Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Tight Lines Inc.

Flyfish 100-miles of Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The float trip includes 32-named rapids, with several class III and IV whitewater rapids through spectacular and rugged country. Tight Lines runs drift boat and rafting trips on the Middle Fork July through September. Fly fishing only.


Fly Fishing - Drift Boat and Rafting

Tight Lines is an Orvis-Endorsed Outfitter

Dry fly fish for native west-slope cutthroat and a few native rainbows and bull trout. Cutthroat average 8" to 15” in length, with some up to 20”. Catch-and-release fishing only. Many feeder creeks offer excellent pocket water for fishing for cutts and native redside rainbows. Their guides are excellent, patient instructors, so no worries if you've never fly fished before. They specialize in dry fly fishing and teaching the art of casting.
Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness area and the Sawtooth Mountains are among the most secluded and rugged regions in the lower 48. Carving its way directly through the center of this wilderness area is the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
The class three and four rapids, abundant wildlife, and typically crystal-clear waters make this one of most treasured multi-night camping float trips available anywhere in the western U.S. This fishery has been managed by the state of Idaho as a catch-and-release fishery since 1973, making it one of the best fisheries in the northwest for both numbers of fish and for consistently good action on a dry fly.
Special Permit:  To operate these trips, Tight Lines have a special-use permit with the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

See Cast-and-Blast option below.

Fly Fishing Facts:

Middle Fork Fishing

Season:  Tight Lines runs trips on the Middle Fork from July through September.
Boats:  On a typical trip, you'll float for roughly 100 miles through an ancient granite rock canyon utilizing classic McKenzie-style drift boats or high-end rafts. Two anglers per guide and boat. For safety purposes, only one angler may stand and fish in the boat at a time. Two anglers per guide and drift boat.
If you are a serious angler or just want to improve your fishing skills, then nothing compares with fishing from a drift boat. In July, rafts are often difficult to stop and cannot fish the small pockets that a drift boat can. All boats have seat cushions with backs, a splash tarp, life jackets, and beverage coolers.
Guides:  Licensed and experienced guides offer patient fly-casting instruction for the novice and helpful tips for the more experienced angler.
Fishing Equipment:  Each guide will supply the necessary fly fishing equipment. However, you are invited to bring your own.
They exclusively use dry flies such as caddis, stimulators, para-Adams, or sofa pillows in size 8-12 range. Many other dry flies are also effective. Guides provide floatant for your fly.
Fishing License:   A 6-day non-resident fishing license runs about $57.75 and is not included in the package.
Click here for Idaho Fish and Game.

Two anglers per guide and drift boat

Anglers in McKenzie Drift Boats

Only one angler may fish at a time.

One Angler in Bow Fly Fishing

32 Named Class Rapids

Drift Boat in Whitewater

Tappan Falls

Drift Boat Going through Tappan Falls

Riverside Camping

Camping on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Tents are set up daily before your arrive at that evening’s campsite. Two people per six-person tent, two cots, and two comfortable self-inflating pads. You will need to bring a sleeping bag. There is a cooking area, a dining area with folding chairs set up around long tables, and his and hers port-a-potty set up within a comfortable walking distance from camp. A hot shower two evenings of the trip. Biodegradable soap is preferred, and no soap may be used directly in the natural hot springs or the river.

Sit-down Meals. Wine is served with dinner.

Camping on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Meals: The guides and camp crew are experts in Dutch oven cookery and open fire cooking. Quality dinner wines, garden-fresh salads, tasty desserts, and Dutch oven specialties. Fresh supplies, ice, and beverages are flown to the halfway point. The outfitter caters to special beverage requests and special dietary restrictions.
Meal Times:  Breakfast at 8:30 a.m Lunch mid-day on the river. Dinner at 7:30 p.m.
Communications: A satellite phone is available for emergencies only. Surrounded by 2.3 million acres of wilderness, no cell service is available, and there are no generators in camp.

Great cooking in the Great Outdoors

Guide preparing a Shore Lunch

Dutch oven and open fire cooking

Guides with Large Fry Pans full of Chicken

Getting Here:

You'll meet your group in the beautiful town of Stanley, Idaho, (a 2.5 hour drive from Boise). You'll need to arrive in Stanley the day before the trip so that you can attend the evening orientation. Most guests stay at the Mountain Village Lodge (not included in the package). The next morning, your group for the week will take a 1.5-hour bus ride from Stanley to the put-in at Boundary Creek Launch. At the end of your trip, you'll take a two-hour bus ride from the take-out at Cache Bar to Salmon, Idaho. (The bus rides are included in the package.) If desired, your car can be shuttled from Stanley to Salmon for $210.00.

Cutthroat trout fishing

Angler leaning over side of Drift Boat with Cutthroat


2023 Rates:

5-nights and 6-day Trips:
Guided Fly-Fishing - Drift Boat:
$3,750.00 per person
Guided Fly-Fishing - Drift boat and Raft Combo:
$3,150.00 per person
Rafting Only:
$2,600.00 per person

2023 Trip Dates:
June 9-14, June 18-23,
July 5-10, July 13-18, July 21-26,
August 6-11, August 14-19,
and September 9-14, 2023.

Fishing Trips Include:

The bus ride from Stanley to the put-in, and the bus ride from the take-out to Salmon, Idaho, tent Camping, gourmet meals, wine with dinner, soda, water, and beer on the boat, use of a water-resistant duffel for day-use items, guided fishing, use of fly fishing gear: rod, reel, and go-to flies, and all U.S. Forest Service Fees.

Rafting Trips Include:

Roundtrip bus transfer from Stanley to the put-in and from the take-out to the town of Salmon, tent camping, gourmet meals, wine with dinner, soda, water, and beer on the boat, and use of a water-resistant duffel for day-use items. Price also includes a $4.00/day Recreation Enhancement Act Fee, and 3% of the company’s adjusted gross revenues are for a land use fee for operating commercially on National Forest Lands.

Packages Do Not Include:

Transportation to Stanley, the first-night stay in Stanley (approx. $120.00 per night), dinner and breakfast in Stanley, Indian Creek flight - if low water conditions exist $130.00 per person, optional car shuttle service ($210.00), fishing license, fishing tackle and gear for those who are rafting, alcohol—except for wine with dinner and a limited number of beers per guest, items of a personal nature, Global Rescue coverage, Trip Cancellation Insurance, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.


The Cast-and-Blast is limited to a group of 8 to 12 and covers 52 miles of the Lower Salmon (a completely different trip from the Middle Fork Salmon) and 20 miles of the Snake River. You'll Fish for steelhead and smallmouth bass and hunt for chukar. Dogs are welcome on this trip. 5-nights and 5-days guided fishing and hunting.
$3,100.00 per person.
2023 Cast and Blast Dates:
Sept. 18-22, Sept 24-28, Sept. 30 - Oct. 4, and Oct. 6-10, 2023
To book an exclusive group trip, you'll need to get a minimum of eight guests. For 2023, these two weeks are an option:
You'll launch near Whitebird, Idaho, in drift boats. Target smallmouth bass on flies, poppers, and plastic worms. Although steelhead fishing has been poor the last couple of years, in past years, they did very well targeting them with both lures and flies. Deluxe camp with great food and many of my guides from the Middle Fork. Group size is 8-12, and you won't see many other folks on this run. It is a Wild and Scenic classified river. Chukar hunting has been excellent the past few years. One dog is welcome per boat. Shooting is no longer allowed out of the boat, but you can step on land and shoot. You must bring your own shotgun.

Cast and Blast Package Includes:

Tent camping, gourmet meals, wine with dinner, soda, water, and beer on the boat, use of a water-resistant duffel for day-use items, guided fishing, use of fly fishing gear: rod, reel, and go-to flies, and guided hunting. Price also includes a $4.00/day Recreation Enhancement Act Fee, and 3% of the company’s adjusted gross revenues are for a land use fee for operating commercially on National Forest Lands.

Package Does Not Include:

Transportation to Grangeville, the first-night stay in Grangeville, optional car shuttle service ($210.00) and Discover Parking Pass ($10.00), fishing and hunting licenses, alcohol—except for wine with dinner and a limited number of beers per guest, hunting gear, items of a personal nature, Global Rescue coverage, trip cancellation insurance, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.


Tight Lines Policies:
Payment Policy:  A 50% deposit is required to reserve your trip space. The final payment is due by June 1st of the year of your trip.

Cancellation Policy:  If you must cancel, your deposit will be refunded if you or we can fill the spot(s). If you cancel within 60 days of your start date, you will owe the balance. The balance of your trip will be billed so that it can be received 60 days prior to your start date. Along with your final billing, you will receive a liability and medical information form that must be returned to us along with your final bill.
We suggest you buy trip insurance in case of emergency or illness. Along with your final billing, you will receive a liability and medical information form that must be returned to us along with your final bill. Come rain, snow, or high water, we almost always run our trips. But if there are insufficient reservations, we reserve the right to alter the departure date or place or to cancel a trip. There will be a full refund for any trip canceled by Tight Lines. Our financial liability is limited to the amount paid to Tight Lines and shall not cover any other costs incurred by trip members.

Trip Insurance:  Trip insurance is a good choice. It pays to be prepared for the unexpected. If we cancel a trip, you receive a full refund. Low-cost travel insurance is highly recommended and provides emergency evacuation essential coverage, including sportsman's equipment, trip cancellation & interruption, medical expenses, baggage damage, and much more.
Fishing with Larry strongly recommends purchasing trip insurance. Click here for our Travel Insurance page.

Guide Gratuities:  When budgeting for gratuities (tips), figure in 15 percent for an average level of service from a guide, but not less than 10 percent. Guides get a large percentage of their income from tips. Of course, if a guide makes an exceptional effort - fishing an extra hour or goes beyond the norm or working especially hard to put you on fish - Tipping more than 15 percent makes good sense. Tips are greatly appreciated for a job well done.

Middle Fork 100-Mile Drift


Middle Fork Whitewater

Drift Boat on Lip of Whitewater

Fly Fishing at Big Creek

Angler Fly Fishing Big Creek Area

West-slope cutthroat

West-slope cutthroat

High-end rafts

Rafting through Whitewater

Fishing Travel Experts


Guy Schoenborn

1-800-205-3474 ext. 1

MT Office:  406-322-5709

Email:  guy@fishingwithlarry.com

Brad Staples

1-800-205-3474 ext. 3

Cell (503) 250-0558

Email:  brad@fishingwithlarry.com