Selway River Trip Late August

September 4, 2011 at 14:48 | Posted in Boating | Leave a comment

I had the great fortune of getting out for a four night self support kayak trip on the Selway River last month. Running the river with veteran families of paddlers, we had a great time running whitewater, catching fish, swapping tales, swimming, cliff jumping and deep water bouldering. Some of the most fun I have bouldering is on a river where picking a new line over deep water often ends with a splash, either accidental or after topping out at thirty feet or so and making a launch into a deepwater pool. With the river running below a foot we had little to worry about in terms of competition as the river is best suited for rafts above a foot and a half. We took one layover day with some short hikes where we spotted three rattlers between the group. None threatened and therefore never made it to the grill. We did have good luck with the fishing and kept a few, roasting them over the open fire on a cedar bark plank, infusing them with the best taste imaginable. With many rapids unrecognizable at low flows shooting the boulder gardens was a technical paddlers dream with slots, short drops, and small play waves abounding amongst the large boulders that block the wild river’s channel at times. We are so lucky to have such a pristine 45 mile stretch of wilderness river in our backyard. With other beautiful rivers like the North Fork of the Clearwater and the South Fork of the Flathead buried beneath reservoirs or followed closely by a road for most of its mileage, floating the Selway is a good reminder of how all the wilds of Montana and Idaho once looked. I am looking forward to getting back on the Selway for another spring run next year. Hopefully we get the nice high pressure at the end of April beginning of May. Until then I will probably only get out paddling the Gorge occasionally and maybe make one trip for paddling as well somewhere. It sure would be good to get a group together for the lower Snake or Salmon, fall is the time to hit those trips. Warm, big water and fun camping.

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