Hiked it and have taken the "Chester Express" to the mouth as well. To me, the hike eats up a lot of good fishing time and it's harder to justify larger items in my pack like deer tenderloin etc. If you're serious about the fishing take the charter and take whatever you need to "really" enjoy the trip. An extra rod can make or break a trip (no pun intended), good food and sufficient bedding etc. can also make the nights easier.
In my experience the crowds naturally thin out the farther you go back up the trail. We like to camp at the split and fish up and down. Very few folks and good water!
"even Jesus had a 12 man recon team"