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Old 08-23-2009   #1
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 19
Best/Good Fishing Multi-day ID

Me and my friend are planning a multi-day trip in ID in the next few weeks. We were going to do Hells Canyon, but the trip leader had to bail for personal reasons. We are considering the Lower Salmon as it seems uncomplicated and it is one of the few rivers I haven't done yet. My friend is a fly fishing guide and will be focused on maximizing that aspect of the trip. He has never done a multi-day. I'm thinking that the water on the Lower Salmon might be a bit warm for great fly fishing, for trout at least. I would like to do the bump and grind on the Middle Fork. I have done it twice at the 1.5' level. Once from Boundary with a gear drop at Indian Creek, and once as fly in from Indian Creek. I have a 14' Aire. My friend has a 16' NRS River Cat. I see us both going on the cat. I am wondering if the cat will be as good as the self bailer on the skinny water. I will deal with whatever I need to, but am a little worried about my friend not fully understanding how demanding skinny water can be. We will be too poor for an air drop this time and will be loaded with the lightest load we can compromise on for 7 days.

How is the fly fishing on the Lower Salmon in Sept? I know it is outstanding on the MF.


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Old 08-23-2009   #2
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
Either boat should be OK on a low water Middle Fork, but you could carry more gear on the raft, and I think the raft would have less hang-ups. We take both rafts and cats on our September trips. Ideally you would fly in to Indian Creek. That's what we always do. I usually take my fly fishing gear, but only fish while in camp. Trying to do the "bump & grind" solo on my cat takes every bit of my attention. With 2 of you, one can row & one can fish. Whichever boat you take, run your tubes a little soft. It really helps you "slime over" the rocks instead of getting stuck.
Another suggestion, if your main focus is fly fishing, is the do the Southfork Snake below Palisades Reservoir. No whitewater, just swift moving water. Good scenery, good camp spots, great fishing. There are multiple places to put-in. We usually do the Conant to Byington stretch which is 25 miles, or you can put-in below Palisades Dam and run to Byington for a 39 mile trip. In the Conant to Byington section there are marked camps that you must use, and you need a groover & firepan. Stop at the Conant ranger station to fill out a self-issue, free camp permit, and get a $3/day parking pass. Southfork Outfitters (at Conant) does car shuttles. We often do a 4 night, 5 day trip. Very relaxing, with great fishing.
Have fun, whatever you do. We launch on the Middle Fork from Indian Creek on Sept. 12.

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Old 08-23-2009   #3
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 19
Thanks for the suggestions. We are from Jackson, WY and have done the S. Fork a bunch. You are right it is a great and worthy piece of river. It isn't the 7 day trip I'm craving though. I had a blast rafting on the MF at 1.5'. You are right it is constant attention for the boatman. Which is why 2 people on 1 boat. We could each solo boat fish with a decent anchor system on each boat. I think its better to have 2 people to help push off the gravel bars and FU rocks.
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Old 08-23-2009   #4
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
Duh !!!!!!
I didn't pay attention to your user profile. Sorry. Telling you about the Southfork is really "preaching to the choir."
I'm really hoping to have more than 1.5ft. for our Sept. 12th MF launch from Indian Creek. I really hate getting stuck on rocks. Hate getting out of the boat to push off them even more. This seems like a higher water year, so maybe we'll have 1.7 - 1.8 ft. There were a few rainy days a few weeks ago while we were on the Main Salmon that pushed the MF up to over 2.0ft.
One can only hope.
Have fun, stay safe, & catch lots of fish.
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Old 08-25-2009   #5
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
we are doing an 8 day off the top MF, on sept 12. It should be great.

we may have a spot on my buddies boat.

Barring that I would be happy to help you get down or at least show you the best places to get stuck. I would lead and I do get stuck but I don't care. Maravia Willi 2 16.5 feet of PVC love.

My fam is flying in at Indian and we would prolly have room in the plane for a couple of hundred pounds of gear. Still working it out. Pm for more info.
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Old 08-25-2009   #6
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
It ain't a float n bloat trip, but best fishing I've seen on any river was the Little North Fork Clearwater. Couple guys fished an avg of 15 mins a day and couldn't eat all they caught.

riverlog: Little North Fork of the Clearwater

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