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Springtime 2012

Early Spring on the Middle Fork Salmon photo: Shane Moser

Every spring there are a select few river runners that are the first on our Idaho rivers.  Shane Moser and Jon Green are usually among those first few.  They often head south to the Owyhee as soon as those desert rivers start to run.  But this year one of their first river expeditions was more local to centeral Idaho.  These two drove into the South Salmon for the first leg of their adventure.  After rafting down the steep whitewater of the South Salmon, they flew from Mackay Bar (at the confluence of the South Fork and the Main Salmon) into Thomas Creek on the Middle Fork Salmon.  After rafting the Middle Fork, they turned the corner heading on down the Main Salmon.  Floating passed Mackay Bar where they previously ended their South Salmon.  On this almost two week trip, these two river guides rafted three amazing Idaho classic in one trip!  A few others joined them for different sections, but these two were the core members for the trip.

South Salmon River Rapid
Jonny Scouting a South Salmon Rapid photo: Shane Moser

Early Season Middle Fork Salmon
Looking Up River at the start of the Impassable Canyon photo: Shane Moser

They both made me very jealous with stories from their trip!  On these early spring trips wildlife is abundant and you have the river pretty much to yourself.  Shane took some great pictures while hiking these different Salmon River canyons.  They founds a few deer and elk antler sheds on hikes, which can be a fun part of early spring trips.  They also saw a pretty good spike in the river levels while on the Main Salmon portion of the trip.  Like any Idaho river trip right now, they had some cold days, but overall they said the weather treated them pretty well.

Hiking South Salmon
Shane on a hiking back up the South Salmon from their Main Salmon trip.

Every day in Salmon, Idaho feels more and more like spring at this point.  The grass is starting to green up, Mountain Blue Birds, Robins and many other migratory birds are showing up.  The summer rafting season will be here before we know it!  At WRO we are looking forward to getting back on the river for another great season.  Our first scheduled commercial trip on the Middle Fork Salmon is June 16th.  I will probably have to sneak out of the office here shortly more a little spring boating of my own before June!

Check back for more updates and photos in the coming months!

~Seth Tonsmeire