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Old 02-04-2012   #1
el-duderino's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 40
Middle Fork - Salmon 2012

I drew an Aug. middle fork permit today

I talked to a guy who told me I'll likely have to fly($$$) in to indian creek to launch

Can anyone offer me reasonable hope that I won't have abandon the trip? I was told that to fly just the gear in may cost $2000. If you add another $400-500 per person...while, i was never good at math I know it's a lot! damn, damn, DAMN!

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Old 02-04-2012   #2
screamingeagle's Avatar
Missoula, Montana
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 59
Don't jump the gun

Yeah you should probably cancel and give your permit to me. Just Kidding, sorta. There are a number of factors at play here.

1) Winter isn't over and we idaho will get a ton of snow in March normally.

2) When in Aug is your launch date?
If it is early Aug say like Aug 5 you will probably be able to scrape down the top. Which brings me to my next point.

3) How experienced are you and the people in your party.
Even if it is low, you will most likely be able to find a local guide to get you down the top hanging out in the local bar. If they don't have a trip going in that week offer them a trip for their knowledge and skills.

4) Plane loads are spendy, but you can plan right and fly all your heavy shit into Indian ie. beer, dutch ovens, strippers. You just need to get your whole party (people) from the top down in really light boats. From Indian you will be alright, depending on your answer in #3.

The mfs at any water level is like a woman, she will beat you down, break your shit, cost you money, demand attention, but in the end, she's always a good ride.

Good Luck ~

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Old 02-04-2012   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
I've done the MF in September for the past 6 years. We always fly in to Indian Creek. We do this trip with 4-5 peeps, one dog, and 3 boats. Cost per person for 8 days runs around $500-$600 per person all inclusive. We eat super good. Whether you fly in or go from the top depends on the water level, planning, experience, and tolerance for pushing your boat off gravel bars & rocks. What is your launch date?
I'll PM you some info.
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Old 02-04-2012   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 535
it's about $790 for an islander from salmon,id to indian creek. payload at 1500lbs if i remember right. good time to have a breakdown frame like nrs,ect

there is a dvd on nrs that holds your hand through all the rapids at 1.7ft. see if low water is for you or not. you have to like low water technical runs and be willing to part with some rubber, no doubt.

have fun.
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Old 02-04-2012   #5
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121 are correct. Salmon Air from Salmon to Indian Creek is $490 for a Cessna 206 & $790 for an Islander. We use 2 Islanders for 4-5 people, one dog, 2 Cats, 1 raft, 1 ducky, and gear. You will need breakdown frames for sure. We used to be able to get it all in 1 Islander & 1 Cessna, but they don't run the Cessna with the belly pod much anymore, so not as much room in that little plane for a ton of bulky gear.
Here's some pics of our gear & the planes.
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Old 02-04-2012   #6
boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 41
I have run the top down at 1.7 in October, no problems. The key is going light and running soft tubes. Hows this, you take me and Ill show you the low water lines

Like was stated above, fly all your beer and crap in at Indian and deadhead from the top. Dont miss the first 25 miles, thats the best of the trip!
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Old 02-04-2012   #7
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
The top down to Indian is a scenic and amazing section of the river that I highly recommend. I've done it at less than 1.5 in Aug/Sept and also a time or two with too heavy of loads. Pack light, make sure you and the group have skill, tolerance, stamina and plan on the first 2 days taking longer than expected. The solitude of the top section, including a near empty campground and ramp at Boundary is fantastic that time of year since most people are flying in to Indian.
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Old 02-05-2012   #8
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 51
Middle Fork

There are a ton of variables here as already mentioned. I have heard of many like cataraft girl that fly into Indian, or even Flying B or Bernard. For me, the top section, as FatmanZ states, is incredible. It is like life - it gives the test first and the lesson afterward! The middle section is more relaxed and open, both scenery and the river. And impassable canyon - wow!

I have run as low as 1.6 without flying any gear into Indian Creek. You will regret taking chairs and some comforts and will not be happy if you have more than a single passenger per boat. I have had little problem in the upper section but have experienced others in my group and those of other groups have real difficulty even following me (or someone else) down the river, forget reading it themselves.

By the way, an advantage of flying in, if you do it right, is to drive to Salmon and avoid any shuttle if you avoid the top section. It may also be possible to hook up with other permit holders and 'share a plane' if you just fly in 'comfort gear, food and the like while you float from the top. There are a number of options.

Good Luck
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Old 02-05-2012   #9
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
I have a friend with Aug 12. I aint missing this trip. I'm used to shallow water boating, plan to pack light if necessary, and intend on taking duckies for whoever aint rowing. I figure if they still take sweep boats through that an 18' leopard that is lightly loaded and lightly inflated can do it. Yeah, lots of tube scraping, oh shit maneuvering, and perhaps some gear flown in. Good times
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 02-05-2012   #10
fdon's Avatar
Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
[QUOTE=el-duderino;261330]I drew an Aug. middle fork permit today

I talked to a guy who told me I'll likely have to fly($$$) in to indian creek to launch

Can anyone offer me reasonable hope that I won't have abandon the trip?

You uneducated and greedy asshole! People without the dedication to pull off a private adventure cram the lottery so its damn near impossible to draw a permit. Then, some shit comes your way and you cancel a trip of a lifetime. Used to be I could pick that August cancellation up and go on one of the classic times of year for hiking, good weather, hot springs, ice cream at Flying B, ect. but now with the FS refusing to reassign those August permits, it is a wasted permit. PLEASE ask about river conditions and whine about low water BEFORE you apply for a priviledge like the MFS. You owe the rest of the applicants who were rejected in the lottery to do your best to go and have that trip of a lifetime. Low water at the top does not mean a Boundary launch is out. On the contrary, it is the best place due all the reasons stated previously in this thread.

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