Many locals reference the flow by the staff gage painted on the pipes at the take-out at the confluence where the North Fork joins the Middle Fork. For a first time class 3/4 boater 9.5 to 10.5' is an ideal level. Rapids are pool drop and swimmers and gear can be easily rounded up; you'll have time to look at the scenery and there are still 8 or so class 4's and lots 3' to 4' high wave trains with the rare 5'-6' high wave to spice things up. Above 12 things start to get big and fast, missed rolls at that level and above could result in long swims, lost gear and a epic hike out.
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The gauge graph below is for the main Smith River. Flows on the North Fork will be on average about 33% of the flow represented on this gauge. However, the actual ratio varies dramatically with different weather patterns.
NOAA Flow Prediction page estimates flow on the main fork for the next 4 days.
|No. Smith At Gasquet|
|dream-162||600 - 4000 cfs||III-V||23d17h46m||543 cfs (too low)|
|SMITH R NR CRESCENT CITY CA|
|usgs-11532500||2000 - 7000 cfs||III-V||17h46m||247 cfs (too low)|
Actual flow 1/3 +- the flow at Crescent city
Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.
|Smith, North Fork [CA]||North Fork Smith||n/a||Thomas O'Keefe|
|1y204d20h30m||@Smith, N. Fork Low Divide Road (near OR-CA border) to Gasquet (confluence with [CA]||North Fork Smith Trip||4550 cfs||Thomas O'Keefe|
|1y345d16h10m||/Smith, N. Fork-Low Divide Road (near OR-CA border) to Gasquet (confluence w [CA]||Incredible scenery||n/a||Susan Hollingsworth Elliott|
|1y345d16h26m||/Smith, N. Fork-Low Divide Road (near OR-CA border) to Gasquet (confluence w [CA]||Scout Rapid entrance||n/a||Susan Hollingsworth Elliott|
|1y345d16h35m||/Smith, N. Fork-Low Divide Road (near OR-CA border) to Gasquet (confluence w [CA]||Lunch Spot||n/a||Susan Hollingsworth Elliott|