Meet the Crew 2017-12-13T04:51:15+00:00

THE IDAHO RIVER JOURNEYS STAFF

Idaho River Journeys has been a Middle Fork of the Salmon River outfitter for forty years, and we have an outstanding crew. Our Salmon river rafting and fishing guides come from varied backgrounds, have worked together for a number of seasons and are passionate about sharing their knowledge about the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with our guests. They will show you their favorite places along the way, hike with you to magnificent vistas, help you with your fly casting, introduce you to kayaking, and make you feel welcome visiting this remarkable wilderness. You will enjoy spending your vacation with them.

Nate Moody
Nate MoodyTwin Falls, Idaho
When you first meet Nate, you will immediately be drawn to his energy and knowledge on the Frank Church Wilderness. With over 100 Middle Fork trips, his experience is vast. For his graduate research, Nate did a social value map of the Middle Fork. Locating where guests find the most inspiring locations on the river. Nate spends his winter living in Flagstaff, Arizona with his fiancee, working as the safety and event coordinator for the local ski hill, Snow Bowl.
Esa Morrison
Esa MorrisonQuincy, California
Esa grew up along the Feather River in Quincy, California. After graduating from college, she worked as a stream surveyor, researching salmon habitat and river watersheds. She spends the winter working as a private ski instructor at the Yellowstone Club in Montana, and during the spring, teaching wilderness medicine. On a Middle Fork trip, guests thoroughly enjoy Esa’s science and biology background.
Skip Volpert
Skip VolpertPoint Reyes, California
Skip has more than 120 Middle Fork trips on his resume. He knows of many amazing side hikes, often leading early morning or evening adventures to watch the sunrise and sunset. He is a wonderful fly-fisherman and loves to teach beginners how to cast. He enjoys showing kids how to kayak and “surf.” Skip is an avid photographer, often taking long exposures of stars and capturing the Middle Fork landscape.
Sunny Wyatt
Sunny WyattPocatello, Idaho
Sunny grew up exploring the mountains and rivers around Pocatello, Idaho. After attending school in Washington she found her passion for wilderness medicine. Sunny is a ski patroller in Bozeman, Montana at the Yellowstone club. She is working towards her physician assistant degree, which she hopes to complete in the next few years. Guests will enjoy her upbeat attitude, campfire songs, and being a positive role model for kids.
Dave Walter
Dave WalterMissoula, Montana
Dave Walter grew up in the Bitterroot Valley, spending as much time as possible kayaking and fly fishing even during the cold winter months. His love for the outdoors made it an easy transition to guiding. Dave guides year-around, spring on the Kern River, summer and falls in Idaho, then summer again in New Zealand. He is a friend to all, and by the end of the trip, you will call him, “Montana Dave.”
Keri Knudsen
Keri KnudsenPocatello, Idaho
Originally from Minnesota, Keri moved to Idaho for more snow, rivers, and mountain bike trails. She started guiding in the 90’s on the Middle Fork and tries to guide a few trips a year. Besides being an incredible fishing guide, Keri is an expert Middle Fork botanist and will show you many different plants on the trip.  When not on the river, she works in the cardiology department at the Pocatello hospital.
Chris Falcone
Chris FalconeKetchum, Idaho
Born in Texas, yet raised in Idaho, Chris soon developed an appreciation for the outdoors. Currently finishing his bachelor’s in Bioenvironmental Science, Chris aims to apply his education and experience to preserve the beauty of nature and protect rivers. Summertime brings him back to the mountains to spend time exploring the beauty of Idaho.
Drew Harrison
Drew HarrisonSisters, Oregon
Drew’s home was the high desert of central Oregon. Exploring the bountiful rivers and mountains that region has to offer was a crucial piece of his early education. With a degree in Biochemistry and Mathematics, Drew put his education to work and became a 12th-grade math and science teacher in Hailer, Idaho. In his free time, he enjoys laughing at his own jokes, fly-fishing at least once a week, playing guitar, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing.
Hannah Spencer
Hannah SpencerNorthfork, Idaho
Hannah is the fish whisperer. She spends the early summer months guiding fishing trips in Montana, then September for IRJ. She lives in North Fork, Idaho with her husband Geoff and their two amazing babies. Her goal is to guide all the Fly Fishing Middle Fork trips for IRJ till her kids can replace her.
Matt Volpert
Matt VolpertPoint Reyes, California
Matt spends his winter in Los Angeles consulting for various start-ups and surfing as much as possible. He is part of the management team at Kern River Outfitters but gets to Idaho to guide a few of our trips every summer. He enjoys using his tech skills on the river and shooting video. Often found showing guests how to set up amazing time lapse with a Go-Pro or other cameras.
Jo Schroeder
Jo SchroederSalmon, Idaho
Growing up in Salmon Idaho, the Middle Fork was Jo’s backyard. This is Jo’s 14th season with the IRJ crew. Her passion for the Middle Fork of the Salmon is evident in her knowledge of the geology and plant life of the canyon. She gives many interpretive talks to guests about the ecosystems in the Middle Fork corridor. She guides 3 to 4 trips a year on the Middle Fork.
Seda Witten
Seda WittenEmmett, Idaho
Seda is an incredible fishing guide. She knows all the “secret spots” on the Middle Fork. She has been guiding since the early 90’s. During the winter, Seda leads travel expeditions all across the globe, usually with a fly rod in her hand. She guides our September Fly Fishing trips.
Brian Chaffin
Brian ChaffinCincinnati, Ohio
From Cincinnati, Brian moved to Moscow to attend the University of Idaho. He began guiding for IRJ in 2002. Brian’s passion and drive for the Middle Fork Salmon lead him into a decade of research and teaching. Even with his busy schedule, he is able to guide a few trips for IRJ every year.
Jim Lino
Jim LinoPoint Reyes, California
Jim lives with his family in Point Reyes, California where he builds custom homes, bakes bread, surfs and cooks a delicious paella. He guides fly-fishing trips on the Middle Fork and in Alaska.
Mary Papale
Mary PapalePoint Reyes, California
Mary is the glue that holds our operation together. She handles reservations and plans our menus. She is Will, Matt and Skip’s mom. She enjoys connecting with our guests by phone and email and getting to know them over the years. Mary’s specialty is planning our trip menu and developing new recipes for our guests to enjoy.
Bob Volpert
Bob VolpertPoint Reyes, California
The founder of IRJ, Bob got his start in the rafting business in 1971. He based the company out of San Francisco operating trips on the American, Stanislaus, Merced, Kern, and Tuolumne rivers. After rafting the Middle Fork in 1977, Bob knew he wanted to be an outfitter on the Middle Fork Salmon. He purchased a Middle Fork company in 1978 and hasn’t looked back. Beyond being an outfitter, Bob advocates for the protection of wilderness areas. He recently co-authored a collection of stories about river guides and outfitters called,  Halfway to Halfway.

Insider’s Guide to Fly Fishing the Middle Fork of the Salmon | Selecting a Middle Fork Fly

November 30th, 2017|0 Comments

A common question for any fly fishing trip, not just Salmon River Fly Fishing, “What’s your favorite fly?” For some guides it’s an easy answer, “stick to what works, Middle Fork Salmon trout are not [...]

NPR’s “Best Night Skies” | Stargazing on the Middle Fork Salmon

November 10th, 2017|0 Comments

Recently, the town of Stanley, Idaho was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition as being, “One Of The Best Night Skies Anywhere.” With the backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains, Stanley offers an incredible opportunity for stargazing. Near [...]

Halfway to Halfway and Back | Stories By River Guides & Outfitters

October 30th, 2017|0 Comments

In 2012, Idaho River Journeys President, Bob Volpert and Echo president Dick Linford published a collection of stories by, and usually about, river guides and outfitters. "Halfway to Halfway" propelled to the to #165,892 on [...]