Aug Middle Fork Salmon - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-18-2008   #1
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Aug Middle Fork Salmon

Hey, Ive got a permit for the Middle Fork Salmon for mid Aug. Has anyone done it around this time before. I know about the 2ft or below option of flying in, but how is it. Ive got a 16ft NRS Cat, will this be too big of a boat at those lower levels. Anybody have any idea what it might be running this Aug, with all the snow we've gotton. Thanks let me know
Rob Waterman

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Old 04-19-2008   #2
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
I did it last year in August, which was an extremely low water year, at 1.6'. We did it self-supported in IK's but there were a few folks putting on at Boundary Creek in rafts and even a couple of dories. You could hear the dories coming from a long ways off as they bounced off of rocks! They all made it but it was really boney and I wouldn't have wanted to put my raft and oars through that. Even at 1.9' we had trouble getting a 16' raft through on another trip. No problem below Indian Creek though if you fly in. I sure do like that stretch below Boundary though - I think it's the prettiest part of the trip.

As you are probably aware, much of the river corridor burned last year. The scenery will be pretty different than in the past. Soot and ash could be a problem for anyone with respiratory issues. We were probably the last party coming off the river before they shut it down and we were boating through thick smoke looking like bandits with bandanas and masks. Quite different than any other river trip wed ever done.
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Old 04-19-2008   #3
driggs, Idaho
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
mf in aug

try to go off the top! its a bit tricky- but its great to see the alpine scenery and creeky, technical headwaters. the fishing there is great, as are the hotsprings. this year the water should be decent through aug. we take commercial guests from boundry down to 2 feet, and 'deadhead' (boats only, no custies) much lower. i drive a 24X10 foot sweep boat down pretty cleanly until around 1.8. go light! (its not the grand) if you have the cash- fly in a re-supply at indian or bernard creek-
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Old 04-20-2008   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 536
you can pick up this MFS dvd too and see if the top section is something you want to deal with or not. they run off the top at ~1.74 ft in the dvd.

Middle Fork of the Salmon River DVD

i've done it at ~1.6 from indian creek in a medium loaded 16fter. boney but i enjoyed it. seemed like after 10-15 miles below indian it picked up enough that it wasn't too bad. It seems like the first upper 25 miles at low water is about knowing the lines and willingness to run over some rocks.

if you go off the top do the full 8 days for sure. river is moving allot slower so the extra mileage cuts into side hikes,ect.
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