to Enfield dam, which we reached at noon.
Took out right side right under the 190 bridge and portaged 300 yds along the bike trail to the start of the canal. I'm pretty sure we could have run right through this whole section, the water was so high that there were only class 1-2 rapids, and you could miss the class 2 with careful planning, but we played it safe. The first mile was pretty fast so we just put into the canal and paddled down that until it started a wide right turn. There, with great difficulty, we climbed up a bank, over the bike train, and relaunched into the main rive through thick brush into fast current, Tricky. Blew through the next 2 miles in like 10 minutes. Then back to flat water.
Arrived hartford 5pm. Kept going till 6pm and camped on the bank 5 miles below Hartford, nice remote section.
Day 2: Water went up 2 feet over night. Looked at data when I got home and saw that Holyoke dam was not at 52,000 cfs. River was now flooded over low banks and most places had 20 feet of trees out in the water. current real fast but flat all the way down. Only tricky thing was getting out for a break, couldn't just land anywhere, too fast. Easy to find beaches or boat ramps though. Made Essex at 3pm and had to meet our ride, could have made the Sound by 5 if we could have kept going.
Awesome trip!

Stewardship needs: 
Not really a portage around Enfield dam. Have to climb a fence to get out and bushwack to get back in.