Flying Into the Selway Wilderness to Fly Fish
There are some times in your life where you are like " did this really happen to me?". That was my weekend. 4th of July weekend could not have been better for me. I am still on cloud 9 after getting invited to fly into the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho to fly fish Moose Creek. Described as a "glacier-carved" border between Idaho and Montana. Thank you so much to the Willey family. They made an experience of a lifetime for me.
I have a big fear of heights and also flying into the wilderness in a small plane but my love for fly fishing conquered that. I was a bit nervous but a chance like this has never come up for me so I had to go.
I arrive in Hamilton and we find out a cool air show is going on at the airport, making taking off a bit busy but cool to see. I meet the pilot Hank who is a bit reserved and seems to really have his stuff together. I am nervous but thankfully have enough puke bags to last me a few trips.
We get in the plane and take off... and I am freaking out, thinking how pretty the valley looks and also how scared I am. Luckily the morning was cool and so the flight over was really calm. The flight only takes about 25 minutes so not unbearably long.
The views were incredible, the rocky ridges... glacier type areas and vast wilderness made for one heck of a scene.
I was on this trip with Walt and McCoy Willey as well as Joe Jessup from Hamilton. These guys were so great! They made flying so easy. We land on an airstrip in the middle of nowhere and I can not contain my excitement. This is a spot for people to fly into and camp as well.
We hiked back into Moose Creek and it was so pretty. It looked like something out of Lord of the Rings, it was so green and lots of humidity. We started out and Joe caught the first fish on a dry fly, so of course I follow suit and dry fly it up and then it is lights out! Almost every cast, and Joe was having luck until all of a sudden he couldn't land one, we would watch it and the fish were trying to eat it. He then realizes that his hook had fallen completely out of the fly and left the fly intact. It looked like a dry fly but with no hook? I have never seen that happen.
Walt ended up catching a frog with his fly, which was kind of cool to see. Walt also was the initiator in crossing the river to the other-side which we then had to hike up a fairly steep mountain side to get out.
McCoy Willey was our master forager and we found berries galore, if we needed to survive McCoy would be our chef. Walt even found fresh water clams or muscles I can't remember.
I had to use a Steri Pen....which filters the water so I could drink from the creek safely, but it sure looked odd. The guys had a few laughs about that one.
Oh I forgot I did out-fish them too! I also did not get sick on the plane which I thought I would. I really wanted to be invited back so I was telling myself not to puke.
Life is full of great opportunities, thankful for being invited.