Selway Float


Well-known member
Feb 27, 2021
Quick little write-up on our trip, as promised.

I had intended to type a lot more, but thought I'd let the photos speak for themselves.

We played a little game of "Rose, Thorn, Bud" each night around the campfire that seemed like a healthy exercise to wrapping up each day so I'll do one of those here.

Two of my own "roses" would be that we got through the trip safely with only one boat flipping at Double Drop rapids. We had a quick, textbook rescue of its occupants right after. Another was having a healthy discussion on big W Wilderness ethics after sleeping at the site below the landing strip at Moose Creek.

Thorn was trying to wrangle 9 people to get packed and ready to go every morning. I'm kind of type A on my own outings and am not used to that little patience thing (or so my girlfriend tells me often). Another thorn was that the water was just a bit too high to wade and fish into the good stuff. I cannot yet confirm that there is a fish over 12" in the Selway. Most were @BAKPAKR size in reality.

Buds would be that I think I'm kind of into this boat camping thing. I usually view rafts as aquatic golf carts for anglers who don't like to get their feet wet. I don't plan to buy one anytime soon, but I'll sure as heck be applying to more permits next year. Other bud was that I made some new friends amongst folks visiting from Colorado and even some I didn't know well here in Missoula. I look forward to sharing more adventures with that crew in the future.

And oh yeah, we certainly found some rattlesnakes.

With that, photos!

Finally got to see the location of Indian Creek Chronicles on the way in:

Gauge was at a pretty comfortable but still fun level before launch:


Getting crap down that ramp sucked:


But the scenery was good. I was in the lead boat and we saw a mountain lion stalking the banks shortly after I took this photo. You'll have to take my word for it:


We camped right before the first Class IV, Goat Creek, and hit it early the next day. Two of the four rowers were a little skeered, but we sailed right through:


I didn't ride the cataraft, but am told that its a whole different experience:


There's a seemingly great campsite right at the Moose Creek packbridge. We hiked up to the landing strip to see if we could give any MCC kids stationed out there some cold beers. Had no idea that there's such of scene of what are essentially flying RV's. Tons of folks had flown in and camped right next to their planes. It sounded like I imagine London might have during the Blitz the next morning when everyone took off.


The next day we hit the "Moose Juice" which doubles the size of the river. Big, splashy rapids day. Everyone got suited and helmeted and PFD'd up. Scouting the famed Ladle Rapids:


The following day had a few more biggish rapids, but was not too intense overall. My oarsman doing some scouting:


Weather had been absolutely perfect until the finaly day when it got a little drizzly and overcast. It was a short one. Shuttle service did it's job. We got everything loaded up and headed off to the Jack Saloon, where we ate heartily and got a little sauced in celebration of a successful trip.


Speaking of "Jack," I found out that's exactly what I drew for deer and elk B tags once I had cell service.
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