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.
Ry GrivettiTerlingua, Texas
Ry got his first job as a guide at 15 years old, he worked out on the Channel Islands exploring seas caves and leading multi-day kayaking trips. As his passion for guiding grew, Ry ventured beyond the ocean and started working on rivers. Guests will find that Ry is a gifted naturalist, interpreter, and birder who never tires of sharing his love of the natural and cultural history of the Middle Fork Salmon. He spends the winter months in Big Bend national park running canoe trips. His home 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.
Libby Tobey Missoula, Montana
Libby’s passion for kayaking, adventures, and researcher has led her to explore and work in interesting places all over the world. After her undergraduate degree, she continued her studies by pursuing a master’s degree in resource conservation at the University of Montana, with a focus on international conservation and development. Libby is planning her thesis on salmon migration, culminating with an epic adventure, kayaking the headwaters of all the salmon river drainages to the ocean.
Patrick O’ConnellBozeman, Montana
A crew and guest favorite, Patrick brings an infectious joy on every Middle Fork trip. Originally from Dubuque, Iowa, Patrick studied environmental science at the University of Iowa. His passion for the outdoors led him to Bozeman, Montana. During the winter he works a variety of skilled labor jobs, and trys to ski 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.
Sunny NelsonPocatello, Idaho
Sunny grew up exploring the mountains and rivers around Pocatello, Idaho. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Puget Sound in Spanish and molecular biology. After several years working as a ski patroller in Bozeman, Montana, she returned to school and finished a degree as a Physicians Assitant. She made the transition from guiding full-time to a career as a PA at the Pocatello hospital. Regardless of her crazy schedule at the hospital, Sunny is still able to pursue her passion for outdoor activities, and work a number of trips each season.
Drew HarrisonSisters, Oregon
Drew’s calm personality and demeanor, paired with years of guiding experience, makes every day on the Middle Fork with him enjoyable and memorable. Drew is from Sisters, Oregon. Where he developed his fishing skills early, exploring the bountiful rivers and mountains that central Oregon has to offer. Drew is currently applying to med schools, and plans to start in 2023. In his free time, he’s recording new music, backcountry skiing, and challenging his brother (Eli) to feats of strength.
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 EMT. Even with the busy schedule, she has managed to spend the last eight seasons guiding on the Middle Fork. Guests are drawn to Esa’s knowledge of the diverse ecosystem of the Middle Fork, her upbeat attitude, and her positive interaction with kids.
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 treks. He is a wonderful fly-fisherman and loves sharing his fishing knowledge. 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.
Julia HatchSalmon, Idaho
After making the move out west from upstate New York, Julia fell in love with the Middle Fork. Her passion for the landscape led her to settle full time in the Salmon Valley. She wears many hats for our outfit and in our community: IRJ office manager, RN, dedicated guide, Redside Foundation board member, ski patrol at Lost Trail, and food prep extraordinaire. Julia has a warm, easy-going personality and guests genuinely enjoy connecting with her. Above all, she’s an amazing mentor and role model for women in the outdoors.
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, often volunteering with Doctors Without Borders.
Dre GoldenThe Dalles, Oregon
It is hard to find a more genuine or pleasant guide than Dre. He was raised in The Dalles, Oregon, near the Columbia Gorge, where he was first introduced to rivers and the outdoors. Dre earned a degree in education while playing rugby at the University of Oregon. His educational background and previous teaching experience make him a superb communicator and someone who is eager to show you the natural surroundings. He has discovered innovative methods to explore his passions for the outdoors and helping people through his work as a teacher, river guide, and retreat planner.
Galen MaySandpoint, Idaho
Galen has carved out a life in the outdoors, river guiding on the Middle Fork and ski patrolling at Schweitzer Mountain. With an outgoing spirit and infectious positive attitude, Galen ensures that friends, co-workers, and guests can’t help but have a good time. Her eagerness to share the fun, the beauty, and the natural history of the river makes for great memories that last a lifetime. With an eye toward the future, Galen intends to continue guiding, patrolling, and pursuing a degree in business, which will allow her to continue on her adventure.
Corby FuhrimanWhitefish, Montana
Corby has a passion for adventure and sharing that joy with others on river trips. He has a diverse guiding background, running rivers all around the world, including the White Nile in Uganda, Alaska, Oregon, and South America. Whether you’re in Corby’s boat or talking with him at camp, you’ll be immediately drawn to his positive energy and knowledge of the Middle Fork corridor. When not guiding, he splits his time living in Whitefish, Montana, and traveling as much as possible.
Maddie Tomlinson Salt Lake, Utah
Maddie is always optimistic, quick with a laugh, and one of the most supportive guides. Chances are she’ll be in your paddle boat, with an upbeat and gregarious attitude. After graduating with a degree in Applied Economics and French, Maddie moved to Salt Lake with her husband working as Operations Manager for a Swiss Consultancy firm. Even with a full-time job, she balances life as a raft guide, improv troupe member, enthusiastic angler, an avid excel spreadsheet creator.