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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
6 nights on the river (7 if you count sleeping at Indian)
flow: less than 1.4 feet (400 CFS, not sure why everything is measured in feet as all the other rivers I do are CFS)
5 folks, two boats
lots of smoke!
First time posting, my intent here is to just put some information out there for others who might be doing a late fall trip in the future. This was my first trip down the MF and found the info on the buzz to be quite helpful.

This was my first trip down the MF. Pulled a low water permit and was stoked to go. Drove to Challis and flew in with middle fork aviation: top notch! on Saturday 9/04. Our first attempt in that morning was a fail due to smoke:
Water Atmosphere Liquid Sky Fluid

After a fun afternoon at the domestic terminal of the Challis airport there was an opening and we made it into Indian Creek. To my knowledge, the afternoon of the 11th was the last day planes landed at Indian.
Cloud Sky Plant community Mountain Natural landscape

We had a total of 5 people and it took three flights on 204s. Two flights in with gear and 1 passenger and then one flight with three folks and some loose gear. A total gear weight of about 2k lbs. We could have brought some more stuff as the people flight in was light. For those that are trying to figure out how much gear you can bring on a 204, it is about what fits in a standard bed of a truck (plus or minus!)

Had smoke almost every morning which would generally clear out in the afternoon. This trip was a lot like skiing the last day a resort is open. You feel lucky to be there but wonder what it would be like with 2 feet of blower powder!
Night 1: Sunflower, great camp for a small group. Really enjoyed the soak and the hike to the ridge.

Second day on the water was the worst of the smoke.
Sky Water Plant Natural landscape Tree

We hiked to the ridge and could see the hillside downriver right was on fire. Basically the hillside below the middle fork lodge. The next day as we floated by we saw various fire folks and multiple pumps being used to water the roofs of the structures.

Night 2: Rock Island.
As claimed in various threads, this is a great camp. we got some relief from the smoke and hiked up the ridge out the back of camp:
Plant community Ecoregion Mountain Bedrock Natural landscape

Night 3: Poole camp. Nice camp, have to haul the kitchen up a rocky bank. Great cliff jumping across the way.

Night 4/5: layover at Little Pine
Really enjoyed this place, fun fishing and great hike
Sky Mountain Natural landscape Slope Highland

Still some smoke but not bad considering what we had been floating through.

Floated a long day but with minimal smoke for the first am!
Water Sky Water resources Plant Mountain

Stopped at veil falls:
Bedrock Slope Mountain Terrain Tree

Night 6: Rumble At low water there is a nice landing area for a kitchen and chairs. Had to hike up to the bench to camp. Camp was ok, bit dusty, could sleep a small army at this camp.

Last day off was spectacular, not only no smoke but great canyon to float through:
Cloud Water Sky Water resources Plant

MF at 1.4, slow going, we made about 2 to 3 miles per hour. Rapids are super straight forward. Worse thing is you get stuck and have to pull the boat off/downstream. Really did not see any places for a boat to wrap (someone here with more experience will argue that point I am sure).

Fishing: it was fun, really only fished at the layover camp. Yellow grass hopper thing worked awesome! Hopefully by my description you can tell I am not a professional fly fisher-er.

Camps: nothing but great things to say. we hit up loon hot springs as well during the day which was nice.

Commercial trips: Oars, Far and Away, Canyon, ARTA. With assigned camping floating with commercial trips does not really impact things. We did find ourselves getting stuck behind them and having to pull over for half hour to let them float away as they did not want to let us float by.

Next time: want to see it at higher water, you know like everyone else! Will fish a bit more and will hike a but more.

Nice way to end the river season even with a little smoke. Thanks to all the other MF posts, read them all prior to the trip. The river map by Matt Leidecker was key!

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A guiding friend of mine who shall go un-named managed to wrap his 18' gear raft around the same time you guys were running. Its the first time he's ever done something like that. Pictures looked like he did a nice solid job of pinning it at about 80 degrees on a large rock. We had someone on my MFS trip in early July almost flip on the big flat rock in Redside this year too...and he had an interesting run through Tapan Falls too. I agree though...mostly just risk getting really stuck on a rock.

That looks like a fantastic trip. I did it at 1.9 and had a lot of fun and would be totally down to go lower. Nice to basically have the place to yourself too.
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