Friday, July 01, 2016

North Fork Camping

Remember about 20 years ago when we camped on the North Fork of the Clearwater River and fished Kelly Creek? 20 years ago? Was it that long ago?

Stow-n-Go pizza!
From what we could figure, it has been over 20 years since we camped up in the Clearwater area. We drove into Superior, Montana and took FSR 250 (Trout Creek Road) up over HooDoo Pass and into Idaho. Following the road down Long Creek to the Cedars where we headed into Black Canyon, we checked out as many campsites as we could.

The first site we found was a huge spot in beautiful Cedar trees, but it looked and smelled like livestock had been kept there. We moved on down through the canyon to Hidden Creek Campground. We chose a spot and started to get set up. Immediately we were besieged by mosquitoes. None of our previous stops had been a mosquito hideaway, so we packed the gear back into the truck and continued on down the Clearwater.

We ended our search at Noe Creek Campground where we were the only people camped there. Since we were the only folks there, we chose the best spot. It was right next to the river and had a sandy beach. Throughout the week Linda and Kobi took advantage of this spot of sand.

With the camper set up, I grabbed my fishing gear and hit the rapid next to the campground. The fishing all week was really good. I fished the campground rapid several times catching some very nice fish. This was the first time I used my new/old fishing net. After my St. Joe trip, I replaced my old net with a new measure-net. The measure-net works very well. My largest fish cradled in the net and I read the 10-inch mark and a 7-inch mark. According to the instructions you add 10 and 7 which gives you a 17-inch fish! Then because you are a fisherman, you add two inches to that and get a 19-inch fish! As you tell the story of the catch you increase the size by one-inch increments.

During the week I went fishing several times and Linda read several books.  We had a great time and enjoyed the area greatly. I took my first swim of the season. Not on purpose. I caught my foot in a submerged tree branch and sat down in the river. It was cold but actually felt good.
Linda on the beach with Kobi.

On Friday we left the campground allowing the holiday crowds a chance at our spot. By the time we left our camp spot, it was the only one unoccupied.

Linda gets up and Kobi takes her place.
We drove down the North Fork of the Clearwater on FSR 247 to Aquarius Campground and Purple Beach and then turned along Beaver Creek road. The road winds along the creek. Linda always keeps her eyes peeled for wild game.  As we moved past a stretch of alder-lined stream, Linda said, "This looks like great moose area." She looked out the window and said, "Hey, look, a moose!"

We drove on to a turn-around spot and returned to the area where she thought she saw the moose. We spotted it! I took a couple of photos. As it turns out, the moose was a cow and had a calf following at her heels. They both scampered out and up into the woods. Turning around we headed into Headquarters and on to Orofino.

The crowds on the roads grew as we hit Lewiston and then on home.  What a great week!

Road rabbit.
Deer visiting the river.
Moose and calf on the way home.

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