Big Hole River 1630 cfs—Maidenrock
Over the past three days there have been lots of boats on the river. A good portion of them have been pleasure and party floats. Even with all the boat traffic the fishing has been very good. The cloud cover we have been getting in the afternoon has also helped with the good fishing.
Yesterday evening there was another near tradgedy here at the diversion dam by the pump station. It happened just a few minutes after I left according to my neighbor. Three young guys in a raft apparently thought they were invincable and they could float over it with no problem. They got caught in the back wash and lucky for them my neighbors Randy and Brian were close by and saw them go over. Randy got out on the cable chair and got a line to them just as they were going to attempt to jump out of the boat—that would have been a fatal mistake.
Randy said they were pretty shook up and cold by the time they got them to shore but alive and very lucky.
Had there been no one around the back wash would eventually flip the boat with them under it. Once caught in that there is no way out unless someone is on the rescue cable chair with a winch line down to them.
There are signs warning of this dam at Silver Bridge and two along the river bank below and a big one on the dam structure saying to portage left now.
I have been involved in a couple rescue operations there and it was very lucky we got them out.
A few years ago there was no one around to see a boat go over and flip in the back wash. The guy on the oars survived—his two young lady passengers did not.
This dam is nothing to mess with. This weekend I saw several rigs driving slowly by with their boats in tow and checking it out. It doesn’t look bad but it will eat ya.
I will never forget the mothers of those gals who perished there throwing flowers into the river as they had a service for them at the site.