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.

Dave Walter
Dave WalterMissoula, Montana
Dave is a multifaceted guide, working year-around; spring on the Kern River, summer and fall in Idaho, then summer again in New Zealand. On a trip you can find Dave leading hikes, sharing Middle Fork history, teaching guests how to fly fish, or simply playing a fun campfire game. His vast experience, welcoming personality, and knowledge makes Dave a much sought-after guide. He is a friend to all, and by the end of the trip, you will call him, “Montana Dave.”
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, school teacher, ski instructor, and an EMT. Even with the busy schedule, she has managed to spend the last 5 summers guiding on the Middle Fork. Guests are drawn to Esa’s knowledge of the diverse ecosystem of the Middle Fork, her upbeat encouraging attitude, and above all, a mentor for kids.
Drew Harrison
Drew HarrisonSisters, Oregon
Drew is from Sisters, Oregon. He developed his fishing skills early, exploring the bountiful rivers and mountains that central Oregon has to offer. After finishing school Drew became a 12th-grade math and science teacher in Hailey, Idaho. A favorite guide among the IRJ crew. Drew has a warm, gregarious personality, making him a friend to all, plus he plays an incredible guitar.
Libby Tobey
Libby Tobey Missoula, Montana
Kayaker, adventurer, and fun seeker. Libby’s goal is to work in places that inspire her, this has led her to guide all around the globe, and now back closer to home. The Middle Fork. Even with all the traveling, she manages to keep studying and work towards a graduate degree at the University of Montana in environmental science.
Keri Knudsen
Keri KnudsenPocatello, Idaho
Originally from Minnesota, Keri moved out west to attend nursing school in Colorado. She now lives in Pocatello, Idaho working in the cardiology department at the Pocatello hospital. Keri is an expert botanist and avid birder, often pointing out wildlife and plants from the raft. Guests find her vibrant spirit and supportive personality very approachable and comforting. When not guiding, Keri does community work with her medical expertise, going on a doctor without borders trips.
Chris Falcone
Chris FalconeKetchum, Idaho
Originally from College Station, Texas, Chris developed an appreciation for the outdoors when his family moved to Sun Valley, Idaho. His love for the wilderness led him to a degree in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M. Since school Chris has been an active traveler, he has explored vast parts of the world stretching from South America to India. For Chris, it’s both the larger and smaller experiences that he enjoys with guests. Whether it’s teaching guests how to kayak or his personable rapport with guests on his raft, Chris makes floating the river relaxed and fun.
Jo Schroeder
Jo SchroederSalmon, Idaho
Jo has been guiding on the Middle Fork since 2004. Growing up in Salmon Idaho, the Frank Church Wilderness was her backyard playground. Jo now owns and manages a commuter airline based in Salmon called Gem Air. Aside from work, She is an integral part of the community, volunteering on many different local boards, and holding down the defense for the women’s Salmon hockey team. With her experience guiding on the Middle Fork, Jo exemplifies being a veteran guide.
Patrick O’Connell
Patrick O’ConnellBozeman, Montana
Originally from Dubuque, Iowa. Patrick studied Environmental Science from the University of Iowa. His passion for the outdoors lead him to Bozeman, Montana. During the winter he works as a ski patroller at the Yellowstone club. Guests will be drawn to Patrick’s guitar skills, his witty puns, and kids will certainly enjoy his fun camp games.
Hannah Spencer
Hannah SpencerNorthfork, Idaho
Hannah is an avid fly fishing guide. She mostly works September fly fishing trips on the Middle Fork. Hannah loves all aspects of fly fishing and is passionate about helping people learn and advance as anglers. Her wealth of knowledge, patient personality, and constant encouragement, makes fishing in Hannah’s boat an experience unlike any other. When not casting a fly line, Hannah enjoys birding, ultra long-distance runner, woodblock painting, and raising twins with her husband Geoff from their strawbale house.
Brian Chaffin
Brian ChaffinMissoula, Montana
Brian started working for IRJ in 2001 while studying at the University of Idaho. His insatiable passion for rivers fueled his research to a doctorate degree in geography. He now teaches at the University of Montana, as an Assistant Professor of Water Policy. Although his research takes him all around the world, Brian manages to work a few trips each season. True to his passion for teaching, Brian loves to introduce guests to new ideas and experiences while on the river.
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 ’90s. During the winter, Seda leads travel expeditions all across the globe, usually with a fly rod in her hand. She typically guides our September Fly Fishing trips with her husband Deano.
Sunny Wyatt
Sunny WyattPocatello, Idaho
Sunny grew up exploring the mountains and rivers around Pocatello, Idaho. She went to undergraduate school at the University of Puget Sound studying Spanish and molecular biology. Since school, she has been passionate about wilderness medicine. She was a ski patroller in Bozeman, Montana. Now she is working towards her physician assistant degree, which she hopes to complete in the next few years. Sunny’s positive attitude and joy for being on the river is contagious among the guests.
Dillon Cole
Dillon ColeDestin, Florida
Growing up around the diverse waterways of Florida, Dillon developed an affinity for all things water related. After moving to California for college and discovering everything the west offers, he hasn’t looked back. When he’s not guiding, Dillon spends his time surfing, climbing, and traveling. Dillon is passionate about the “river life” and will bring that enthusiasm to everything going on both on and off the river.
Shannon Orr
Shannon OrrBellevue, Idaho
Shannon has been living in the Wood River Valley for over 30 years and has been a Middle Fork guide for 20 years. She works as an intuitive therapeutic massage therapist and volunteers at the Swiftsure therapeutic equestrian ranch. While her work keeps her busy, she works one-two trips a summer on the Middle Fork.
Skip Volpert
Skip VolpertSalmon, Idaho
Skip has more than 150 Middle Fork trips and hopes to do another 150. He knows of many amazing side hikes and looks forward to taking guests on morning sunrise hikes. He is a wonderful fly-fisherman and prides himself on teaching people how to cast. Skip is an avid photographer, and often, sets up his camera at night to take long exposures of stars and capture the Middle Fork landscape. If you have a DSLR camera make sure to bring it and Skip will show you how to shoot the incredible Idaho stars.
Nate Moody
Nate MoodyTwin Falls, Idaho
When you first meet Nate, you will immediately be engaged in conversation on the history of the Frank Church Wilderness, geology, or a Cormac McCarthy book. His passion for outdoor leadership and education lead him into a career as the Outdoor Program manager at the University of Idaho. While he no longer works a full season, guests always treasure having him on trips for his entertaining storytelling and vast knowledge of the Middle Fork.
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.
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. After rafting the Middle Fork in 1977, Bob purchased River Adventures West from outfitter John Dorr in 1978. That company had operations on the Middle Fork and Main Salmon. Today, Bob advocates for the protection of wilderness areas and has co-authored two entertaining collections of river stories under the title Halfway to Halfway.