National Geographic : 2011 Nov
Craighead's memory fades in and out these days, but if you ask him which river inspired him most, his answer is quick and clear: the Middle Fork of the Salmon. My son, Sam, and I were headed there, but we'd stopped to visit Craighead at his Missoula, Montana, home on our way out to paddle that river. Before we le , Craighead gave Sam a dozen spider imitations tied just for the Middle Fork's native cutthroat trout. "You know, you can't buy that fly in a store," he said, as he shook Sam's hand and gave him a knowing smile. before our back- country pilot could penetrate the fog nestled in the deep valleys of the Frank Church, whose endless ridges bearded with whitebark pine keep the modern world at bay. But by midday our party of 20 was gathered by the roaring river to listen to Diana Yupe, a Shoshone- Bannock archaeologist, tell us about her peo- ple. e Sheep Eaters lived in the river corridor for thousands of years before the U.S. Cavalry drove them out. She asked us to respect the old campsites that occupy nearly every river terrace, as well as the many pictographs, including child- size red handprints, that adorn the canyon walls. en she sent us o with a Shoshone blessing for safe travel on the river and a safe journey through life. e day was raw and gray, the big, dry ra s inviting. Sam nonetheless picked a pair of Joel K. Bourne, Jr., covered the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the October 2010 issue. Michael Melford has been shooting for the magazine since 2003. Oregon's Rogue River is one of the original eight rivers that were protected from dams in 1968.