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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about doing a late season trip in October on the lower salmon. I have never done this stretch and was wondering a couple of things. We will be traveling in a cat and wondering how many days is standard for the base level float. I see I can take off ten miles at the top by starting at Pine creek launch site but am still worried about fitting this trip into my time off. I live in Northern Montana so traveling too far south starts exchanging river time for driving time. Is there anything else I should look at. Westwater permits do not line up with the days I have off. Cataract is too long.
 

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You could do it in 4 days from Pine Bar. The worst part is the last bit on the snake from Cache creek to Heller. It's basically flat water and it's slow with jet boat traffic which you would see quite a bit of during steelhead season. It takes about 2 hrs to row out from cache creek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would you plan on a day and a half to get from the confluence of the salmon and snake to heller
 

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We typically camp our last night a couple of miles past Geneva Bar and go out the next day. I've done it rowing out and motoring and if the wind picks up the motor will save you.
 

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Plan to start early on the Snake, the wind can be a massive bitch on that stretch. Or bring a motor.
We ran it in late June (low flow for that time of year, but still more water than now) and camped at Birthday Beach just after Slide. We launched at 8:30am and rowed all the way to Heller by about 2pm. We were lucky there were no midday winds.
Most of the other groups we saw had motors...I don't think they're NECESSARY as there is some gradient and it's still a long day

...but do get an early start.

I live in Northern Montana so traveling too far south starts exchanging river time for driving time. Is there anything else I should look at. Westwater permits do not line up with the days I have off. Cataract is too long.
You ever camp on the Clark Fork or Yellowstone?
 

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For the trips without a motor, we camp low in Blue Canyon and make it as far as we can on the Snake the next day. The top of blue canyon is only 5 miles from confluence. Cache bar is always the goal that day. Rowing out from there is fairly easy if there are no winds in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We ran it in late June (low flow for that time of year, but still more water than now) and camped at Birthday Beach just after Slide. We launched at 8:30am and rowed all the way to Heller by about 2pm. We were lucky there were no midday winds.
Most of the other groups we saw had motors...I don't think they're NECESSARY as there is some gradient and it's still a long day

...but do get an early start.



You ever camp on the Clark Fork or Yellowstone?
Clark fork yes yellowstone no. I was hoping to do something new which is why we are looking at these options
 

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I love late sept and october down there. LOVE it. You'll see a trip or two out there with you, some cast and blaster type folks. Awesome time. Putting in at Pine bar would be the way to go with your limitation of days. We always try to Camp in Blue Canyon (just before the confluence) then have a mellow day out to the snake and down to Meat Hole camp or Upper Cottonwood on the Snake. From Meat Hole camp on the snake you are looking at about 3-3.25 hours of rowing out to Heller.
 

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It’s a long drive. Find more time and put in at Riggins. Run the Riggins day stretch which is amazing, down past Hammer and take out at Heller. 2 more days but WELL worth it.

I know you’re limited on time off but figure out a way to tip the balance.
 
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