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Old 03-18-2014   #1
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 141
Pre and Post Permit Season Options

I have the first week of May, and a week off starting Oct 17th. I am thinking of maybe doing a preseason Hells Canyon or Rogue River trip in May. In October I am thinking of doing the Rogue, Hells Canyon, or maybe the MFS (in the MiniMax).

Having never done anything but summer trips on these runs (or the MFS at all) I am looking for advice on which might be the better runs at those particular times of the year.



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Old 03-18-2014   #2
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
For the record Hell's permit season ends on September 15. Rogue ends on October 15. Both rivers are great once the permit season ends. It is also fairly easy to pick up cancelation permits for the Rogue after Labor Day.

The Rogue is also wonderful before the permit season begins in May. If you go the last weekend before permit season begins, expect a lot of people out. If you can launch on the Sunday before permit season begins you will practically have the river to yourself.

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Old 03-18-2014   #3
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
I have done four October MF trips in my stretch Williwaw 2 ( 17 feet). Two were glorious weather and on the other two I had two of the coldest days on the river ever. And that won't deter me from going back.
I have actually seen more snow in September and June but I float those times more.

In 2012 we did it in six days and fished but not a ton. If you only have the week and want to relax consider flying in to Indian. If you drive to Salmon and fly from there it doesn't add as much as you would think to the cost and allows an easier pace.

Would you do this solo? Not knowing the river I don't if I would recommend, but if you are a solid boater your journey of discovery would be wonderful. Nothing like coming up on a horizon line you haven't seen before and having absolutely no one else around. Makes you focus pretty well.

Speaking of which, for your first trip it will totally spoil you as you aren't likely to see anyone at all that late. We didn't on our mid October trip. Not one boat and only two rangers. The early October trips you might see one or two others but not much. Amazing to see really.
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Old 03-18-2014   #4
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
How about a Main Salmon in October? The MS is never too low and maybe not quite as cold as the MFS. We do September MFS a lot. Fly into Indian Creek. Should be ok in a Mini-Max. I agree with C-Dog though. Don't do it solo the first time. Too many things that can go wrong and no one to help you. That being said, I have a friend who's done the MFS many times, and he did it solo one September. Super spiritual trip for him. He said that after the pilot dropped him at IC and flew off, was about as scared as he's ever been on a river. But it was the trip of a lifetime.
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
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Old 03-18-2014   #5
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 141
The main would be in the running if I didn't already have a August permit.

It probably won't be a solo trip, but everything people are saying kind of makes me want to put one on the to do list!

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Old 03-18-2014   #6
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,933
Originally Posted by Wiggins View Post

It probably won't be a solo trip, but everything people are saying kind of makes me want to put one on the to do list!

Definitely put it on the to do list. Solo trips are some of the most profound experiences I have ever had. I have only done the Dolores and Deso solo but others are on there if/when the chance arises.

Sounds like a brilliant year of boating for ya.

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Old 03-18-2014   #7
2tomcat2's Avatar
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 219
Love this passage...we all need "re-kindling" every so often.

I also realized that I'd grown soft, Things had been going to well lately. Too easily. I needed something to pare the fat off my soul, to scare the shit out of me, to make me grateful, again, for being alive. All I knew, deep and safe, beyond mere intellect, that there is nothing like a wilderness journey for re-kindling the fires of life. Simplicity is part of it. Cutting the cackle. Transportation reduced to leg- or arm-power, eating irons to one spoon. Such simplicity, together with sweat and silence, amplify the rhythms of any long journey, especially through unknown, untattered territory. And in the end such a journey can restore an understanding of how insignificant you are - thereby set you free.

--Colin Fletcher, River

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
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