fly fishing middle fork salmon river
Guest posts are typically blog entries written by someone other than myself (thus, the “guest” designation). Because I am not responsible for the nature of the content provided by guests, judgment should be reserved for them—not me.
My buddy Jimmy recently returned from a family-type float trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. He was accompanied by his two oldest daughters and his mom. Jimmy and I have been good friends for a lot of years, and he’s a great guy to fish with, although he does need to read pages 3 and 4 from A River Runs Through It. Other than that, his “social appropriateness filter” probably needs changing (or upgrading) which means that his writing isn’t quite appropriate for publication. By that I mean that if left to his own devices, Jimmy’s story would be wrought with words and themes that are not appropriate for a wholesome forum such as this. Given his tendencies toward colorful descriptives and the like, I have taken his information and edited out indecencies while still attempting to keep the flavor of his experience in tact. Remember, I have left all material intact that I deemed appropriate:
“Fished the Middle Fork of the Salmon…Caught a lot of nice cutthroats…Had a rather pleasant time.”
And that’s all that I felt comfortable publishing.
Surely, I jest! Jimmy’s not so foul that I couldn’t post his retelling of the trip so here you go, in Jimmy’s own words (my comments, for clarification, are in red):
Middle fork of the Salmon, started outside Stanley, Idaho. Put in at Boundary Creek (elevation 5,700 feet); take out at Cache bar 100 mi downstream and a drop of 2700 feet. Blue ribbon dry fly for West Slope Cutthroat, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the largest mountain wilderness in the US (2.361 million acres).
Outfitter was Hughes River Expeditions (recommended by UA, fyi). Trip was 6 days & 5 nights. First couple of days were white water class 3 & 4 rapids, days 3, 4 and 5 were great fishing water. Fished mostly with orange stimulator, or a rubber legged stonefly with a bead head pheasant tail nymph dropper, and a caddis. Had probably 8-12 double hook-ups where first fish would take the nymph and the second would chase the dry thru the water and grab it (yeah, right). Averaged 40-60 day in the 12-16 range fishing about 4-5 hrs (bullshit). Nice fat fish that had been feeding on salmon flies.
Food, guides, trip awesome for all ages. Some float boats, paddle boats, and single person kayaks. Sections remind me of the Yakima on steroids with deeper canyon walls, fresher water, larger and many more fish (so, really, nothing like the Yakima). Shit (stop swearing, Jimmy) even Payton (Jimmy’s 16 year old daughter) caught 10 fish her first day attempting fly fishing in 2 hrs (riiiight). Found a nice beaver trap probably 100+ years old, and a nice fly chest pack with a nice Orvis CFO reel made in England in it with a lot of flies, leaders, ect. It had a fishing license from a gentleman who lives in Knoxville, Tenn. Damnit!! (I assume this means you contacted him and returned the goods?)
Something for everyone on this trip. Will fill you in on “butt darts” later. (inquiring minds want to know)
For the record, Jimmy did return the vest to the very grateful gentleman from Tennessee. Turns out the owner of the vest had left it on the shore a month or so ago earlier and had hoped that the fly fishing gods. He also sent some photos which I’ve posted here for your viewing enjoyment, with captions provided by Jimmy:
I asked if anyone got into the Poison Ivy. Jimmy said, “No, but glad I did not have to shit because those are about the biggest leafs that were available.”
Thanks, Jimmy. Sounds like a great trip combining family fun with ample, and exceptional, fly fishing.