Late this afternoon my neighbor Patricia called me at the shop and  said a raft had just flipped over at the dam and it was floating downstream upside down. I knew FWP warden Sargent Kline was in the area so I called him to assist. We got to the Divide access about the same time and spotted the raft upside down and about a hundred yards downstream from the ramp on the far side of the river. We went back across the bridge and were able to drive close to where they were. There were two of them and the older gentleman was shaking pretty bad and complaining he could not catch his breath. It was obvious he was a bit hypothermic. We put him in my jeep and with the warm sun shining in the window he started to get much better. We managed to flip the boat upright and the other guy who was in pretty good shape was able to row it down to the campground access.

He said when going over the dam he went too far to the left and got caught in a back wash and flipped immediately. When going over this thing you want to hit it dead center and then pull hard right to get out of it. At this flow it is actually more dangerous than when it was 8000. Now those two waves have a standing wave also known as a rooster tail. If you hit it dead center with a raft or high side drift boat—no problem. If in a low side–good chance you will sink. The portage path is a joke and don’t even try it.

The guy told me something that really irked me. He said while they were floating upside down in the middle of the river and hanging on for dear life while passing the Divide access there was a guy standing on the ramp and just watched them float by. No offer of any help or to get help but just stood and watched them.

It all turned out ok and a big thanks to my neighbor to call me as soon as she saw it.

Now to the fishing. Reports today were good with decent action on top using chubbies and chernobles. No bugs out of any kind but those browns just can’t refuse that chubby.


  1. Michael Gallus

    Glad you were at the shop. This is up for debate. But I am a on board that at this time of year. You bag the flipped boat and head for the beach. The water temp will only give you about 4 or 5 minutes of active musell use. That could kill ya. If you are in a life jacket your neck could even give out over time. What do you think AL –Boat or beach.

  2. Hey its about time to redo that chute. It was screwed up from the get go and it time to fix is. The guy who flipped is very experienced and had gone through many times. Its dangerous and needs a couple of rocks pulled out.

  3. Hey Al,
    Just wanted to keep spreading the word about a sage launch that Seth found upriver a week ago. We made a post on facebook and told troutfitters. No responses yet. If you know of anyone who lost this rod, have them call us 406-684-5651, and we will gladly return it to them

    • Chris, As a matter of fact Neal Bolton who is vice president of Granite Mt. Bank in Butte called and said he lost one in that area. I forgot about posting it. Will have him call you, thanks.

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