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Shapp
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Discussion Starter #1
This thread is concerned with extreme low flows. Not the average run of the mill August/September low water. I am curious if anyone ran off the top in either 2001 or 2007 in mid-August to September. Trip report appreciated in either of these 2 years during August or September. What craft did you take, how was it? Not interested in other years. 2001 was a lot lower than average, and 2007 was lower than average. Really, looking for trip reports of anyone that went off the top at ELF flows substantially below 1.5 feet (i.e. well below 500 cfs) in anything other than an IK/kayak.
Thanks!
 

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In 2007 we launched Boundary at about 500 cfs on October 6th???. It was low. 17 Maravia Willi 2. My buddy had a 14 foot Nrs.

Lots of low in my river log, this was not easy but it wasn't unmanageable. Not sure if this is low enough for you. There were some pretty big fires that year. We had to drag around three or four logs. They closed the river for a bit in August through September but I don't remember the dates of that closure.

Idahorivertime: Fall on the Middle Fork October 6th - October 12th.

Looking at my blog on that trip it says they just opened it a week before we launched so you might not find too many September boaters that year.

I flew into Thomas for a commercial trip in 2001 early August. Can't help on the top of course but it was a challenge all the way to the B. Tappan 2 sucked big time. The corner by Camas Creek was pretty crazy shallow too but I never stopped moving. Just had to go back and forth about 15 times. Good luck.
 

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Shapp
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Discussion Starter #3
looks like those October 2007 dates were pretty much over 500 cfs average daily flow, so that would be normal low flow, but by no means easy. Still curious if anyone has gone down from the top at 350 to 400 cfs in something manouvered by oars, not paddles.
 

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One question with these extreme low flows: does the conventional wisdom of enough water below Indian hold true? or can things be so low you're concerned below indian too?
 

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One question with these extreme low flows: does the conventional wisdom of enough water below Indian hold true? or can things be so low you're concerned below indian too?
Excellent question. For those that know, is there a min comfortable flow/level below Indian Cr?
 

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We always go in Sept. from Indian Creek. Our personal cut-off for IC is 1.5 feet. That is an arbitrary number that reflects our personal comfort level. Many folks go much lower. Type & size of craft, group experience level, and group tolerance for getting stuck/unstuck will determine the answer to " how low can you go?"
 

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Shapp
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Discussion Starter #7
Our personal cut-off for IC is 1.5 feet...Many folks go much lower QUOTE]

I don't thinks folks are going on trips much lower than 1.5 feet (approx. 500 cfs) because those flows don't happen much. Extended base flows a little lower than 500 cfs occur about 1 in 10 years, but flows significantly lower than 500 cfs) only occur about 1 in 20 year. I am trying hard to find trip reports for folks that have run it well below 500 cfs (about 1.5 feet) and can't find any (say in the 1.2 to 1.3 range). My current thought is that mid August flows will be in the 1.3 (350 cfs) range on the MF gage (based on the fact that precip and SWE are lower than that which occurred in 2007) and August flows in that year were about 1.5 feet. 2001 seams more similar to me, flows in the 1.3 ft range in August (350 cfs range). We have had the discussion an person cutoffs in many threads. I am hoping to keep the discussion to experiences significantly below 1.5 ft (500 cfs), if there are any.
 

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If memory serves through the 80s there were rough years and outfitters flew into Thomas creek, not indian. I seem to recall something about building some rock walls in the river at certain points to constrict the flow enough to pass. Not sure anyone would fess up to that though.

the flow does rarely go below 1.5/1.6. Stories would be great.
 

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One question with these extreme low flows: does the conventional wisdom of enough water below Indian hold true? or can things be so low you're concerned below indian too?
Enough water may be relative. That August I from Thomas to the B at 1.25 or so. 300 to 350 cfs, there were some very challenging spots in there. I knew the low water lines so it wasn't horrible but I had to pay attention. As mentioned Tappan 2 sucked beyond belief at that level. it took us well over an hour to get all the gear boats through that one drop. Who knows what Cove Creek will be like.
 

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Shapp
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Discussion Starter #10
Enough water may be relative. That August I from Thomas to the B at 1.25 or so. 300 to 350 cfs, there were some very challenging spots in there. I knew the low water lines so it wasn't horrible but I had to pay attention. As mentioned Tappan 2 sucked beyond belief at that level. it took us well over an hour to get all the gear boats through that one drop. Who knows what Cove Creek will be like.
The historical data shows that for the first week of August average daily flows were greater than 400 cfs and the send week were greater than 375 cfs. 3rd and 4th weeks were going sub 350 cfs.
 

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Our personal cut-off for IC is 1.5 feet...Many folks go much lower QUOTE]

I don't thinks folks are going on trips much lower than 1.5 feet (approx. 500 cfs) because those flows don't happen much. Extended base flows a little lower than 500 cfs occur about 1 in 10 years, but flows significantly lower than 500 cfs) only occur about 1 in 20 year. I am trying hard to find trip reports for folks that have run it well below 500 cfs (about 1.5 feet) and can't find any (say in the 1.2 to 1.3 range). My current thought is that mid August flows will be in the 1.3 (350 cfs) range on the MF gage (based on the fact that precip and SWE are lower than that which occurred in 2007) and August flows in that year were about 1.5 feet. 2001 seams more similar to me, flows in the 1.3 ft range in August (350 cfs range). We have had the discussion an person cutoffs in many threads. I am hoping to keep the discussion to experiences significantly below 1.5 ft (500 cfs), if there are any.
I know we cancelled once in the past 7-10 years for 1.5 ft in September. I'll have to look up what year that was. A friend went from the top years ago at 1.5 with just one boat/2 people and they worked their butts off. From the stories he tells, there was a lot of "adventure" on that trip. I think that trip influenced the 1.5 cutoff rule. Our tolerance for heavy lifting, dragging, and general mayhem is lower than some folks.
 

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2008 was the year we didn't do the MF in September due to low flow. I don't know what our launch date was set to be, but whatever it was, it was 1.5 ft or less and we didn't go.
 

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So if I am understanding you correctly, if its less than 1.5 ft, you don't go :)
That is correct. Under 1.5 and we are a no go from Indian Creek. This September may be a no-go, but we have said that before and it worked out. Who knows? Always a crap shoot in the post season.
 

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Shapp
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Discussion Starter #16
In the hopes this doesn't get derailed, the topic I am after is: If you have run the middle fork at substantially below 1.5 ft (500 cfs) please give us a trip report. We have beat to death everything above 1.5 ft. :)
 

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I believe a quote from Jon Krakaur may be appropriate,
"It is not a true adventure untill someone says WTF are we doing here"
 
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