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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I scored my dream permit allowing me to run both rivers consecutively. I have run the Middle Fork before at 3.8ft and found it to be quite fun but not all that challenging. I have a few questions:

1. I plan on 6 nights on the Middle Fork but not quite sure how many on the Main. Any recommendations? We are not in a hurry but also don't want to float for an hour a day.

2. What is the best take out for the Main? I was thinking Carey Creek.

3. Can someone some up the water levels? I have no perspective so I don't know what is low water vs. ideal vs. high nor do I know the challenges with each level.

4. Looks like there are a ton of campsites on the Main, any not to be missed?

5. Since I will be on the Main before permit season begins, are the campsites all open or do you "self check-in" and sign up for sites?

6. Best guide book for the Main?


Thank you in advance for your suggestions and recommendations
 

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June 12 can range between 4 and 8. I would guess 5.5 and falling. Some good flip potential, if you dont you can probably get down with a couple layover days, although the rangers will probably limit your choices in sections of the canyon
 

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Guide book: Idaho's Salmon River 2nd Edition; Newell and Newell.
(Cool diagrams of the major rapids with low and high water descriptions)
 

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Take out at Spring Bar. It is a nice take out, and adds a few more river miles. I recall some more fun rolling rapids downstream of the Carey creek takeout.

Definitely stop at buckskin bills. All the camps are pretty nice on the main.
 

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I was on the Main in June 2011. We started at just over 15,000 cfs at the corn creek put in (considered to be upper medium to high) There was a lot of snow on the peaks. We had hot weather in the 80s, some rain, and a night of thunderstorms. We ended on 60,000 at the spring bar take out (extreme). It was a blast, but beach areas were underwater.
 

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Why not go all the way to Riggins ? Yeah, there's a road alongside the river from Vinegar to there, but it's gravel without a lot of traffic, and the river is pretty; why drive that stretch when you can float it ? And there are a couple of good rapids too.
 

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Its a long dusty drive after the combo trip just to get get to riggins ... you will be staring at the river wondering why you didn't go all the way to heller bar ...
 

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I did this last year June 9-21. It is the only time that I have floated the Main so I am far from an expert on that river.

1. I plan on 6 nights on the Middle Fork but not quite sure how many on the Main. Any recommendations? We are not in a hurry but also don't want to float for an hour a day.
At least 5 nights on the Main would be a good pace.

2. What is the best take out for the Main? I was thinking Carey Creek.
We took out at Spring Bar. It added some length to the trip Over Carey Cr. or Vinegar Cr. and there were a few rapids. I was struggling a bit with the wind the last few miles to Spring Bar and was happy to see the ramp. Others have said float to Riggins. The gradient flattens out and this might be a very bad idea if it is windy.

3. Can someone some up the water levels? I have no perspective so I don't know what is low water vs. ideal vs. high nor do I know the challenges with each level.
The water was 4.95 on the MFS gauge when we launched. The MFS was challenging enough in some spots in the boat I used, but easier than I expected. My previous trips had all been at 3.0 or lower. I am not sure what the flow on the Main was, but it moved us along nicely between rapids and none of the rapids were a challenge compared to the MFS.

5. Since I will be on the Main before permit season begins, are the campsites all open or do you "self check-in" and sign up for sites?
You need to stop at Corn Creek to pick up your Main Salmon permit. Campsites are reservable at that time.

6. Best guide book for the Main?
Although Leidecker's book for the MFS is excellent, this one covers both rivers.
 

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IN 2007 I launched on June 1st at 3.35 on the gauge. We are only slightly ahead of that pace. On 2/09/07 SWE at Banner showed 15.5 we are sitting at 17.1 this am. I would think that a flow of four feet would be awesome if it happens. Granted there is still potential for some snow, but with the pattern we have been running I wouldn't hold my breath on it. I hope that Ma Nature proves me wrong.
 

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Class 3 pool drop from Carey to Riggins. It is a oft guided day stretch.

With each trip I tend to float lower and lower on the river. If you have time there is no reason to drive next to a perfectly floatable stretch of river.

Huge nice ramp in Riggins. There are a few intermediate ramps along the way.

Bonus: slightly cheaper shuttle and less gas. Long trailers can't make one of the bridge turns anyhow.
 

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Let us not forget last year. Right after permits were awarded a lot of talk filled the buzz with an ELF year for idaho. Like weather men, those of you who predict flows five and 6 months out are guessing. It may be an educated guess in your opinion, but it's more often than not, a simple fallacy. The spring snows came and crushed your guesses then next thing you know, you're now telling us that the roads won't be open in time. The point here is that flows can be predicted more accurately a few weeks out, not multiple months away, when winter has yet to leave our sights. The person who started this thread didn't ask anyone to predict flows, he was asking about hazards at high and low flows. Answer the questions started by the thread owner instead of hijacking it into some soapbox you're trying to haphazardly stand upon.
 

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3. Can someone some up the water levels? I have no perspective so I don't know what is low water vs. ideal vs. high nor do I know the challenges with each level.
The person who started this thread didn't ask anyone to predict flows, he was asking about hazards at high and low flows. Answer the questions started by the thread owner instead of hijacking it into some soapbox you're trying to haphazardly stand upon.
Suck it.
 

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Can you float all the way to Riggins? What is it like?
There's a couple (at least) of good rapids, Ruby and Lake Creek. There is a gravel road, but generally not real close to the river; you'll probably want to camp one night in the stretch (or your last day would be really long), and you should have little trouble finding a camp across the river from the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Let us not forget last year. Right after permits were awarded a lot of talk filled the buzz with an ELF year for idaho. Like weather men, those of you who predict flows five and 6 months out are guessing. It may be an educated guess in your opinion, but it's more often than not, a simple fallacy. The spring snows came and crushed your guesses then next thing you know, you're now telling us that the roads won't be open in time. The point here is that flows can be predicted more accurately a few weeks out, not multiple months away, when winter has yet to leave our sights. The person who started this thread didn't ask anyone to predict flows, he was asking about hazards at high and low flows. Answer the questions started by the thread owner instead of hijacking it into some soapbox you're trying to haphazardly stand upon.

This is true. Thank you.
 

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Of course you would take this personal because you know you were giving info not asked for. You're the most all knowing jack ass that has ever walked our planet. You're always right and seem to always need to have the last word. I'm surprised you didn't riddle us with your "please have sympathy for me card, because I have to take narcotics for my pain" line. That would be like me asking for sympathy for my service to our country during wars. You know, where us former marines have to deal with the fact that we shot at enemies and fought wars to defend shit talking derelicts like yourself. Where in your quote does he ask you to predict anything? Summing up water levels is not the same in my book. That would read more like this... At low flows or below x feet watch out for... At flow around x you can expect so and so rapid to be a little dicey. Etc, etc. We all know you live and breath idaho. We all know you have an opinion for everything MFS. Give it a rest, we've all heard your predictions and corrections of them before. So before you go tell someone to suck it, think about the image you've made for yourself by always being such an opinionated asshole. Let's stay on topic from here on out if you can handle it.
 

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I thought the OP was asking for a summary of flow ranges. Not calling ELf but the range of flows wasn't accurate. Unless we get a bunch of snow there won't be 4 feet in mid June. Since they are planning on connecting to another permit I thought that might be pertinent to the conversation at hand.
Not sure what I ever did to piss you off, but you think about me far more than I will ever think about you.

Of course you would take this personal because you know you were giving info not asked for. You're the most all knowing jack ass that has ever walked our planet. You're always right and seem to always need to have the last word. I'm surprised you didn't riddle us with your "please have sympathy for me card, because I have to take narcotics for my pain" line...........So before you go tell someone to suck it, think about the image you've made for yourself by always being such an opinionated asshole.
Like you did last year?
So does that mean you really don't care about my pain?
And here after the last time you came after me and "got the last word" I though you meant it. That you cared that is. Guess not. Not that you care, but I had a full hip replacement and haven't been on pain killers for a while. Good memory though. Took me a while to place the conversation. And there you were. I don't need an apology this time.

I thought you leathernecks were tougher?
Go ahead get the last word, you know you want it.

Yo crave brah dog, you're right. Must've been some other idahoan claiming elf year. The point is not who said what though. It's the perceived trash talk when none actually exists. I may have come off wrong, but like you, I tend to say things when I'm all hopped up on substance. I do appreciate your insight to the local run which most of us have to drive hundreds of miles for. So please accept my apology for instigating this. I hope you get better battling what ever it is that holds you back from over attaining river miles this season...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There's a couple (at least) of good rapids, Ruby and Lake Creek. There is a gravel road, but generally not real close to the river; you'll probably want to camp one night in the stretch (or your last day would be really long), and you should have little trouble finding a camp across the river from the road.
Is it flat slow moving water?
 
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