Middlefork Late August - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-25-2012   #1
 
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Middlefork Late August

Thanks everyone for all the great info being passed along though experience. I am looking for some preliminary ideas for our trip and need some insight. I have navigated the middlefork twice now on private groups and now I am planning one. My bro (unexperienced boater) got the golden ticket and I am helping getting this trip underway. So far we have 2 16' Catarafts and 5 confirmed people for an August 26th launch date.
I am looking for some predictions on what the water level in feet might be at that time.. Also with that predictoin wondering how much weight per boat would be suitable.
One trip we launched at Boundry 2.2 with engineers that packed very light and we sailed past most boaters whom brought the kitchen sink.
Any advice on this would be helpful for the time of year.
Another caption and boat would also be helpful to distrubute some of the weight and since more people want to go whom don't have the experience.

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Old 07-25-2012   #2
 
Golden, Colorado
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1.78976267854327 ft. is my shitcreek-is-money prediction.

you should describe the group composition if you are fishing for a 3rd boat. kids,# of hot, single woman and if so...can they pole dance off of a 9ft oar?, ect.

for going lightweight advice,if i'm understanding your question right... screw the weight per boat/ pocket protector stuff. hand everyone a big dry bag and tell them "if you can't fit it in here, it's not coming on the trip"..... or at least close thinking along those lines by the entire group. multiple kicks to the balls for the guy who can't survive without 5 personal dry bags full of gear for 7 days out. also, change out the big,dumb,heavy,bulky camp chairs for crazy creeks, a msr dragonfly and a couple pots per couple people instead of partner 4 burners,propane tanks, dutch ovens, and full kitchen tables,ect. you'll survive...and probably find not dealing with all that crap everyday is quite liberating. more time to hike,fish,take pics, nap and fuck about in general.

and sink the beer for the day off the side of the raft in a mesh bag and leave the cooler home.
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Old 07-25-2012   #3
Dipshit with the most.
 
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Bellevue, Idaho
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Originally Posted by upshitscreek View Post
and sink the beer for the day off the side of the raft in a mesh bag and leave the cooler home.

but....what.....how do put ice in your gin and tonics then????

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Old 07-25-2012   #4
Dipshit with the most.
 
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Bellevue, Idaho
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Seriously though. Five people on two cats sounds like a lot to me. I personally find cats inferior for low water Middle Forking, but they do work for some. I guess.

It's all about pounds per square inch where the rubber meets the road. I suggest you add a raft so you get one passenger per boat and one major piece of group gear and done. You can also look into flying gear in if you are concerned.
ARe you one of the boatman?
Cut back on gear. Do more lightweight food. Take whiskey instead of cases of beer. Bring an extra fly rod, it seems one always gets broken.
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Old 07-25-2012   #5
 
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Sandy, Utah
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We use Cats for low water MF and they work just fine.....but not to support 5 peeps with just 2 Cats.
+1 on what C-Dog said. Add a raft, lighten your load from the top, fly heavier stuff in to Indian Creek, or just go light all the way.
We go in September, always fly in to Indian Creek, run a 16 ft. SB raft, two 14 ft. Cats, support 4-6 peeps, bring everything we normally bring, run our tubes a little bit soft, get stuck a few times, and have a blast.
Have a great trip!
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Old 07-25-2012   #6
 
idaho falls, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Just leave the heavy kitchen stuff home. I've done it from the top at 1.6. had two 16ft cats 6 people and a 95lb dog; wasn't bad. I agree that rafts are better but not by much.
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Old 07-25-2012   #7
Dipshit with the most.
 
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Bellevue, Idaho
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Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
We use Cats for low water MF and they work just fine.....but not to support 5 peeps with just 2 Cats.
+1 on what C-Dog said. Add a raft, lighten your load from the top, fly heavier stuff in to Indian Creek, or just go light all the way.
We go in September, always fly in to Indian Creek, run a 16 ft. SB raft, two 14 ft. Cats, support 4-6 peeps, bring everything we normally bring, run our tubes a little bit soft, get stuck a few times, and have a blast.
Have a great trip!
Sorry if that sounded like Bad on cats. I know you do it regularly late season.
And have fun too....
some seem a little challenged by the whole low water and an even moderately loaded cat.. off the top anyway.

I have never flown in to Indian Creek ..... ever now that I think about it.
Flown out a couple of times after helping folks deadhead.

To the OP, there are ways to go lighter for sure, but I would never, ever leave the ice behind. That's just me though.
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Old 07-25-2012   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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but....what.....how do put ice in your gin and tonics then????

heh,heh, yeah our low water camps will never show up in the NRS - Martha Stewart's Better Camps and Gardens catalog but we still pack on a few pounds each trip and everyone has their own tent.

i would personally flog the TL if he couldn't support 5 on 2 16ft cats in low flows. but that's me. i was a backpacker and kayaker long before rafting. rafting still seems like near absurdity in luxury for being in the wilderness and going "light".

here is a pic of my gear pile for 3 peeps for 6 days in HC at not so low water but i can fish 2 people on the bow and stern which is key for lw mfs type trips too.
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Old 07-25-2012   #9
 
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at my house, Montana
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I've used 65% of my boats supposed carrying capacity as a guide for low water trips. That's 1300 lbs on our 14' sotar. It has worked really well, but 1.78' was a bit of a bitch. That includes everything, people, dogs, frame, oars, straps (those cams are heavy!). The lower the water the fewer drinks we go with, more powdered. Choose menu items that are light also, not packing a bunch of heavy food (liquids, cans, etc). Bring 2 spare oars, just in case. Below Pistol it gets much easier, so you really only have 1.5-2 tougher days. Don't fly in and miss the upper section. Fly stuff to Indian instead, just food, ice, drinks, etc, whatever you can get by without for 2 days. Be prepared to get out and push your boat repeatedly, it's just going to happen. Soft tubes help you squish over rocks instead of "stopping" on them.

I don't go without my full camp chair, big fat paco, and huge tent. Choose where you go light, you don't need to sacrifice comfort.
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