Middle Fork of the Salmon

Well the time had come for Stig and I to get out of the office and get some paddling time in. Thanks to the fine folks at Canoe and Kayak Magazine who gave us the perfect opportunity.

Stig and I made the long journey from Ottawa to Syracuse via car and then a hop, a few skips and a jump to Boise Idaho. From there we met up with our compadres Tom from Shred Ready Helmets, Morgan from North Water and Mark from Mountain Equipment Co-op.  After a quick meeting at the airport to collect our goods quench our thirst, we all made away in the family wagon to Stanley Idaho, the home of Middlefork River Expeditions.

We had a day to chill out and take in some fishing and some of the beautiful sites Stanley has to offer. After we managed to hook a few lures in trees and on each other, we met with the entire group at Middlefork River Expeditions and got the low down on the trip.

After not knowing exactly what to expect on the river, the anticipation was soothed by a few beers and some good company. We hit the river after an exciting drive through and up and down the mountainside.  The river level was 3.75 when we put on, but needless to say it didn't stay that way. The river rose quickly after the first night, and when we took off 4 days later it was 8.75 which is quite a rarity. Big wave trains and the river was cookin’ fast.

The Middlefork was a fantastic river. As the guides like to refer to it as, "a busy river" - you are always doing something. It really is fantastic, there were very few sections in the 100 miles we covered that were not in some shape or form whitewater. With the extremely high water levels the final couple of days and especially the last day were challenging for paddlers. Not only were the waves, boils and eddy lines wild, we also had to deal with wood, and a lot of it. With all the rain and the quick rise in water levels it was a floating barrage of drift wood. But not little ones, like huge trees and massive logs.

Even with the wooden debris, we had a great trip down a very scenic and beautiful river.

Thank you to Middlefork River Expeditions for the great food, accommodations, hospitality and good time.

Thanks to all on the trip as well, you know who you are, from JD and Clyde from NRS; Jim, Dave and Nick from Canoe and Kayak Magazine (who put the trip together, thanks Nick for the C1!), Tom from Shred Ready, Mark from MEC, Morgan from North Water, Eric Boomer (paddler and photographer, Mark the photographer, James, Dusty, Journey and Scot from Middlefork River expeditions, and the one and only girl, Tiffany,  who was great pleasure to have on the trip considering the crowd she was running with and thrown into, she was great asset to the trip.

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