It was a special day yesterday as Dan Larson and I had the unique opportunity to float through and fish the Bear Trap Canyon section of the Lower Madison River. I also took “Drone Boy” up for a flight to capture a few photos from 325 feet above the river. This stretch of the river is famous for its three “class IV sections” that can range from challenging to dangerous (depending upon the relative water flow). Dan and I elected to get out of the raft at the most extreme section so that we could get some shots of our Guides running the rapids.
In spite of the crystal clear – Cobalt blue skies, it was risky business trying to control my DJI Mavic Pro drone in 20 MPH winds (that probably gusted to 30). On both of my flights inside the steep walls of the canyon, the drone lost touch with the controller and would not respond to my flight commands. The wind was so strong that the Drone interpreted the conditions as “an immediate obstacle threat” and it was all I could do to regain control of the quad.
Fortunately, I was finally able to control the elevation and when I dropped down to about 50 ft. in height above the river, I was able to maneuver behind a large Lodge Pole Pine. Once sheltered by the wind, I regained control and was able to land the craft on the rocky river bank. To the guide’s knowledge (based upon the simple fact that they are the only outfitter that has access to the canyon), I am the only person to attempt to fly a drone in this remote location.
The fishing was slow (Dan and I managed to net about 10 fish each) but the experience was extraordinary and I can’t wait to go back under more favorable weather conditions (CALM).
Enjoy and plan your trips.
PS: The best photo taken during the day was the panoramic picture taken by my i-phone of the “Kitchen Sink” rapids. Note how the camera’s processor interpreted the water flowing at a whitewater pace. It is uniquely textured with fish scales. 🙂