Monday, June 06, 2005

Selway River & Nez Perce BBS

Deb and I were up on the Selway River this weekend so I could run one of my BBS routes.

On Sunday afternoon we drove up to Meadow Ck, a tributary to the Selway. We intended to hike several miles in but it was raining pretty steadily. The Selway-Bitterrot Mountains pulls rain out of any passing systems, a weather phenomenon known by local river guides as the "Selway swirl". We didn't get very far up the Meadow Ck. trail before being soaked from wet brush. Anyway, while hiking back to the trailhead I had a possible Harlequin Duck fly by heading downstream. I only saw it flying away but my impression was of a small, dark duck. We looked carefully driving back out but without any further sightings.

We also watched a few salmon leaping at the base of Selway Falls which was pretty cool. These are spring run Chinook Salmon, a remnant of the former great salmon rains on the Clearwater.

The Selway Rd. is in terrible shape due to all the rain, even worse than when I was up here a few weeks ago to float the Selway. Probably takes close to an hour to get up to Meadow Ck. from Lowell (Lochsa/Selway confluence and US 12). There are lot of good gravel bars on the lower Selway for loafing Harlequins and we checked them all carefully without any luck.

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