2005 was a big snow year in the SW also. That year the Dolores ran early. McPhee started releases in April, they peaked in Mid-may and were over by the first week in June.
The McPhee website posts "predicted releases" (or at least they did in 2005) for the year. These give some indication, but are not that reliable. We had a river trip the first week of June that year. "Predicted releases" had it at 2000 cfs for that week until 2 days before our trip, when it dropped to 800 cfs. Every morning at camp we woke up hoping there would be enough flow to get on down and out of the canyon. One day after we were off the river, they "turned off the Dolores".
Bottom line is use the website to get some indication, but plan your trip for May.
2005 was pretty nice, but yeah, I recall the "scheduled" releases not exactly making their schedules. We caught the run when it was spilling about 4,000 to 5,000 in late May and it was really, really fun. I think we took a leisurely 3 days. We also did the upper run that I think locals call the Stoner Stampede. At 5k it was insanely fun.
Here's a picture of some guys in a raft we took at Snaggletooth. It was great just sitting there watching group after group run the drop. I only saw one raft not get it clean, but last minute he avoided a nasty wrap when the river surged just as it was looking like it was about to get dire. I'll add another picture of one of my group on the lead in. Good memories.
PS - you can click on the thumbnails to view them better.
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