A Chuker Expedition Product & Services Review
Adventure Sun Valley
Adventure Sun Valley offers Middle Fork Salmon Expeditions from June through September. Forest grouse (mostly blue grouse along the river) season opens around September 1. Chukar season starts late in the month. Fishing is always good. Call 888-311-7238 or visit www.middleforkexpeditions.com for complete details.
Adventure Sun Valley provides everything but guns, rods, sleeping bags, mattresses and personal effects. We threw #5 and #6 weight Loomis and Redington rods, but a #7 or even an #8 might have helped punch out casts in windy canyons. On calm days a #3 or #4 would have been sweet while drifting past big boulders and undercut cliffs.
I choose chukar guns more for convenience and durability than firepower. A 20 ga. or 28 ga. is more than adequate. Betsy and I left our pretty doubles at home. Why risk them to the brutal terrain and potential dunking on a chukar float hunt? Our sprightly, dependable Franchi Model 48 AL 20 ga. autoloaders performed perfectly with Federal Game-Shok 2 3/4-inch shells throwing 1-ounce, 7.5-shot loads. While on the river we protected the guns in SealLine prototype floating, waterproof field cases that truly worked. The rest of our gear stayed dry in SealLine WideMouth duffle bags.
While our sand beach beds were reasonably soft, full-size Therm-A-Rest mattresses added real luxury. The MSR Mutha Hubba tents provided by our outfitter were wonderfully roomy and dry.
Cheyenne field tested several items from Ruff Wear, including 3D Bark’n Boots that not only protected her feet, but stayed on them! Without elaborate taping. Just tighten the Velcro strap and they’re ready to go. I was as pleased with these nylon/ballistic Cordura boots as Cheyenne. Next in practicality was the K-9 Float Coat, a sleek life jacket that fit perfectly and assured us our little setter wouldn’t get sucked under a whirlpool. She fell off the raft several times, but a nylon handle atop the Float Coat made lifting her aboard simple. Just as useful was the Mutt Hutt dog tent, which collapsed into an easily carried tube, then popped up for a roomy shelter. Believe me, you don’t want a wet dog with sandy feet splashing into your sleeping area. The Mutt Hutt provided shelter and contained the mess.
Properly outfitted, a Middle Fork cast-and-blast is a great way to tour the wilderness ala Huck Finn. Fish, float, hunt and get away to the real world.