Middle Fork River Expeditions

May 17-21 Main Salmon River Trip

We had a group from Scotland fly 24 hours to Boise and meet us on May 16 for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Unfortunately, the road still had 10 ft of snow on it and the weather was too bad for flying into Indian Creek. So we made the call to do the Main Salmon as the road is open and we do not depend on flying into the river.

The Main Salmon River was flowing at 60,000 cfs (Cubic Feet/second) when we put-in and went down considerably as we had colder temperatures.

We met with Greg and Sue Metz at Yellow Pine Bar, Doug and Phyllis Tims at Campbell’s Ferry and with Barbara and Heinz at 5 Mile Bar. The flks form SCotland felt refreshed in seeing folks live in simplicity and off the grid and said they were the happiest people they had ever met. Made them wonder why they get so busy all the time and forget to slow down and create some space for oneself.

We ran the new rapid at Black Crek which was formed on April 1 and it was a straight forward wave train with big 10-12 ft. standing waves, super fun. We renamed it Waldo Rapid for one of the guys in the group from Scotland who’s nickname is Waldo.

The group was initially a little disappointed as they had come to run the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, but by the end they had more than enough adventure and lots of fun around the campfire. One game they loved was “name that tune” and you had to name the artist singing it and then sing the song for an extra point. We also had the Main Salmon Olympics with knot tieing, throw bag tossing and relay match. Fun was had by all and it ended with a dead even match.

We are packing today for the Canoe and Kayak Magazine trip June 2-5 on the Middle Fork. We are planning on flying in as there is still lots of snow on the road. Should be another fantastic trip, the weather forecast looks good for the week so we could get some of the snow to melt finally. The Middle Fork snowpack is 195% of normal. Could get huge water while we are down there.

Best you you and yours,


Family River Trips in Idaho

Middle Fork River Expeditions offers family river trips on the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Middle Fork River Expeditions offers 4,5,6 and 11 day family river trips on the Main and Middle Fork. We also offer 50% discount for kids 11 and under on the Middle Fork and 50% discount on the Main Salmon for kids 8-11 and kids raft FREE on the Main Salmon ages 5-7. A family river trip is the best way to un-plug and re-connect for a family. Un-plugging from technology for a week for a family is the best way to re-connect with your family and also connect with yourself in a deeper way. Family based river trips are the most fun as there is always the next bend for exploration. Families can connect and not have to worry about any logistics or the outside world for a week. This allows a family to be in the moment and not rushing around from place to place in a car on a typical vacation. All you have to do is show up with some clothes and a toothbrush and we do the rest. We often see parents relaxing at camp while their kids are playing down by the riverside. The kids never get bored, as there is swimming, stand up paddling, inflatable kayaking and paddle rafting to keep them active.

A family river trip in Idaho is the best thing you can do for your family. Don’t just take our word for it, we would be happy to connect you with past family travelers. There are no strangers here, only friends we have not met.

Hope to see you in Stanley this summer.

Yours for rivers, Ellsworth

Steelhead Fishing Stanley Idaho

Stanley Idaho is teaming with fishermen this April and May as there are many Steelhead in the Main Salmon.  If you’re looking for some of the world’s best fishing, Salmon River Idaho has hundreds of stellar spots, but the area around Stanley is the best it has been in years. The steelhead of the Salmon River offer a challenge to even the most seasoned fishermen. Several experienced fishermen have described Idaho steelhead fishing as the best in Idaho; a glimpse of fishing Nirvana. So what’s so special about the Salmon River near Stanley, Idaho?

First off: the fish. Steelhead are a variety Rainbow Trout that, unlike their Rainbow cousins, are hardcore enough to swim from the ocean to the depths of the inland. In a way, they form a kind of halfway point between Rainbow Trout and Pacific Salmon.  The steelhead swim up almost 900 miles from the ocean to reach the Stanley area of Idaho.  That means they have too swim around 8 dams to get to Stanley, Idaho.  They commonly grow up to a foot and a half in length — but in the Salmon River Canyon, where prey is common and space is abundant, they can get up to thirty inches long. But the Steelhead are just one reason that fishing in Stanley Idaho is such a treat.  The scenery is the best in all of Idaho if not the entire lower 48.  Haines, Alaska would be a top spot as well.  It is in the Lynn Canal north of Juneau and the starting point for River trips on the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers.  If you ever want to go, give us a call and we’ll send you in the right direction for an outfitter up in Haines, AK.  But back to Idaho

There’s also the fact that there are just so many fish in Idaho. It’s hard to find anywhere on Earth with as many fish per square mile as the Gem State. Around the country, much of their habitat has been or is being destroyed, so many kinds of fish are in danger of becoming endangered. Many are also suffering from enteric redmouth, a disease that’s harmless to humans but devastates fish. Redmouth has even gotten into hatcheries, making our efforts to repopulate the rarer fish quite the challenge. These struggles aren’t affecting Idaho as badly as other places, which is part of what makes fishing Idaho such an excellent pastime.

There’s one more thing that makes Idaho rivers a perfect place to fish — the scenery. Half of the reason to fish at all is to enjoy a quiet time exposed some of nature’s beautiful handiwork, and places like the Salmon River in Stanley, Idaho are just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the man-made world that they have that special quality to them.

If you love to fish, there’s no better place on Earth than the rivers of Idaho.  Then again, just being in Stanley Idaho is an amazing time with so many outdoor activities in the Sawtooth Mountains.  Steelhead fishing is happening right now, with a bumper crop of fish this year.  Or come this summer and join MFRE on the Middle Fork of the Salmon for cutthroat trout fishing from 16′ Mckenzie Drift boats.  They are made by Hog Island and offer the most comfortable and stable ride out there, with huge casting braces to slay all the fish your heart desires.  Or come after Oct 1 for a Cast and Blast trip where we hunt for Chukar and fish between bird covies.

We hope to see you in Stanley, Idaho this summer.

Yours for rivers, Ellsworth

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