Watching the water rise around the state of Montana starting to give me that “sinking” feeling. All these shiny new drift boats with not a scratch…fancy paint jobs…lowgunnels…brand new designer oars handmade from imported tropical bubinga and cocobolo.

   The mighty Missouri topping 21,000 cubic feet per second at Toston, 13,000 at WolfCk.

   The Big Hole at 7800 cfs at Melrose.

   The Jefferson at 10,000 cfs at Three Forks.


   Impressive numbers for sure.


   But high water brings low bridges…and submerged cottonwoods…and hydraulics and whirlpools…and all other manner of  doom, danger and despair.


   It can get ugly out there…sunk_drift_boat_salmon_r

 A trip on the Salmon River that ended early.



  A fancy new wood boat that took a side channel on the Big Hole with some very jagged old metal posts hiding under the surface.



        A float trip on the Yellowstone that got cattywompus.



      A bad day on the Deschutes.



        Run Forrest, run!




Rowing drift boats 101: never float sideways through the Kelly Br. on the Madison.



            It’s sunk but we can see it!





Tim Mosolf and others portage boats and rafts over Hildreth bridge…Beaverhead River, 1984.


   Should be a fun springtime on Montana rivers. Be careful out there.