The Middle Fork of the Salmon is known as one of America’s premier rivers for native West-slope cutthroat trout.
The most prolific and unspoiled westslope cutthroat trout fishery in the world, the Middle Fork of Idaho’s Salmon River offers what many consider the finest multi-day wilderness float trip in America. Our preferred outfitter, Solitude River Trips, is owner-operated and boasts a superb staff, incredible Dutch oven cuisine, comfortable camps that are fully set up upon arrival, and a safety and service record that is unequaled in the field.
Solitude’s fly fishing guides have years of experience fishing many different rivers in many places and are truly fishing guides as well as great raft guides.
August 10 – 25: 8 rafting seats available
August 18 – 23: 10 rafting seats or 4 fishing seats available
September 5 – 10: 1 fishing seat
September 14 – 19: 1 fishing seat
Resons to go?
1. Some of the West’s best dry fly fishing for native westslope cutthroat.
2. Spectacular scenery, wildlife and whitewater.
3. Extremely comfortable camping in the largest wilderness area in the lower 48.
4. Professional guides that enhance the trip with geologic and human history as well as fly fishing and whitewater prowess.
5. One the best family and couple trips in the American west.
Where is it?
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is in central Idaho in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
How do I get there?
Guests need to arrive in Stanley, ID the day before launching. You can either drive there or take a charter flight from Boise.
When should I go?
If you like to mix in some whitewater adventures with your fly fishing then I’d suggest a July or early August trip. For most of August and all of September these trips are all anglers. Late September has the added bonus of fall foliage and very little pressure.
Who is best suited to this trip?
Depending on the time of the season, this trip is for whitewater junkies who like to fish, anglers who like whitewater, families looking for a wilderness experience and anyone looking for a float trip through a pristine wilderness.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Guests stay in double or single occupancy tents with cots and comfortable sleeping pads. The camps are rather extensive with a large sitting and eating area and full wilderness kitchen.
Describe the atmosphere and style of the camp?
Both the camp crew and guides are consummate professionals that truly love what they do. This translates into a very relaxed camp experience and a high level of service.
Is the owner on-site?
The owner, Willi, is on nearly every trip. Willi is an Idaho native and veteran Middle Fork guide.
Is there internet and cell service?
No. This is an opportunity to disconnect from the electronic world and soak in the largest wilderness area in the lower 48.
How do they fish?
They fish dry flies! All day, every day.
What fish will I catch?
Westslope cutthroat trout.
How many will I catch?
A reasonable expectation is 12 – 18 fish per person, per day. Most days you will catch more.
Will we see other anglers?
Over the course of the trip you will see other groups floating on the river or possibly on a side hike. The river is not busy by modern standards but it is a popular trip.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes, lots of it! Each day will present a few opportunities to get out and wade during the fishing day. Evenings and mornings you’re free to fish from camp. The highlight for most anglers is hiking up and fishing the feeder creeks.
What are the guides like?
The guides are service-oriented professionals who spend many years working on the Middle Fork. Their level of expertise extends from the fly fishing throughout the season to the entire natural and geologic history of the canyon. They add a lot to the experience.
Does the outfitter provide equipment?
What is your favorite rod for the trip?
Any 3-weight rod, though a 4-weight will work just as well. I fish a 8’6″ 3-weight that accompanies me everywhere in the Rockies. This is the ultimate 3-weight trip!
Are there other activities?
Hiking and paddling inflatable kayaks.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
I tied a nymph dropper off of my dry fly just for curiosity’s sake. Within a half hour I had (twice) hooked two fish on one cast! That was the last time I fished a nymph on that trip. I’ll also never forget staying up at camp taking photographs of the milky way over the canyon.
What are the physical demands?
Some of the side hikes ascend steep, rocky creek canyons. I wouldn’t consider any of the hikes strenuous.
Dangers and annoyances?
June and early July trips can have big whitewater. Thunderstorms are a possibility any time of year.
If you have any questions or are interested in booking available dates call Charles at 800-552-2729 or EMAIL