Posts tagged: st. joe river
HUNTING — Alex Harris of Coeur d'Alene has been putting in for Idaho's once-in-a-lifetime bull moose tag for 10 years and even at that he was lucky to draw a 2013 tag.
Some hunters have applied for decades and are still coming up zip.
So the 37-year-old hunter made his opportunity count.
“I have hunted the St. Joe River drainage in Unit 6 for elk, deer, bear, grouse and turkey since the fall of 1996 and have seen many nice moose in the area where I was lucky enough to spot this monster,” he said in an email with the photo above.
“It is also in the same area that my Aunt and Uncle (my hunting mentors) have taken two 40-plus-inch moose in the past.”
This season was different on all counts, since it was Harris who had the moose tag in his pocket.
He said he'd passed up a few smaller bulls during the early stages of his hunt last week, but couldn’t resist the chance to take this bull — the rack measures 52 inches wide — on Sept 19, the evening of the fifth day of moose season.
“I will be doing a European mount of the head and (wife willing) will be hanging it in our living room,” he said. “I had to go out and purchase a new freezer in anticipation of the meat returning from the butcher. Enjoyed fresh moose tenderloin last night and probably liver and onions by the end of the week.”
Harris's moose-chasing companion found adventure simply by being WITH the holder of a coveted Idaho moose tag:
Hunting partner, heavy lifter, and expert knot tier Jacob Rothrock snapped the photo just before a smaller bull moose charged him trying to get to the newly single cow who had bedded down above us.
FISHING — Weather's good and the word's out about fly fishing for cutthroat trout on Idaho's St. Joe River.
An angler at the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club's monthly meeting last night said that upon returning to the Spokane area Tuesday from a few days of fishing on The Joe:
“Every turnout and every run I could see was occupied by fishermen, and that was on a Tuesday in mid September!”
FLY FISHING — Sean Visintainer of Silver Bow Fly Shop will detail fishing methods for local waters, including the St. Joe, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane rivers, in a free program, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11,. at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy.
The event is sponsored by the Spokane Fly Fishers.
FLY FISHING — BYOB if you’re heading to the Avery area of the St. Joe River this weekend.
The St. Joe Pub and Grill, formerly the landmark Avery Trading Post, went up in flames around 1 a.m. on Tuesday in a blaze that tested the will of locals to keep it from spreading.
The aftermath has left the town’s main drag a lot drier, and looking like a hockey player’s smile.
But the fishing continues to be excellent on the St. Joe River, said Ben Scheffelmaier of Scheffy’s Motel.
Following is a first-hand account of the fire from The Rev. Cynthia Wuts, who was with her family for a fly fishing adventure in the area when they just happened to be bunked in a hot spot that had nothing to do with fishing.
Around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, I was awakened by someone honking his horn on the street where were staying. We heard a couple guys yelling and I went to look out the window to see what the commotion was and saw some sparks flying and thought it was crazy kids partying and lighting fireworks, which is not unusual in Avery.
Then I noticed that there was a brighter, orange glow, brighter than the street lights reflecting on the building across the street. I opened our door to the outside and saw that the tavern next door had flames shooting through the roof. I got (the others) out of bed and we got out of there as the two buildings are fairly close together. A wooden shed sits between them and it had lumber and old tires on the roof…not to mention the propane tank alongside the tavern.
My husband got us in the car and moved it a good distance away and when he determined it that the flames were still far enough away from our building, they … ran over to help one of the townspeople who had arrived with some fire hoses. The tavern was fully involved in just a matter of minutes and totally destroyed.
No one was hurt. However the thought I had as did most folks was “thank God this wasn't August” or the fire would have quickly ran up the forested hill behind the tavern and thrown enough embers to set other buildings (including a fuel pumping station just up the road from the tavern) on fire and it could have been a real catastrophe.
Avery is a very small village with mostly old wooden buildings in a narrow river canyon, so it wouldn't have taken long for falling embers to have started the rest of the town and surrounding forest on fire.
The next morning the owner of the fly fishing shop went up the mountain road on the opposite side of Avery and found where embers had fallen onto Kelly Crick Rd. about a 1/2 mile away. We were very thankful that someone driving by saw the flames and awakened the town folks. Had that not happened the fire would have spread to our place of lodging and we would've been jumping out the window!
Also we're thankful no one was injured while fighting the fire.
Here are some pictures we took…The first picture is the structure fully involved. Photo 2 is when it collapsed and the last one was taken the following morning around 10 a.m.
(BTW, I caught the biggest fish of the trip.)
RIVERS — Organizers of the St. Maries - St. Joe River Jet Boat Race have announced on their Facebook page that the U.S. Coast Guard would not authorize their permit to hold the “Race the Joe” jet boat races May 17-19.
A caller from the area said the permit requires that there be no environmental damage. “But every goose and duck and bird is nesting or raising their young and there are three bald eagle nests in that stretch of river so it's amazing the were able to get away with a race last year,” the woman said.
The race is hosted by the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce and Epic Motorsports Consulting Group, L.L.C.
This devastating decision comes after almost a year’s worth of volunteer time, effort and commitment, as well as the approval from the City of St. Maries, Benewah and Shoshone County authorities.
“We are asking for everyone’s help to try and reverse the Coast Guard’s decision and authorize this permit,” Race the Joe spokesperson Kyla Sawyer said.
“Without this permit our race is not in compliance with our insurance and sanctioning from the American Power Boat Association and we cannot hold a race without insurance. After receiving approval from all local authorities for the race we are stunned by the Coast Guard’s decision.”
OUTBLAST – What's being billed as the first annual Race the Joe jet boat event is set for May 17-19 based out of St. Maries, Idaho.
Read on for details from the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce.
FISHING — Warmer water temperatures being recorded in North Idaho streams and rivers are creating unhealthy conditions for trout, especially the region's westslope cutthroats, Idaho environmental officials said.
A recent analysis by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality shows that nearly 900 miles of streams in Kootenai and Shoshone counties are reaching temperatures up to 80 degrees in warmer months, well above the optimal temperature of 55 degrees or colder for trout species that attract legions of fly fishers.
The biggest factor to the warming trend is excessive sun exposure and lack of tree cover that provides shade and protection, Kajsa Stromberg, DEQ spokeswoman, told the Coeur d'Alene Press in a story published Tuesday.
In addition, Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game studies over the years have documented major losses of deep holes and stream structure trout would seek to survive such conditions. Historic mining, logging and road-building practices contributed to the problems.
The region most affected by the warmer waters is the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River Sub basin, a region with a national reputation for producing great cutthroat trout fishing.
The warmer temperatures have a variety of negative impacts on trout, from making the fish lethargic to heightened risk and exposure to potentially threatening disease.
THE GOOD NEWS is that the DEQ is proposing a plan to lower water temperatures and improve access to colder, deeper waters to help reverse the warming trend.
The agency is taking written comments on the proposal until April 10, followed by a public hearing. The agency will also submit its draft plan to the Environmental Protection Agency for review.
THE BAD NEWS is that the online reaction to the CdA Press story on this issue was dominated by comments suggesting the DEQ's proposal is an example of government waste or a “liberal” reaction to climate change.
God help us if such ignorance is allowed to guide our stewardship of natural resources.
FISHING — Procrastinators lose in the quest to bunk in a Forest Service cabin along the St. Joe River, float a prized Idaho wilderness river or backpack through certain prized wilderness areas.
This is the season for thinking ahead to summer adventures that require a special permit or reservations.
However, not every choice destination is onboard with the national online system.
Entering the lottery for reserving the Red Ives Cabin on the St. Joe River requires a letter of application to the ranger district.
Red Ives cabin reservations are assigned in a lottery drawing. Applications are accepted early January through Feb. 28. The application is available from Forest Service offices or online at www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf; click on the Red Ives Quick Link. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March.
More than 500 applications were received for the 2012 season but only 50 applicants could be selected for reservations. Info: (208) 245-2531.
FISHING — A path was plowed this week through the lingering snow on Gold Pass, the popular access route from St. Regis, Mont., to the St. Joe River.
North Idaho angler Ralph Bartholdt posed his family on the pass to prove the point. Here's his pass and fishing report:
Gold summit is passable, (has been since last week) although there is road work going on near the Idaho bottom.
Fishing on The St. Joe was pretty fair. Nymphs to Tarantulas in the soft seams.
RIVERS — Anglers would like to seek the region's rivers calm down a little more, but paddlers are enjoying their “extended season” as cool wet weather prolongs the spring runoff.
“Marble Creek is still at a fairly high level,” said Todd Hoffman as he posted the photo above after his weekend trip to kayak the St. Joe River tributary. “Unbelievable for this late in the season.”
go with the flow
RIVER RUNNING – If you want expert advice on the reliable periods to find sufficient flows in area whitewater rivers, check out the ROW Adventures trip schedule. After all, they’ve been rafting area rivers for more than three decades.
The regional snowpack was about 119 percent of normal last week and some drainages are even highter, said ROW founder Peter Grubb.
His crews plan to run:
Spokane River Bowl and Pitcher now through July 6 (they ended July 20 last year).
Moyie River now through around June 12.
St. Joe River, starting around June 14 through July 4.
Clark Fork River, starting around July 5 and running through summer.
Grubb said he moves the same crew of guides and equipment to each river as it becomes ripe for rafting.
“We call the crew our migrant wave farmers,” he said.
FISHING — A jaw-dropping cutthroat trout caught by Matt Seaton this week, out with his brother — North Idaho fly-fishing guide Josh Seaton — is a reminder that Idaho's catch-and-release fishing rules have giant benefits.
A few groups, primarily in the Silver Valley and St. Maries areas, have been pressuring the Idaho Fish and Game Department to relax the catch-and-release rules enacted for the river a few years ago. Apparently they can't imagine catching a trophy like this and releasing it back into the river to live, spawn and perhaps be caught again by another lucky angler.
Research proves that few wild trout in Idaho streams would grow to large sizes if anglers were allowed to harvest the biggest fish every year. These findings are especially applicable to cutthroat trout, which have evolved to be rather unselective in what they strike in order to survive in their clean, relatively unfertile waters.
This wild fish, running at least 25 inches long, was caught on a large streamer a few days ago in a location the anglers are identifying only as in “the Couer d'Alene watershed.” Super. Great job, Matt and Josh. Thanks for giving the rest of us a chance to be thrilled by that wild hunk of Idaho.
And thanks to Idaho Fish and Game for standing tall against selfish people who essentially are promoting the elimination of this size of fish from North Idaho waters within a couple of years.
RIVERS — Moon Pass, the route over the Bitterroot Mountains between Wallace and Avery, is open according to Shoshone County Public Works.
The road is a popular shortcut from I-90 to the St. Joe River.
Gold Pass out of St. Regis, Mont., remains blocked by snow.
FLY FISHING — The upper reaches of the St. Joe River Road are still plugged with snow, but Sean Visintainer of Silver Bow Fly Shop found decent fishing in the lower river. The river was clear and dropping and fish were keying on Brown Drakes, a hatch that's usually a bust for fly fishers because of runoff.
Still, he said the he caught the most fish fast-stripping streamers.
In case you didn't notice, the cutthroat he'spreparing to release on Sunday stretches from his forefinger to his elbow.
NATIONAL FORESTS — The snow is starting to clear farther up the St. Joe River road for people anxious to get up the river to camp and kayak.
Going into the weekend, the main road is open to Conrad Crossing. Campgrounds are open that far, but they have not been all cleared of leaners and blowdowns.
The North Fork Road is only open to tunnel 4 because of a slide crews are still trying to clear.
RIVERS — The final two legs of the 2012 Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Championship races on Tuesday were cancelled after breakdowns and a spectacular crash.
Racing was scheduled to resume today with the field of competitors thinned to just a handful on Clearwater River courses involving two 40-mile legs between Orofino and Lewiston.
The races got of to a good start on the St. Joe River last weekend. Promoters say about 5,000 people were spread along miles of river to watch the boats roar by. The racing schedule continued to the River based out of Lewiston, and is scheduled to move next weekend to the Salmon River based out of Riggins.
The S-R had a story documented the economic activity the two days of racing encouraged in St. Maries.
Community celebrations and races take place over a nine-day period.
RIVERS — The 2012 Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Championship races got their start on the St. Joe River last weekend. Promoters say about 5,000 people were spread along miles of river to watch the boats roar by.
The S-R had a story today documenting the economic activity the two days of racing encouraged in St. Maries.
Community celebrations and races take place over a nine-day period.
Read on for the racing schedule next week on the Snake river based out of Lewiston, and the following weekend on the Salmon River based out of Riggins.
PUBLIC LANDS — Here's another wake up call for anyone contemplating a summer Forest Service cabin or lookout rental.
The rental season for the former ranger home along the St. Joe River is Memorial Day weekend through September.
Most federal lands cabin and fire lookout rentals as well as camping reservations are handled online or by phone through Recreation.gov, the national first-come-first served reservations system.
For example, the Surveyor's Ridge Lookout rental in the mountains high above the St. Joe is handled by the national system, allowing reservations to be made up to 180 days in advance.
However, the Red Ives Cabin, which includes a former ranger home, is handled locally in a lottery drawing.
More than 400 applications were submitted for 50 reservations in 2012 (and 500 applications for the 50 slots in 2013), said District Ranger Wade Sims.
Click here for a previous post on renting the popular Kelly Creek Cabin and other sites on the Clearwater National Forest.
Read on for details on applying for the Red Ives Cabin, Surveyor's Lookout and the Clarkia Bunkhouse.
FISHING — A portion of the popular St. Regis Road (Forest Highway 50) with access to the St. Joe River will continue to be closed through Monday noon for culvert replacement in the Bear Springs and Float Creek Area.
That means anglers headed for the upper St. Joe will need to use an alternate route. Alternatives include:
Moon Pass Road out of Wallace, brings you down the North Fork to the St. Joe close to Avery.
Forest Road 339 over Float Saddle and down Quartz Creek to the upper Joe (recommended for high-clearance vehicles).
Info: St. Joe Ranger District (208) 245-2531.
RIVER RUNNING — While fishermen have been chomping at their bits, whitewater rafters have been enjoying the prolonged high flows in Idaho's St. Joe River.
Tanner Grant of Spokane shot this video of a June 28 rafting trip on the Joe from Packsaddle Campground to Avery. The flows were around 7,900 cfs.
This week the flows are trending down below 5,000 cfs.