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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings:

I'm curious to get some feedback on running the Main Salmon before the permit season. Looking to launch a week or so before June 20th. Water levels and weather look to be solid (hopefully) so I'm interested to see if anyone has war stories (be they good or bad) about pre-permit time on the Main. My team ran the MF in Late June 2007 and had a great time so we are thinking about heading back that way and trying out the Main. I appreciate your feedback.
 

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It's awesome. Do it! At high water, class 2-5. It's awesome. ...Weather can be good with some rain possible, and snow visible on the high peaks. Fishing is so-so. I ran it a week before permit season in 2011. Epic trip. Bring some good friends, and a safety kayaker or two.
 

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The Old Troll
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Every year is different. You have to study past flows and make a guess. Last year preseason was better than the permitted season.
 

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I did it last year for the first time. I think we put in around June 16 and did eight days. It was 4.6 on the Corn Creek ramp when we put in.

Funny story about that trip. I'm a novice boater. I'd been rafting once or twice a year with friends for awhile but I had finally got my own raft. I had some experience on the oars but not a lot. So first day on my first trip with my new boat with all new gear and my friends 65 year dad with me. We go around the corner to the first rapid, Killum (I think that's how you spell it) and I hit a hole left of center that I didn't see cause I was watching waves down stream and my buddies dad was reading the book. Oh and it's a class 2.

Yep, I flipped my brand new boat on the very first rapid it ever saw, and it was a class 2.

I was with a very experienced and safe group. Other than a little bump on my head everything was fine. Well I lost my hat too.

We all had a great time for the rest of the trip. I hit the meat of most everything (Chittam seemed pretty big) and had no more issues. I can't wait to do it again this year.

One thing that everyone should know. Last year they were making people reserve the reserve able camps even though it was before the permit season. So if you are thinking about laying over in a camp that you usually can't do that in keep that in mind.

eric
 

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Farmtheriver - Highly suggest the Main Salmon, at all levels. I've run it from 6000 to 60,000 from Corn to Carey, and it is great. At high flows it smooths out, but some holes develop.You can do your river miles in an hour or two, and hike/drink/fish the PM. No reserved camps I think prior to 6/20, and not many folks out there. The biggest rapids at high flows can be scouted, but even those can be read/run if need be, using the guide and common sense. Don't miss the hot springs to soak, it is killer, and the historical cabins/barns are cool. Be ready for some rain and plan camps that can work at high water. Also, don't forget about the Lower Salmon as no permit is needed - great run, as long as you get to Slide rapid below about 30K max, as it turns ugly above that; rest of run is good fun, scenic and biggest white sand beaches anywhere. Good luck, might see you up on Main early if no permit comes for us for Mf - we did it last late June with a couple families, loved it. The ultimate trip would be Main all the way through Lower -- 2 1/1 to 3 weeks, restock in Riggins as needed.
 

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The week before permit season we have launched at less than 1 foot, launched at 61/2 feet, refused to go near the thing at 8. Really varies as to what you get - we have had scorching weather and a trip with 4 days of rain and the snow creeping down the canyon walls. For us it is a decide at the last minute kind of a trip not one for long term pre-planning unless you have a plan B backup.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the great info. It's great having a forum like to get advice from seasoned pros. Good news is one of our team won a Main permit for June 21st. We are still considering a pre-permit run starting a few days before the 21st, but we've got to look over a few more details.

Either way it's a can't lose situation! Thank you again for taking the time to reply.
 

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I like the idea of a preseason run on the main all the way to the lower. Does anyone know of a shuttle company that will do that?
 

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It's an easier shuttle than the Main, the Lower finishes 20 miles above Lewiston. Any of the companies should do it; we tend to use All Rivers out of Whitebird.
Gotta watch the Lower early season though if flows are high Slide becomes really nasty.

I keep dreaming of a MF all the way to the Lower..........
 

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main thru lower

I was thinking more along the lines of doing a preseason main run and then tyong it I to the lower. I haven't looked at the shuttle for that before. I assume corn creek to lewiston would be huge but didnt know if there were any companies that did that.
 

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Corn creek to Heller (end of Lower) is about the same shuttle distance as Corn Ck to Carey on the Main - price will depend on where the shuttle company is based as those on the Carey route would have to go out of their way, if that makes sense. Looks like it costs about $100 more for All Rivers to go to Heller though distance is close to even.
 

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Picked it up a couple hours ago. Ive checked over the last couple days- multiple times per day- and it's the first that I had seen pop up.
 

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Dont know about that. Any unconfirmed winners will be released after March 16. It sayss keep checking back for cancellations. Who's to say someone did not confirm their trip in the last couple days and then cancelled it? The snippets below are exactly why i was not waiting until March to check.

Cancellations: Please continue to check this site for cancelled reservations. Cancelled launch dates are released at a random time within 24 hours of submission. Boaters should try to anticipate high and low water levels before reserving a launch date.

Confirmation Required: Successful lottery applicants must sign into their account and confirm their reservation by March 15th. Unconfirmed launches will be released at an undisclosed time on March 16th. If you have any problems confirming or declining your reservation, contact Customer Service at 1-888-448-1474.
 

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Here's a second for All Rivers. They did our shuttle for combined Main and Lower last August. Very helpful and flexible. They took our vehicles to Hammer Creek the day we were passing it in case we wanted to get out because of a big grass fire downstream (also made it easy to drop some stuff off in the cars) - we chose to keep going - no problem, we changed our time to get cars to Heller Bar (we talked to them at Hammer Creek, but could have achieved same end by leaving note in cars if they had not been there - they were going to check for our cars later to see whether we had decided to keep going downstream) no problems or hitches with the shuttle.

We planned for 17 days, kind of low water level, had a couple of antsy teens who wanted to take out earlier and we wound up taking 14 days total. Didn't have to push too hard to make our miles, but we had some fairly long days and never ran into too much headwind.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Any idea out for transporting our group from Carey Creek back to Boise?

We are all flying in from around the country so we are using charter shuttles to move us around. I've got a quote from Harlow's out of McCall, but I wanted to see if there was anyone else to check out.
 
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