Visited last weekend (May 6, 2006), flow was high. Ropes have been erected at key river crossings. There are only 2 necessary crossings before Swan Rock (1/2 way to brige to nowhere), as opposed to 8 in recent past. Turned back at that point due to a late start.
Parking lot was FULL when we arrived (at 2 pm), but had no trouble finding a spot. The kiosk providing Wilderness Visitor Passes was out, so, no permit this time.
The river flow was jogging/running speed, most rocks and strainers in the stream are currently washed out, leaving a mostly unobstructed flow. We were able to cross at slower sections of the river without the assistance of the rope, however trekking poles made it somewhat easier.
It may look like a smart idea to pass up the first crossing, where a rope is. Staying on the east side of the river at this point will result in two additional river crossings up stream, as you will miss the trail. Just cross the rope, and the trail will be a lot easier to follow. It looked somewhat sketchy at first, but I was comfortable after a backpacker with full pack and dog in hand crossed it without a problem.
We are planning on returning next weekend and inner tubing the river raging waters style. lol.