After 8 months I'm finally about finished with my whitewater dory build. If interested you can read about it here: Whitewater Dory
So now I'm trying to learn what are the best dory-friendly rivers.
Obviously, the Grand is top choice, the reason I started building the dory, but my luck with permits has been no better than when I finally dropped off the old wait list many years ago, having forgotten to re-up during the January period. Still waiting and hoping.
San Juan - seems like a frequently mentioned choice. Never been there.
Gates - I've run it several times in rubber rafts and cats. Would take more than the 2000 - 25000 I've seen as tops to make me comfortable, at least early on. Maybe after I get a few dings and repairs in my baby I'll be less discriminating. I do know of several dory folks who run Lodore regularly but they're just better than me.
Yampa - from my memory of my only (commercial) trip, which was at around 14K I would do it in a dory. But still have to get through SOB down below (which I've never personally run at high water so may not be an issue).
Cat - def a good option, at least at the mid levels we've done it. But the take out at the North Wash gravel ramp, depending on the condition, could be a real b*tch or impossible. I guess there's the option to motor or row down to the nearest Powell take out but never done it.
Deso - also seems a very good choice at higher water. Done it several times in a raft.
Main Salmon - seems also like a good choice but would appreciate other's input as I've only done it recently once, in a 16' Hyside at around 6-8000 IIRC.
Middle Salmon - thinking my cats are a better choice for this run. I do know of several dory trips on this stretch but mostly with lighter weight, open decked McKenzie style boats, rather than my decked wide-bottom Briggs.
Lower Salmon - know nothing of it other than what read here. Seems like something to look closely at.
Rogue - I've been down it once, and know of a crew of dories going through it right now, all very experienced boaters. Seemed pretty technical to me and plenty of places to have some extended repair opportunities.
Thanks for any info, advice.