Ventured into the Middle Fork of the Salmon River this past August. We traveled up the canyon, backpacking from Indian Creek to Dagger Falls. One of the most enchanting and wild places left in the lower 48, the Middle Fork is a bucket list float trip. With only a few days off from guiding, a week long float wasn't an option. Next time.
Never have there been hatchery planted fish in the Middle Fork drainage. Wild chinook and steelhead ascend further from the pacific and higher in elevation than any other salmon populations on the planet. Protected by federal law, they spawn in the spring and summer; isolated from their diluted cousins to the east and west. Stout bull trout and abundant westslope cutthroat also call the river home.
In a nutshell: Drink whiskey, soak in a hot spring and listen to wolves howl. Glass trophy bucks and bull elk. Buy a map for the "River of No Return Wilderness", a dozen size 12 Elk Hair caddis and get lost in the largest, roadless chunk left south of the great white north.