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Floating the

Middle Fork of the Salmon River

6/30/2000 - 7/7/2000

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(Click photo to enlarge) Clockwise from top left: Floating the Middle Fork with Fred, Dave, Ken (in cowboy hat), Sandy, Greg, Tim, Brian, Rick, Joe, Kathy, Dennis (our fearless TL), Jay, Tommy, Annette, Nancy, Jan, Samantha, Molly, Dan, and Willy.

When I was invited to float 100 miles through one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48 states on a wild, free-running river with nearly thirty class 3 and 4 rapids and a thriving native cutthroat fish population, I couldn't turn down the offer. The first time I ran the Middle Fork the water was fairly high and things went by pretty fast. I didn't fully appreciate the magnitude of the river until I was nearly to Cache Bar. This time, with a moderately low flow (2.5 feet at the Middle Fork Lodge gauge) and one trip under my belt, I could focus more on fly fishing (strictly catch-and-release), nature-watching, and reveling in the scenery. Once afloat past the jostling at the put-in, the pressures and realities of normal life were replaced with a week of suspension in a rafting and fly fishing aficionado's Nirvana. The following glimpses of the trip serve as bookmarks to the rich chapters behind them- I hope they inspire your own memories or dreams of future adventures. Enjoy! -Wild Willy

Upper Section Pictures

(Click to enlarge)

 

Lower Dagger Falls- The reason the put-in is at the end of such a long road!

Now that's a boat ramp!

Dave & Dan amidst the rigging crews.

 

The river doesn't wait- First Bend Rapid.

Made it with only a few bottom scrapes.

Dave putting Kathy to work.

Nancy at the helm, Dennis rehabilitating his shoulder.

Dan and Samantha looking very trim.

Nancy and Dennis looking out for rocks.

Dave emerging from Velvet Falls.

Where are we, Samantha?

Ferrying loads in from the boats at Sheepeater camp.

Next Page: Rapids!