Middle Fork Salmon River Guides
At Solitude we know that a river trip is only as good as its guides. Without our team of highly skilled, passionate, knowledgeable, personable and professional guides we would not be where we are today. We do more than just navigate rapids, tie on flys, and cook amazing food. We pride ourselves in sharing our extensive knowledge of the Middle Fork in the hope of promoting visceral connections between each guest and their natural surrounding. Our guides are knowledgeable companions, excellent fishermen, experienced boatmen/women, and well-compensated service professionals. These safety oriented individuals are trained in wilderness medicine and swift water rescue. Many of them are true stewards of the river, having guided hundreds of fly fishing and rafting trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Here’s to hundreds more!
Meet Our Family of Guides
“I got a small taste of what guiding was like, and never looked back.”
Roger has guided the Grand Canyon, the North Umpqua, and has been guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon since 2005. Roger received a BS in Environmental Studies from University of Oregon and an MS in Deaf Education from Western Oregon University. During the off-season, he teaches deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Eugene, OR and builds hand crafted wooden drift boats.
“I started guiding in 2012. The wilderness is an amazing place because it gives you the freedom to make what you will of it. Ideally I spend my free time finding ways to access off the beaten path chunks of public land with my wife and dog. More often than not though, I can usually be found coming up with new creative ways to break and subsequently fix my snowblower. My stomping grounds are central Idaho and the pacific coast. My wandering lifestyle wouldn’t have the same value if I didn’t have a home and family to come back to in McCall Idaho.”
Abby began her river guiding career in 2015 and after she discovered the Middle Fork of the Salmon she never looked back. Living in Missoula, MT Abby received her B.A. from the University of Montana in Economics and Public Policy & Administration. The intermountain west is Abby’s playground for biking, skiing, climbing, and fishing. “I also love cooking, playing guitar and piano, and laughing with my friends. Laughing is my favorite thing to do.” Abby claims her place on the river lies somewhere between compacting trash into boxes (see photo) and passionately advocating for the recovery of salmon and steelhead. Above all, she wholeheartedly enjoys sharing the magic of the Middle Fork with anyone who steps into her raft.
Mark grew up more or less a feral barn cat in northern Maine. Fishing, hunting, skiing, canoeing, and foraging were all family priorities, as was just walking around in the woods not looking for much of anything at all. He earned a degree in fisheries management from the University of Maine, and worked in fish and wildlife conservation for several years. When an opportunity to move to Stanley, Idaho and become a fly-fishing and whitewater guide presented itself, he abandoned that carefully assembled career path and went for the guiding gig.
That was 2008. He’s still here, guiding trout fishermen on the Middle Fork all summer and spey fishermen for steelhead in the fall. He makes it work the rest of the year with a standard mountain-town list of all trades: sous chef, carpenter, cat-ski guide, nonprofit conservation advocate, etc.
Mark’s been a fly fisherman and fly tyer for nearly 30 years. His original patterns have a reputation for a little extra grease when it comes to fooling the Middle Fork’s cutthroat. He sells them at www.rainycreekfly.com and has a selection of favorites on each Middle Fork trip.
Miles Porter V
Miles Porter V was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado. He started his guiding career while in college at the University of Wyoming and then Northern Arizona University. Guiding on the Arkansas and Salt Rivers is where this all began and he has since guided in Colorado, West Virginia, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, and Costa Rica. Through rafting and kayaking Miles has experienced some incredible places and met wonderful people, including his wife and dog. Miles cut his teeth on the Arkansas River in Colorado and eventually made his way north to the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Growing up in a resort town in Colorado the ski industry has always been a huge part of his life, and Miles has found that ski patrolling and raft guiding are perfect compliments. Miles and his family now call Bozeman, MT home, where in the winter months you can find Miles ski patrolling at Big Sky Resort and in the spring guiding in Grand Canyon. The summers he spends with you guys, fishing by day and making some pretty incredible petite pork chops by night. When not rafting he can be found riding mountain bikes, skiing, and trying to catch that next, bigger, fish…… even though his wife catches bigger fish than he does.
Born and raised in Austria, Ewald fell in love with the sport of fly fishing at 11 years old. This obsession has taken Ewald from Idaho to Slovenia in search of the worlds best fishing. He first laid eyes on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River 40 years ago, shortly after moving to Idaho for family and fishing. Now, he is a full time fly fishing guide for “Silver Creek Outfitters” in Sun Valley. An FFI Certified Master Fly Casting instructor, Ewald is a true master of his craft. He can also be found around the campfire with his harmonica or reading his favorite book, Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” His favorite trip is to run a drift boat down the main Salmon River below Stanley, but when the Middle Fork calls, he trades his boat for a raft and heads into the wilderness to find solitude.
Originally from Mt. Shasta, CA, Tessa was introduced to the world of river running while volunteering abroad. She began guiding in 2009 and immediately fell in love the beauty, excitement, and opportunities the river provided. She guided on rivers across the west until she landed on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in 2023. “I had always wanted to guide on the Middle Fork after hearing so many incredible things, I was not disappointed by the grand beauty and history of the place. Truly a magical place I have felt so lucky to experience myself and share with others”. Tessa likes to spend her winters snowboarding. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, adventures with friends, having great conversations and a really good book.
Mike “Hicksy” Hicks
Born in Australia, Tim has been guiding rivers, mountains, and rocks for 35 years. When he first ran the Middle Fork of the Salmon River he knew he had found something special. Over 90 trips later, Tim still finds that magic each trip down the Middle Fork. He now resides in Challis, ID and works as Rope Access Technician when not guiding river trips. “The Middle Fork of the Salmon is the best river in Idaho, maybe the country, it’s what keeps me living here.” Drawing from his degree in Environmental Studies, Tim loves fostering a connection between his guests and their natural environment.
Rob’s love for the Middle Fork started in 2013 when he arrived as a fishing guest on a Solitude trip. His first trip down the river left such an impression that he immediatly packed his things and moved to Stanley, ID. He started guiding for Solitude in 2018. He now spends every summer guiding fising trips and works as an electrician in Stanley in the winter. When he’s not doing either of those, Rob enjoys backcountry skiing, hunting, fishing, and exploring all that Idaho has to offer!
In 1998, Shane began “swamping” and rowing baggage boats on the Main Salmon. Two years later, when he turned 18, he got his Idaho guide license. He’s been guiding on the Middle Fork since 2003. When he’s not guiding, Shane spends every second he can with his son Zane, born in 2011. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho, with a minor in Mathematics and Outdoor Recreation Leadership.
“From that first trip, Wilderness had me captured. I grew up farming, and this new wonderful experience left a lasting impression that would guide many of my choices for nearly 20 years. I love the raw nature of Wilderness, a sort of existential allure. It’s not all rows and routine, like on the Palouse wheat farm I grew up with. This river thing was something familiar, small tight-knit crews working together in a blue-collar fashion; yet completely different. I explicitly remember the vivid stars and the black night, having left the strongest impression on my youthful psyche during that first trip. It was adventure I had never known, and it would cause me to seek many more mountain adventures throughout my tenure.”
Nate grew up in Portland, OR and graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in Economics and International Studies. As a child he developed a love for nature during multi-day canoe trips through the lakes & streams of Northern Wisconsin and biannual backpacking trips through the Sierra Nevada’s. His introduction to rivers came in 2020 on the Main Salmon river in Idaho. “I was no stranger to remote wilderness but was taken by the rapids, the level of collaboration necessary to safely run rivers, and an environment that fosters the development of genuine relationships in a matter of days.” Nate knew after that first trip that he wanted to make the river a part of his life going forward. Nate found his way to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in 2023. He believes in the power the wilderness has in connecting people to their natural world, and takes pride in his role as a guide, facilitating wilderness experiences for people who likely would not have had them otherwise.
James started rafting and kayaking as a photographer in 1982 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. He started guiding in 1998. Wilderness is a refuge for James, a place that makes sense. It’s home, he says.
James values the Middle Fork for its remote, pristine and undammed qualities and says “it’s one of my favorite places on the planet!”. He loves the Native American history and wildlife throughout the Middle Fork corridor. James enjoys living like the river, endlessly driven and just getting by, always connected to your source and finish; or “Riven Livin” as described by James Snyder. In the winter he lives in Jackson Hole teaching skiing, and in the Spring he spends time surfing, fishing and lounging in Baja, Mexico.
Bridget grew up in Dallas, Texas and got outdoors with her family as often as possible, exploring the rivers and lakes of Texas. She moved to Denver, CO where she received a B.A. in Spanish and International Studies from the University of Denver. After school her journey continued westward into the mountains. She started river guiding in Jackson, Wyoming on the Snake River, and quickly discovered her new calling in life. Shortly after completing her first summer as a river guide, she embarked on a 141-day, 1,900-mile river journey, navigating the entirety of the Green River to the Colorado River and then to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. This adventure solidified her love of multi-day rafting and she has since dedicated her life to guiding and sharing the wonders of the river with others. She moved to Salmon, Idaho in 2021 and began guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. A few short years later she fulfilled her dream of becoming an outfitter and is now co-owner of Solitude River Trips.
Jake grew up in South Lake Tahoe, California and began running rivers with his parents at a mere 18 months old. He spent his childhood exploring the seemingly endless rivers of California during the summer and skiing its impressive mountains during the winter. Jake attended the University of Nevada, Reno as a Division I ski racer and graduated with a degree in Journalism. During college he began his guiding career, following in the footsteps of his river guide parents. By his early 20’s he was traveling the world in seach of whitewater, both in a raft and whitewater kayak. A once in a lifetime opportunity landed Jake a job on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in 2021, where he immediately fell in love with the Idaho wilderness. After 14 years of river guiding and managing rafting companies, Jake’s lifelong dream of owning and operating his own river outfitting business came to fruition in 2023 when he became co-owner of Solitude River Trips. He now happily calls Salmon, ID his home.
“Wilderness is key. I like guiding because I get to show people my favorite spots on the surface of the earth.”
Jon Barker started guiding multi day trips in Idaho in 1980. He has been guiding Idaho River for 40 years! He’s worked on rivers in Africa (Zambezi) Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, Grand Canyon, and all Idaho Wilderness rivers. He has done exploratory kayaking around the world, although his lifelong dedication is to outfitting river trips and canyoneering trips on the desert rivers of southern Idaho (Jarbidge, Bruneau, and Owyhee Rivers). Barker is also one of the most acclaimed trophy Bighorn Sheep hunting guides in North America. He’s very involved in Bighorn Sheep conservation and re-introduction issues across the American west. For further information about Jon Barker, read the fascinating book “Anything Worth Doing” by Jo Deurbrouck.
“I love seeing little kids grow up and come back with their own kids”
Dano is a 4th generation Idaho boy; his family came to Idaho as pioneer settlers. One Great Grandfather, James Hawley, was the federal territorial prosecutor, and another one, Daniel Harrington, was a well-known frontier guide and Indian fighter. He’s been guiding since 1972, and in the winter he is a heli-ski guide at Sun Valley Heli and does avalanche control work.
Lexi began her guiding career in experiential education while attending Boise State University. She feels lucky to have spent time on Wild and Scenic rivers all around Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Ecuador and Costa Rica. She’s been guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon for seven years. When she’s not guiding or on a personal trip, she teaches Wilderness Medicine courses and works in an Emergency Department in Salmon, Idaho. When not working or on a personal river trip, I like to spend my time skiing, playing hockey and soaking in one of Idaho’s many super secret hot springs. She holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology as well as certifications in EMT, W-EMT, Swift Water Rescue, Orvis Endorsed Guide, and Mid-Stream Geologist ;).
“Snorkeling the crystal clear waters and sleeping under the endless starry sky of the Frank Church Wilderness is an unforgettable experience.”
Taylor Smith (Office/ Logistics)
After graduating from Portland State University with a degree in Psychology and Gender Studies, Taylor spent two years traveling solo around the globe. Her travels eventually led her back to the river, a place she had adored as a child. Landing in Idaho in 2021, Taylor fell in love with the endless oportunities for adventure. When Taylor is not meticulously assembling food for our trips, or assisting guests with their travel needs, she can be found exploring the mountains of Idaho with her dog Finley. Her biggest adventure to date was completing 600 miles of the southern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, a journey that she hopes to complete someday soon.
Finley and Kraken (Support Staff)
Finley took her first trip down the Middle Fork in 2021. When she’s not on the river she enjoys making new friends at the Salmon River Dog Park.
Hailing from Baja California, Mexico, Kraken enjoys long naps between quality games of fetch.
6 days/5 nights
Late June – Sept