Trip Report: Main Salmon

Main Salmon
By Steve Sprowles
BOATING 06/27/2008 Class III+

Thursday June 26. 12 intrepid travelers left SLC around 9:30 AM for the long drive to the put in for a fabulous trip down the main Salmon. Marilyn Smith did a great job as trip organizer, with able assistance from Donna Kramer, who'd run the river several times and provided needed beta. After stops for lunch, and a great dinner in Salmon, we arrived at the Corn Creek put in and camped for the night. Saw a variety of wildlife along the river; deer, big horn sheep, moose to name a few.

We launched around 11 AM with 3 oar rigs captained by Donna Kramer, Roger Upwall and Matt Cady, Bob Cady captained an ever-changing crew in his paddle raft, and Steve Sprowles in his kayak. Paddlers/oar rig riders were Candy and Peter Cady, Marilyn Sprowles, Dave Rumbellow, Carol Milliken and Chris Robinson. The river was running pretty high with about an 8 MPH current. Basically, get your boat in the current and hang on!

The Main Salmon traverses a beautiful part of Idaho. We were treated to splendid scenery, a lot of wildlife, and numerous rapids. Some rapids were washed out (Salmon Falls); others were very challenging (Chitam). There were some smooth sections, but a lot of the time the rapids were more or less continuous. And the swirly eddies and whirlpools were tricky.

River meals are always a highlight of these trips; let's just say no one lost any weight on this trip! Everyone took their turn preparing the meals, and everyone pitched in to make it all work.

The weather was just about perfect. Generally sunny and hot; light rain one night; a little cloudy the last day. The camps were all nice; two of them had resident rattlesnakes to keep us on our toes! One camp had a resident deer that tried to beg like a dog!

Sadly, all good things come to an end, and we reached the takeout at Spring Bar on July 2, spent the night, and returned to SLC the next day. Looking forward to next year already!