Fantastic report! I have been backpacking in that area before. We even got to watch a bear rip through my dad's backpack with surgical precision to extract a bag of M&M's he accidentally left in a pocket!
Did you guys ever hike down to the "water wheels"? It is a spot where the river glides down a long granite sheet and ramps up over some big humps. Apparently of the water levels are right it looks like the water is making a wheel shape?
Anyway, I agree that it is one of the most scenic parts of the U.S. and I would love to fish there some day.