Originally Posted by Cataraft fishin
I have a permit to float the Middle Fork Salmon on 7/10. It looks like the flow will be between 5 and 7'. I am very comfortable in type 3 water with the occasional 4 thrown in (I.e rogue, Klamath, trinity). Some people in my group are less experienced than me. Can anyone attest to the condition of the MFS at the 5-7' level? Will it be too much for folks at our experience level? Any advice will help. Thanks in advance.
First there is not a chance in hell that the MF will be 7 ft July 10th. The bottom is about to drop out on this runoff in the next few days and it will steadily and surely decline.
What is the makeup of your trip? Round boats fully loaded with kids on them?? Reconsider please.
I would expect your flow to be closer to 5 or less. I must say there are several obstacles that get easier at the higher flows such as Sulphur, the Chutes and Lake Creek. Murph's, Velvet and Pistol get harder at the higher flows. Rubber at 6.5 was easy as falling down stairs - at 4.5 to 5.5 the center waves are well formed, crunchy and formidable. I have seen plenty of boats flip in Velvet at 4.5 to 5.5 as well.
those who get in trouble at Murph's usually come into it with an upstream ferry and underestimate the rip from left to right coming off the shallow class 2ey stuff on the left. It can be read and run easily to the left ( I point stern down stream or perpendicular to river bed and ease my butt into one of the small holes on the left to pull me left and I missed by 30 feet), it can be taken straight on with power right in the middle and it can be sneaked on the right almost on the right shore - you will end up in the duck pond type eddy on the right but no big deal.
If you don't have kayaks, if you have never had to chase down a raft, if you don't have a couple of light catarafts going and if none of you have seen it at this flow I really think you should re-evaluate. The closer it gets to 4 the easier it will be although Lake Creek gets much tougher Pistol will get easier.
If you have done rescues, are well equipped with dry suits, good wetsuits, helmets and are willing to go out and practice some rescue before you launch then you will be better equipped. That means everyone get together and practice throw bags, z-drags ( not likely needed but valuable skills), how to set safety and where.
Don't know if this helps but the closer it is to 4 feet the better for you with lower speed of river and more time to read and make moves.