Whether it’s this year or next, we hope you can join the Idaho River Journeys Crew on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River again. For the upcoming season, we have limited openings on a few launch dates. For 2023, we have a number of openings from June through September. To start planning your next trip, contact our office or call us at 1-208-756-8116.

Drew’s calm personality and demeanor, paired with years of guiding experience, makes every day on the Middle Fork with him enjoyable and memorable. This winter he’s living in Bend, Oregon, and preparing to apply to medical schools. In his free time, he’s recording new music, backcountry skiing, and challenging his brother to feats of strength. We are very pleased that he can work one more Middle Fork season with IRJ before being embarking on his medical education.

 Galen joined our Idaho crew this past year and had a fantastic season on the Middle Fork. She worked 9 trips in a row and brought an easy-going and upbeat attitude to every launch. After the season she headed to Sandpoint to continue her classes at North Idaho College, studying business management. Even with a full school schedule, she’s still works full-time as a ski patroller at Schwitzer Mountain.

Middle Fork Salmon Crew

Ask any guest about Ry and you are met with a big grin and words like patient, professional, and fun. Even in the “offseason” Ry continues to guide, working in Big Bend National Park leading multi-day canoe trips. His home in Terlingua is a 100-year-old mining cabin with no electricity or running water and the closest cell service being 80 miles away, exactly how he likes it. Last we heard, he’s taking a much-deserved break and heading to Mexico for some surf.

Dutch Oven Cooking

Esa worked 5 trips in a row this past summer. Always friendly and with an ever-optimistic personality, her penchant for having a good time on the Middle Fork is evident on every trip with Esa. She is spending the winter in Quincy, CA, where she’s working as a teacher. She’s thoroughly enjoying the winter in the Sierras and backcountry skiing as much as possible with her friends and powder dog, Dipper.

Fer finished massage therapy school then worked the last 3 trips of the season. While he certainly misses a full season, he really enjoys the ability to have an open schedule that allows him to work and play at his pace. He’s currently assisting his dad and working on the family ranch in College Station, Texas.

Middle Fork Salmon River

After 5 full seasons of guiding, Montana Dave made the transition from guiding to a helicopter pilot training program. He’s currently living in Bend, Oregon, and working on getting as many hours as possible flying helicopters. While he doesn’t plan on working 14 trips in one season, Dave will continue to work a trip or two for the foreseeable future.

Middle Fork Salmon River Guide

Eli had a circuitous route to the Middle Fork this past year. Before the season started, Eli was hired to manage a fishing lodge on a remote island, called the Turneffe Flats just off of Belize. Once back in Idaho, he guided on the Middle Fork through September. He’s now living in Bend, working as a commercial real estate agent with potential plans to go to MBA school. Outside of work, Eli is either fly fishing with his brother and Dad, skiing, or cooking.

Middle Fork Salmon Guide

Sunny made the transition from guiding full-time to a career as a physician assistant at the Pocatello hospital. Establishing her roots in Pocatello, Sunny bought a house and got a dog named Regina or “Reggie.” Regardless of her crazy schedule at the hospital, Sunny is still able to pursue her passion for outdoor activities. Whether it’s climbing, Mtn biking, running, or skiing, chances are if she’s not at work, she’s outside.

Middle Fork Salmon Crew

A crew and guest favorite, Patrick showed up to Idaho with his banjo, bolo tie, and infectious personality. After the season he went back to the midwest to work the beet harvest season, driving a semi-truck transporting the vegetable (we’re not joking). He’s now living in Bozeman and skiing as much as possible. Chances are you can find him at Bridger Bowl Ski Area, exploring the ridge. He’s probably the best Iowa skier in Montana.

Always with a big smile, Libby worked nearly every trip this past season. After the summer, she dove straight into her research in resource conservation, with an emphasis on international conservation and development. She attended the United Nations Climate Change conference in Ireland, representing the University of Montana. Currently, she is planning her thesis on salmon migration, culminating with an epic adventure, kayaking the headwaters of all the salmon river drainages to the ocean.

Brian Chaffin

Brian considers guiding to be as much about teaching as it is anything else, and his knowledge of water policy and geography was immensely appreciated this season by guests and guides alike. Brian continues to teach at the University of Montana and leads a multi-year research team on the environmental impacts of water use patterns with a focus on agriculture in Nebraska. When not engaged in research and teaching, he’s been enjoying the Missoula winter with his wife Jenni, and two cats.

Joe was able to escape from construction and guide a few trips this past season. Busier than ever, Joe continues to work as a contractor in the Bitterroot Valley doing custom finishes and remodels. We were lucky to have Joe and his Dad install a new metal roof on one of the IRJ buildings during the peak heat of last summer! After a summer of projects, Joe was able to fill his freezer and get an Elk tag this fall.

After the season ended, Skip worked on a number of projects that he put off during the summer. Slowly remodeling a garage and train car that is a bl