Weather Forecast River Levels FB Twitter Instagram Pinterest

(208) 634-4303 | RIVERBEAT BLOG



The Gift of a River Trip for Dad.

The Gift of a River Trip

August 2023
This old button-down has ‘DAD’ written all over it: drawings of fly fishing flies labeled with their unique names like ‘wooly bugger’ and ‘caddis pupa’ pattern the frayed flannel. I’m checking off items from the Canyons Packing List as Dad sorts through his clothes. He offered me his beloved Orvis flannel, saying it had shrunk in the wash and I could keep it if I liked.
Greg, the owner of Canyons, offers full-time guides an incredible benefit of bringing a family member or friend on a Canyons trip. As a Christmas gift, I invited Dad on a September, Main Salmon River Trip. So we are going over the packing list again and I’m triple checking his flights and travel plans. I am prepared. Prepared to keep him comfortable on the bumpy bus ride and whitewater roller coasters. Prepared to help him hike the steep mountains, catch a trout in the river, stay warm through the crisp fall nights, break the ice in conversations with the other guests… I have magnesium if the groover doesn’t call, a cot if he’s uncomfortable sleeping on the ground, a chair to support his back as he rides in the rafts… I am prepared.

Sept 2023 – Day 2 of the trip
I am not prepared for my dad to have an absolute blast.
This morning I tried to pry Dad away from an engaging conversation with a new friend and fellow guest on the trip so he wouldn’t miss breakfast. After yesterday, I realized that my dad and I haven’t spent that much time together as adults separate from family gatherings or reunions. I forgot that Dad is a social butterfly. He is so drawn to the Canyons ‘social circle’ that he hasn’t even cast a fly!

Sept 2023 – Day 4
Dad is my guest, but also my dad out here. Sweat rolled down my neck as I roasted the New York Strip and Dad kept a fan on me! Tonight he ‘filmed a cooking show’ as I layered the lasagna and we partnered for an impromptu act in the Talent Show. We’ve had a couple of times where it’s just been us in the raft; he’s listened to my human history and geology talks…as well as some grumbles about the headwind. I’ve watched him engage with every guest on the trip and eventually, catch a trout (with a little help).

Sept 2023 – Day 5
Launching on a new moon, we bundled up each night to watch the shooting stars together. He hiked a steep scramble to a ridgeline, smiled through the whitewater, and slept deeply each night, tuckered out from the pace and excitement of the river trip. It warmed my heart to see my fellow guides take care of Dad: Colin crafted a special ‘anatomical heart-shaped pancake’ (Dad is a cardiologist) and Greg reserved a seat in the dory for the big whitewater day.
I spent all my energy preparing for the logistics of this river trip–not realizing that the experience will speak for itself. Dad surprised me on all fronts. I’ve watched guests enjoy the Salmon River with their family and now I truly understand how special it is to share a river trip with my dad.

About Greg McFadden

Similar Posts by The Author:

Sharing is caring