The vital stats:
It was pretty ugly this year. Not that long ago (2003?) Main Salmon permit odds were something like 1:8 in August. Now as bad as 1:100
6/24 on the Selway 1:500
7/15 on Main Salmon 1:217
6/30 on Middle Fork Salmon 1:465
6/6 Selway 1:89
8/9 Main Salmon 1:29
8/16 Middle Fork Salmon 1:12.5
Yes, it does matter which dates you apply for. I used to subscribe to go big or go home. And I stayed home. Now I take the scraps. Works for me 8/16 mfs launch in my email.
Selway odds seem about flat based on my memory and absolutely no research. Middle fork odds are steadily worse. Main Salmon odds are significantly worse. I guess word is out that it is a pretty sweet trip.
So by my envelope math: You and your 10 closest friends apply for prime selway dates. Odds are 1:500 each day to keep it round.
you each get 4 choices. So 1:125 each 1:12.5 collectively. Plan a selway trip once a century. Pretty rough. Only have 4 good friends? once in a lifetime.