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The Guides

Our guides are the heart and soul of our operation.

We pride ourselves in having the best guides in the industry. This means they uphold the highest levels of professionalism, are experts on and off the water, and are really, really good at having fun.
David Cline


David has been a professional guide for nearly two decades. He loves everything rivers have to offer - beauty, solitude, community, adventure, relaxation growth and more. He has devoted his life to exploring rivers around the country - from adventure packed half-day trips in the Royal Gorge, to 28-day expeditions of the Grand Canyon and epic 15-day pushes down 400+ continuous miles on 3 different rivers in the West.


David is passionate about bringing people together on river trips. He loves that rivers and wilderness give people the opportunity to disconnect from the pressures of everyday life and to connect to the people they love most, while enjoying the beauty & splendor of nature.


When he is not on a river, you might find him on top of a mountain - snowmobiling, skiing, or more likely at this point - teaching his two young sons the ropes of outdoor life.

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Dan Newman


Daniel was born in Tennessee, hails from Colorado and has been working in the outdoor industry since 2000. He holds a B.S. in geology and an an impressive list of medical and safety certifications.

Daniel is one of the most compassionate, optimistic and fun people we have ever met. Not a day goes by on the river, where Newman doesn't remind everyone how beautiful life is and how lucky we all are.  Daniel is a patient and kind leader and is passionate about people and authentic experiences. A trip with Newman is never dull and we all enjoy being led by this confident, capable and curly headed guy.

For Daniel, Middle Fork Adventures is not just a river company, it is the culmination of decades of friendship, love, and commitment. When he isn't on the river you may find him back-country skiing, journaling deep thoughts or running around with his wife, Allie and their matching shaggy dog Wally.


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Heidi Cline


Heidi started her guiding career in 2004. She studied Environmental Studies & Water Sciences at the University of Colorado and  has worked for the National Park Service and the US Geological Survey. As a Park Ranger, she led educational journeys through some of our Nation's most beautiful and culturally rich landscapes. As a Water Science Technician, she collected and analyzed water samples from rivers and lakes all over the country. She strongly believes that wild places need our protection, and is passionate about sharing these special places because as Ed Abbey once said, “...wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit”. 

She met and fell in love with her husband David on the Arkansas River  in 2003 and now, with their spirited two boys in tow, the adventure continues in beautiful Idaho!

Zach McCandless


Zach grew up in the beautiful state of Colorado, where he trained to be a river guide on the Arkansas River in 2013. His passion for whitewater started when he went on a rafting field trip in middle school. He has been actively boating since then.


Zach loves sharing his knowledge of the river and of nature with his guest’s on his boat. When he is on the river he feels that the real world doesn't exist, and that provides him an opportunity to give others an escape from their daily grind. Zach is a dedicated worker and a committed guide. 


When Zach is not rafting you will typically find him riding his mountain bike on the local trails or drinking copious amounts of coffee around the shop. Zach looks forward to splashing with you on the Middle Fork!!

Allie Vostrejs Newman


Allie has been a guide for the majority of her adult life exploring rivers all over the West.  Allie is a calm and capable guide. We admire her cool leadership style, organization and knowledge of the Frank Church Wilderness. Allie loves cooking meals for large groups and flexing her creativity in the river kitchen. She manages trip logistics in an orderly and efficient manner, allowing for fun to be the focus of the adventure.

Allie holds Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Science. She is a lover of places and people, and a great resource for the natural history and ecology of the Middle Fork. You may find her with a sketch book in hand or an off-the-beaten path adventure idea in her head. Allie loves talking about wilderness, landscape and rivers. 

Allie spends her time on and off the river with her husband Daniel and fur baby Wally. 

Pat Griffin


Pat is a long time river runner, educator and all around stellar guide. Pat has worked on rivers all over the country and is just as comfortable in a paddle boat as he is on the sweep rig. Pat leads a lot of Middle Fork Adventures trips, which he does with grace, kindness and solid confidence. 

Pat and his wife call the beautiful state of Idaho home. They live off the land, hunt and enjoy the bounty of this country. 

Ben Newman


Ben is a world-class kayak guide and stellar river trip companion. Ben has been guiding whitewater as a river guide, safety and photo kayaker for well over a decade. We consider him our "chief ducky mama," and no kayak trip is complete without him. 

Ben is a whitewater professional and a joy to have on trips. He has an infectious laugh and is always the first to lend a hand. We admire Ben's range of river and wilderness skills.

Ben spends the winters as a high school teacher, teaching business and technology applications. When he is not on the river, he is generally on a creek or hanging out with his awesome dog Kendall. 

Sunshine Edwards


Sunshine is a world class guide who has guided rivers from California to Zambia. Sunny does it all, from training new guides to cooking the best pork tenderloin you have ever had. We love having him on trips for his wealth of knowledge, steady leadership and endless adventure stories. 

Sunshine spends his winters teaching avalanche safety courses and guiding backcountry skiing. When he isn't being a full time guide you can find him on his own adventures with his wife. 

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Brian Frenchy Gardel


Originally from France, Brian (‘Frenchy’) left his native home for a college education in the USA. After college, Brian moved to Crested Butte and then Fort Collins, Colorado to pursue a masters degree in CIS and a career in IT. Brian and his wife Holley now call Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and the banks of the mighty Yampa River home.

Brian caught the whitewater bug during the epic Spring runoff of ‘94. A hobby that turned into an obsession and eventually a lifelong pursuit. Brian’s passion for rivers is palatable and contagious, and the Middle Fork holds a special place in his heart. In his words, “the Middle Fork is my all time favorite and one of the most amazing river sections I’ve ever experienced, one I can’t wait to share with our guests.”

Brian is just as passionate about rivers as he is about snow, and when he’s not on water you’ll find him guiding backcountry skiing, studying the snowpack, riding his mountain bike, or camping and playing outside with his wife Holley. Whether he's making camp meals over the fire or crepes at home with a hot cup of joe, Frenchy is always dreaming of life on the river.

Ethan Shillington


Ethan is a solid guide and adventure partner. He anchors the MFA team with humor, great skill and reliability. His river resume spans the globe and his safety and navigation skills are top notch. He is an invaluable resource to his fellow guides on and off the water, always ready with a helping hand and dependable advice. Guests appreciate his kindness, empathy and steadfast leadership. 

Ethan also mixes up a mean cocktail - a skill we all appreciate.

In the winter months Ethan is out exploring, either new rivers in the Southern Hemisphere or snow covered slopes. 

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