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Discussion Starter #1
We are launching Sept 13 on the Main Salmon. Levels look super low. Would rain affect this level and bring it up?
-does the Lower salmon hold water better?
I have heard the main is never to low is this true?
Main vs Lower salmon in Low water.. thoughts.
We are all planned for the main but im wondering if we will be hitting rocks the whole time.
 

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main is pretty much never too low. You won't be hitting rocks much at all. The only downside to the lower flows is that the "salmon lake" stretch can be a chore with low, slow flows...especially if the afternoon upriver winds are blowing (and they almost always are). So plan on splitting that section up or getting through it in one big push by starting really early and suffering through the afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok, thanks
Which is the best way to see the river level on the Main from Corn to Carey


-Salmon river level at Whitebird or Salmon river level Shoup?
 

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We ran the Main last year the last week in September at the lowest levels of the year and it was fine. There was one rapid that was somewhat rocky (I can't remember which one). I do remember Vinegar being way different than I had ever seen it. We ran it on river left. We ran in to some "Cast and Blasters" several times but didn't see many other people. We took out at Spring Bar which adds about 13 river miles of interesting scenery and several fun rapids.
 

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Yu need to add the Main at Shoup plus the Middle Forkat Shoup. It is a little confusing in that the confluence is quite a ways below Shoup.
 

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ok, thanks
Which is the best way to see the river level on the Main from Corn to Carey


-Salmon river level at Whitebird or Salmon river level Shoup?

Call the North fork ranger district. They super friendly, they tell you the level on the corn creek ramp and the water temp. 208-865-2700
 

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I have ran it at -28 inches. there was a rock that emerged on the left run of blacks creek rapid that you dont want to hit. that was 4 years ago and blacks creek is still evolving every year when the ice flows and high water go out.
 

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The only 2 rocky spots that I remember at all where little stinker, that is right below five mile and split rock. and the rapid that is right below elk horn. I cant remember the name.. We took a right run on vinegar.
 

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Does anyone have a sense of how fast the river moves on "average" at lower flows? 3 mph+/-?? We launch the 22nd of August, planning 5 nights / 6 days and tentatively longer days in the first half (16-20 miles), to allow for some shorter days in the Salmon Lake section. Bringing the kids and wondering if we have some all day row-fests ahead of us? Only other time I ran The Main was at 8.5-feet in 3 short days and imagine it will be a "little" slower this time.
Thanks!
 

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I ran the Main in 4 days in late July 2003 right after the Cramer Creek blowout. We went on several hikes and soaked in Barth Hot Spring. One very long day which included the lake but not bad at all. 6 days should be no problem. I have never tried to figure average current flows because their are so many variables. Enjoy!
 

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It's fairly easy to make miles the first two days. We went in August a couple of years ago and camped at Motor our first night which is like 17 miles and that was no big deal. But from Haynie to California that took a while thru the lake but we still made it fine and we left Haynie at like noon or 1. The video below shows Black Creek at low water.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQkG0Lnr6N0
 

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The "lake" starts where the South Fork Salmon comes in, mile 56.7. I've really never had a problem making miles in this stretch but others seem to. I do always plan for two nights below the south fork.
 

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The "lake" starts where the South Fork Salmon comes in, mile 56.7. I've really never had a problem making miles in this stretch but others seem to. I do always plan for two nights below the south fork.
Agree. On my first trip, having read about the lake, I planned around it a little. We still hit it at mid day but just floated through with typical rowing. It was nothing compared to many Deso or Cat trips. I can’t remember river level, typical mid to late July.
 

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Like others said plan 2 nights below the south fork... try and be off the water before 2 or 3 pm... that's when the wind generally picks up.. of my 4 trips on the main three of them where no big deal. The fourth was horrific, wind started blowing hard up stream starting at about 10am and we had a fairly big day... if you where not rowing you where going upstream at about 3 mph lol...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry for all the questions but I am Canadian and have never rafted on a permitted river.


So: if we are launching after the controlled permitted season, do we still have to reserve campsites or is it just choose a site that works?


- Also, with regards to showing a permit to the ranger does this have to be done with the whole group present with all the gear? Is a park ranger set up at the corn creek campground or are they located in North Fork?
 

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If there is a ranger stationed at Corn Creek you have the option to reserve sites. I'm not sure when the ranger gets pulled from there, I'd assume mid Sept. If the ranger is at Corn creek the whole group will need a talk that the ranger gives and they will also inspect group gear. It's also worth noting that while there may not be a ranger present at Corn Creek the Forrest service still does river patrols into October and they will come into your camp, may ask to see required equipment and will also ask to see your permit.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow. Ok thanks for the info. I didn’t realize I need to bring the permit on to the river. Good heads up
 

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Sorry for all the questions but I am Canadian and have never rafted on a permitted river.
wharf-rat - We're glad you're asking and happy to share our experience. There's plenty of good info about how to do a ranger checkout on the Buzz and you could do a search, but a good place to start would be Post #15 on this thread. Have your act together, be respectful and courteous, make sure you know the requirements and are prepared with all the required gear.

Have a great trip!

-AH
 
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