Originally Posted by Osseous
6 mile to treasure island is a great float- BUT, the put in is in a wilderness area and you have to carry your boat down a trail to the river. No wheeled assistance allowed. I've got a cart that would be perfect for this trail.....but the feds say no. That makes it a group trip- or a small boat.
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Getting in this discussion a little late, but I have used my game sled (Amazon.com : Viking Sport Sled, Black : Snow Sleds : Sports & Outdoors
) to pack my gear down the 6 mile gap trail. I'm pretty sure it's allowed in wilderness as there aren't any wheels and it's fairly easy to steer on the downhill slope. My sled easily fits a deflated 13 foot raft. You might have to make a few trips, but your heavy load is downhill and you're just steering a sled.
If fishing is the main concern, it will be hard to hit just right in late/mid May. Fishing is best after the peak flow has subsided as the water is chocolate colored until it drops well below 2000 cfs (usually early June). After that you have a quick window. Check the flow here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=06620000
I agree with the others that think Northgate is a stretch for a first time solo trip. The water is cold and help is nowhere close by.
There is a guy in Saratoga who will run your shuttle if you need it. I can't remember his name but he is an outfitter there that showed up through google. I think it was about $40 last year.