I just got back from a one week private party float down the vaunted middle fork of the Salmon river in Idaho. I just cannot express how good the dry fly fishing is on this protected section of the Salmon river. Plain and simple, it was the best dry fly fishing I have experienced. If anyone gets an offer to fish this highly restricted river, absolutely do not hesitate to join the float. It really helps if your boat mate loves to row (and hates to fish) navigating the many class III IV rapids along the 100 mile float so that you can fish all day. The fish are not huge, but they have a voracious appetite for dry flies. The largest fish I caught was on the shy side of 18 inches. Most of the trout are 12 inches or so. I did not catch any Dolly Vardens. I could sight fish to Brook trout, but I could not figure out what they wanted.
The trip starts at about 6000 feet and ends at about 3000 feet, so the geography and temperatures change dramatically. Cut throat trout were primarily taken with well placed large brownish Caddis flies. The large Caddis fly is very easy to see. I caught a lot of rainbows on a parachute adams at the higher altitudes and on a Royal Wolff at lower altitudes. There were grasshoppers and stone flies everywhere and a Joes Hopper also worked well.
I even tried my hand at tight line nymph fishing near the shore line with success. I caught the biggest fish while "parked" with a lazy two foot cast between large rocks with a Royal Wolff that sank. Go figure.
I used a five weight TiCr and a Lampson G1.5 with 7.5 foot 5X leader. A four weight would have provided more fun, but it would have been more difficult to cast into the frequent winds. I only had one fish pull line, but hey, this is not Alaska!
We had fly fishers of all ages from 70+ to high school and everyone caught fish! It was a joy to see "novices" of all ages learn to fly fish.