In the heart of central Idaho’s 2.3 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness flows the legendary Middle Fork of the Salmon River, one of the most pristine and prolific trout fisheries on the planet. This dynamic landscape begins in high, dense forests of Fir and Spruce, passes by majestic Ponderosa Pines on grassy benches, and finally enters the impressive granite gorge of the Impassable Canyon. See this amazing river canyon while experiencing the world-class dry fly fishing of Idaho. The shorter three-day trip allows you to have an incredible Middle Fork Salmon experience over a long weekend.

Similar Trips: Main Salmon •  Middle Fork Flathead

Departure Month: September
Region: Idaho
Rating: Beginner, High Adventure, Intermediate, Specialty Trips
Pricing: Above $2000, Between $1500 and $2000

Ranked #3 for Top 10 whitewater rafting adventures in the World by National Geographic.

When the angle of the sun lengthens and summer begins to wane, the current of the Middle Fork drops and slows. Grass turns gold. The warm, distinct glow of impending Autumn washes over every rock face, each stately lodgepole pine, the sand of the beaches. River water becomes so clear you can see the shadowy silhouette of native cutthroat lurking in the eddies, observing every cautious movement of the trout’s body as it considers your fly perched on the surface of the water.

There just isn’t another fishing experience that compares.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon flows through the interior of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, one of the most pristine and prolific Westslope Cutthroat trout fisheries on the planet. WRO guides are well-versed in navigating our fishing-specific crafts towards the places trout lie in wait—the glassy water pooling behind mid-river rocks, beneath granite walls, along the seam lines of slow, circling back eddies. Guides are ready to assist when it comes to mastering your cast or settling on a fly to use, sharing knowledge that derives only from time spent on the same river, season after season.

Not only are the trout abundant on the Middle Fork, they are hungry and eager, making for a trip that will thrill amateurs and skilled anglers alike!

The Middle Fork River corridor hosts more than just pristine waters and blue ribbon Westslope Cutthroat trout fishing. Bighorn sheep, deer, elk, black bear, wolves, mountain lions, playful river otters and eagles make their home along the river. Explore cascading waterfalls, Native American pictographs, pioneer historic sites, and hermit hideouts before settling in around a roaring campfire and delicious Dutch oven dinners. Relax under the stars with our knowledgeable, kind, and fun-loving guides as you soak in the stillness of a remote mountain wilderness.

  • 3 days world-class cutthroat trout fishing
  • Fishing-specific raft setup
  • Amazing side creeks and canyons
  • Professional fishing guides
  • Optional hiking to stunning vistas
  • Learn about pioneers and visit homesteads
  • Rich Native American history and pictographs 

Book a September Fishing Trip

Middle Fork Salmon

September 9th – 11th  Bernard to Cache Bar
September 16th – 21st Thomas to Cache Bar

* Price does not include a $4.00/day Forest Service Recreation Enhancement Act Fee.

Included: Transportation via plane to Bernard airstrip, where the trip begins. All meals, starting with lunch the first day and ending with lunch the last day. We provide camping gear and tents. Each fishing raft carries two guests, one in the front one in the back. We can provide fishing gear if needed, but most people prefer to bring their own. We also provide life vests, dry bags for your clothing and camp gear, as well as a small dry bag for use during the day. Designated fishing guides row the rafts and bring you to the fish! The sweep boat goes ahead of the fishing boats with all the gear, so when you arrive at camp your tents are setup and waiting for you.

Not included: Prices do not include motels before and after the trip, alcohol or guide gratuities.


Charter trips are available for groups of 6 or more. This means your group has reserved the entire trip.  Please call us for availability at 800.252.6581.


Payment: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your trip with the remaining balance due 45 days prior to the trip.

Cancellation and Refunds: Operating quality trips is a costly operation with no margin for losses resulting from late cancellations. The space you reserve is held for you, and this may mean turning others away. Each trip is planned for the number of reserved spaces, guides scheduled, supplies bought, rafts and vehicles assigned. The cost of the trip is non-refundable.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you protect yourself with a trip insurance policy.  Trip insurance can cover your losses on non-refundable trip cost, air and land cost caused by an unexpected cancellations.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to insufficient reservations, weather, or water conditions. In such cases, a full refund for the trip is given. If possible, we will offer the option of a different or comparable type trip.



Fly commercially into Boise, Idaho and take Gem Air to Salmon, Idaho. You can drive to Salmon as well, and leave your car there while we are on the river. We will have an orientation at 6pm the evening before your trip at the Stage Coach Inn. Make your reservations at the Stage Coach Inn in Salmon the night before and after your trip.

Gem Air Flights

Rounds trip Boise to Salmon back to Boise can be scheduled with Gem Air.

Middle Fork of the Salmon River Suggested Gear

Download Printable Check List


This is the suggested gear list for this particular trip. Having the right gear is important to making it the best possible experience for you. Most of the gear listed you will have or you can use it year-round on any outdoor excursion (football games, boating, skiing, etc.) We want you to have everything you will need to be comfortable and happy.

Please: no stereos, radios, cell phones or watches

GEAR PROVIDED- SLEEPING BAG, PAD, GROUND CLOTH, AND TENT, LIFE JACKET, 2 WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAGS (one for sleeping bag, pad and ground cloth and one for clothing), WATERPROOF DAY BAG for items you would like accessible during the day (dry shirt, sunscreen, camera, etc.).GEAR NEEDED
RAIN GEAR …2 piece with hood is best (avoid cheap plastic, vinyl, or poncho styles).
3 LIGHTWEIGHT SHIRTS …one long sleeved for sun protection.
2 PAIRS OF LONG PANTS…one lightweight and one warm
LONG UNDERWEAR…synthetic is much better than cotton!
SHORTS…lighter material dries fast, good to wear over swimsuit
SWIMSUIT…nylon is best because it dries fast.
CAP & WARM WOOL OR SYNTHETIC HAT …a must for everyone. In case of wind attach with a clip or croakie.
WARM JACKET…some evenings are cool. Synthetics are popular because they are warm even when damp.
SOCKS, 3-4 PAIR…One pair of wool for wearing in cool spring weather and several for hiking.
RUNNING SHOES OR HEAVY WALKING SHOES…For hiking and wearing around camp.
RIVER SANDALS or additional running shoes for wearing in the water. (Neoprene socks helpful on spring trips).
SUNGLASSES, TIES FOR GLASSES, an extra pair of prescription glasses even if you wear contacts.
CHAPSTICK and LOTION…the arid climate of the west can dry your skin out
ZIPLOCKS…good for all kinds of things including personal trash and organizing.
INSECT REPELLENT(occasionally there can be mosquitos in the early season)
FLASHLIGHT…small one works fine. Headlamps work great.
CAMERA…Many people choose to bring additional batteries as one is not quite enough for a whole trip.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE, if desired (plastic or aluminum containers please).Optional: small pillow, pillowcase or mesh bag for dirty clothes, book, journal or musical instrument, and fiesta-wear.
Wilderness River Outfitters provide a MAJOR FIRST AID KIT, however we do recommend you bring your own preferred personal medication and accessories (Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin, Band-Aids, and cold medicine).

Reviews from the Middle Fork of the Salmon River Trip

18 friends/family went down the Middle Fork of the Salmon with WRO in August. OMG! It was a trip of a lifetime. WRO took excellent care of us. Not only were they fun and great on the river, they kept all of us safe, cooked amazing food for us over fires, and instructed us in kayaking, plants, cultural history, natural history, and more. We could be like herding cats, but they were patient, kind, and professional. I highly recommend WRO and the Middle Fork.
Trip Advisor Review 2018

Everything was top-notch: the guides, the food, the gear, etc. If you’re looking for an adventure, don’t hesitate to book with WRO. My family had the trip of a lifetime.
Al Zachary (Facebook review – 2018)

You can’t do any better than going on a river trip with WRO! The guides are super friendly and super capable. Puts everyone at ease. And did I mention the food…fantastic!
Cindy Phelps (Facebook review – 2018)

It was my fourth trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and each time with a different outfitter. What made this trip so special? The staff of WRO! Not only were they knowledgeable about all aspects of the river itself – the history, best rapid routes and scouting access points, play spots, waterfalls and hiking trails…most importantly they went out of there way to make sure everyone, every day was enjoying themselves. As someone pointed out, the 5 WRO staff knew all 23 of our names before we knew there 5 names. Just very personable ; felt like they were a part of our group instead of company staff. If I’m able to do one more trip on the Middle Fork, I want to do it with these people.
~Tom Prichard (Facebook review – 2016)

My friend Gayle and I joined about 14 others for an absolutely outstanding trip down the Salmon Middle Fork last July. We had the best guides: PJ, Alex, Erin, Jessica, and Brad. Not only did they arrange for the rain to stop after the first day, but they set us up in beautiful camps the whole way. They catered to our delight in hot springs and made efforts to get us to at least 5 of them! The dutch oven cooking was amazing to behold and all the food was 5 star. We also jumped off rocks into the river, challenging our nerve and verve, made a thrilling hike down a bouldered waterfall, and lay under another high waterfall letting drops land gently on our faces. I loved paddling a raft and a kayak, and just being rowed down the river looking for wildlife. Best trip ever!
Trip Advisor Review 2016

Our guides Seth, Kyle, and Ryan were fantastic!  They were extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful.  The hikes from the river, hot springs, native history sites, and geological education were outstanding.  The rapids on the river were great fun and the food could absolutely not have been better!
~Janette Pippas (Middle Fork Salmon – 2012)

Thanks to Wilderness River Outfitters for a wonderful time on the river.  I read that we may leave the river, but the river never leaves us.  The Middle Fork is a wonderful river, and I am happy to keep it in my mind.
~Teresa Sarmina (Middle Fork Salmon – 2012)

Just wanted you to know how much T.J. and I enjoyed the Middle Fork trip.  The food was outstanding and the guides (Matt and Amanda) were more than competent boatmen and off the river they were knowledgeable and fun to be around.
~Jeff Stein (Middle Fork Salmon – 2012)
You should know that the guides did everything possible to provide us with an awesome trip. The river was fantastic but even better was the camaraderie we developed with your WRO family.
~Jeff, Brenda and Jamie Nelson  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Thank you for your strong commitment to the wilderness experience. You did not cut corners. The planning, staff, equipment, supplies, and organization were top. Your family’s personal touch was very evident.
~Alan and Alisha Edmundson  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Brent and Jessie were excellent guides. They were experienced on the river and it showed. It gave me confidence to do more, kayak in a higher level rapid. We also certainly enjoyed the scenery; the opportunity to kayak….and the food was wonderful. A 5 star rating.
~Janelle Travis  (Middle Fork Salmon)

We take outfitted trips in many countries and yours is one of the best. Our highlights were the experienced guides and fabulous fun, all the extras, good food, silly beach games, rock climbing, hiking, the history and good equipment.
~Tamara Blank  (Middle Fork Salmon)

It is amazing to be able to turn 360 degrees and see nature’s beauty in all directions.
~Dennis Austin  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Exceeded my expectations greatly! Every inch of the trip was terrific, and everything about the guides, food, equipment, etc. was excellent. Kyle and I enjoyed every minute of the trip and were happy campers from start to finish.
~Mel & Kyle Bass  (Middle Fork Salmon)

The trip was by far a 5 star experience for me. Your guides Kyle, Gary, Chris & Luke were exceptional!
~Laurie Morton  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Having us leave our watches behind was a great idea. That set a more relaxed time. Kudos to all of you at WRO. I’ve heard about your trips for 30 years from various members of my family, and now we are looking forward to more!
~Judy Shepard  (Middle Fork Salmon)

The guides made the difference! They were friendly, knowledgeable and treated us with the biggest possible attention. Thank you again. It was an unforgettable experience.
~Ursula Kiessling  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Everything about the trip was superb, but the most memorable of all was the people-your family and your guides are the most wonderful group. I am reminded regularly of how kind, generous and unflappable you and your crew were with us. Thanks-you set the standard!
~Martha, Michael and the kids Gangemi (Hayden Creek Ranch/Middle Fork combo)

We feel fortunate to have lucked into an outfitter which caters to smaller groups and which didn’t treat us like a “dude.”
~Glen & Nancy Baisinger  (Middle Fork Salmon)