Stanley, Idaho

Stanley is a town of 62 residents and is the population center of the state of Idaho. Regardless of its size, Stanley comes to life in the summer and has a good selection of lodging and dining. It is nestled between the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the Frank Church Wilderness.  Your orientation meeting will be at 6:00 PM at the Sawtooth Spirit. I recommend staying in Stanley on the night before your trip as well as the night of the last day of your trip, but if you do need to hit the road after your trip you will be able to get down to Boise that evening. (You will return to Stanley around 5:30 PM.) Our trip will start and end at the Mountain Village Lodge, which holds rooms for our guests. So for hassle, free lodging arrangements call them up and let them know you are floating the Middle Fork with Solitude. In case you want to browse some other Stanley lodging options, here are our recommendations.  More information at
For over 100 miles the Middle Fork of the Salmon River transforms from “creek fishing on steroids,” to deep pool-and-drop canyon sections. Hundreds of bedrock formations offer fun ... morecasting opportunities, including the remarkable Underwater Canyon, Gin Pool, and Aparajo Canyon.

Our Salmon River Fishing Guides will place you in front of unique granite walls, behind mid-river rocks and seam lines, and swarming back eddies. Between the changing Idaho Salmon River and the pristine tributaries that enlarge throughout your wilderness rafting adventure, you will fish the largest variety of stimulating fly water in one float than anywhere else in the West.

Solitude River Trips combines modern gourmet amenities with traditional western back-country cooking methods. We use Dutch Ovens and open-flame grills as the charming foundation of our hearty and healthy cuisine. Our guides pride themselves on their versatility and mastery of gourmet luxuries in the middle of the most remote place in the contiguous United States

When you arrive the tents, dining table, kitchen, shower, powder room, and fire pan will all be set up. Your cots, mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows, and duffel bag will be waiting patiently by the tents. Beverages will be waiting on ice and hors d’oeuvres are moments away.

It is important to us that each of our guests is as comfortable as possible in a place where we can have no generators, electricity, (or cell service!). Even without these concurrent conveniences, we can be happy glampers on a 6 day adventure that feels like we are entering a different time.
  • All fees are included: $4/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
  • Round Trip transportation: Air and ground transportation provided from and to Stanley ID, except when low water requires a flight into the wilderness from Stanley
  • Fresh and Gourmet Food: We fly fresh food into the wilderness so that we can have fresh produce, bread, and cookies until the last day of the trip
  • Luxurious Camping Accommodations
  • Professional Guiding and Full Service on and off the river
  • All necessary gear, including: sleeping bag, deluxe wilderness mattress, life jacket, roomy four person tent for every two people, camp chairs, dining table, complimentary water resistant duffel for you personal gear (yours to keep), waterproof container for your day use items, eating utensils, drink cup, water bottle, plenty of ice, wine with dinner, and an ample supply of cold beverages.
  • Premium Orvis fly fishing gear: rod, reel, and our go-to flies. If you have favorite rods and reels, please bring them along with hard cases.
September can be one of the most invigorating times to fish the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. As summer closes, the clear waters begin cooling down, the heat subsides, and the river ... moreis emptied of floating traffic. And as the temperature cools, the water gets lower and slower – ideal fishing conditions.

As the water cools, the wild cutthroat follow their native instincts to start packing on weight for the difficult winter looming ahead. September is their last chance to gorge themselves on large terrestrials and tasty surface hatches before the winter doldrums of midge subsistence sets in.

Our September fishing trips are smaller and more personable than our Summer trips. As the days start to get shorter and we have the whole Wilderness nearly to ourselves, these trips take on a nostolgic and sportsman/sportswoman's vibe.

This is a special time for both guides and guests on the Middle Fork; our guides are excited to row you through the best Cutthroat fly fishing waters in the West. You will find them to be both knowledgeable leaders and wonderful companions, whether they’re sharing an exotic presentation technique, helping to improve an angler’s casting skills, cooking up one of our favorite dishes, or telling lively stories around the campfire.
Fishing Waters
The Middle Fork is the largest tributary of the Main Salmon River, which is the largest tributary of the Snake, which is the largest tributary of the Columbia, which is the largest ... moreNorth American tributary of the largest Ocean (the Pacific) in the world!

The Middle Fork is over 116 miles long (no dams) and descends over 4,000ft in elevation. As it grows from a tumbling creek to a mighty river, the Middle Fork is fed by runoff from spectacular mountain ranges such as The Sawtooths, Pistol Ridge, The Bighorn Crags, The Tango Peaks, and the Yellow Jacket Mountains.

A spectacular part of the Middle Fork is how much the geology, wildlife, vegetation, and size of the river changes as you descend from the top of the canyon all the way to the confluence with the Main Salmon. This biological diversity makes Middle Fork of the Salmon one of the most unique river experiences in the world.
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