I just got back from the sixth annual man trip. This trip annually extends through Labor Day weekend, and consists of meeting in Missoula, MT for drinks at the titty bar, driving into the River, hiking for 6 days, and flying back out to civilization from a remote airstrip. Friday morning I got a phone call from Marty, the guy who was to drive us in. He was recovering from hand surgery and too blown out on pain killers to make the drive. CRAP! After a mad scramble and a touch of luck, I got in touch with my good friends Lynn and Ceci. Luckily they were available to run our shuttle and we were back on schedule. Friday night the five of us met at the titty bar and proceeded to get drunk and spend lots of ones. Saturday morning we ate gut bombs at Denny’s and took off for the river. We arrived at the trailhead around 1:00 in the afternoon, geared up and took off down the trail. My first fish of the trip: The water was extremely clear and a bit colder than usual: Brian caught his first Bull Trout: Our first camp was two miles in. Ryan fixed a badass seafood alfredo for dinner, and we chilled out by the fire playing dice and drinking until we were driven to shelter by what turned out to be an all night series of thunder storms. Lighting was popping all night, striking several trees just up the hill from us. We all survived the night well, with the exception of Brian, who ended up soaked and tired as hell. A scrambled eggs and diced summer sausage breakfast put a smile on everyone’s face and we packed up and took off for our next camp. The fishing picked up significantly, despite the low pressure system. Craig caught the biggest fish of the trip, a jack Chinook Salmon. It was in great shape, especially considering it was over 600 miles and countless Class IV and larger rapids into its journey from the ocean. At Waldo, we played a killer game of Turdball, with Ryan beating Jes, 3-1. That night we ate the best batch of Chili Mac ever made on the Selway. A steady sprinkle/drizzle that night had us in bed early, but we awoke on Monday to clearing skies and the opening of grouse season. The fishing was even better than the day before with Jes picking up a nice bull trout on the fly rod: Craig put on a clinic with his spinning rod and fly rod, outfishing all of us: Jes popped two grouse with the .410 on the flat next to the first pack bridge over the river: We saw some rattlesnakes and even caught a monster crayfish: Ryan picked up his biggest cutthroat of the trip: Multiple bull trout and cutthroat trout were caught here: Camp is right around the corner. That night at Upper Archer we ate grouse fajitas and jambalaya: Tuesday was a layover day dedicated to fishing and hunting. Ryan and Jes put the hammer down on three more grouse: That night we ate Mountain House Lasagna preceded by beer battered grouse breast and grouse sautéed with butter and garlic set over a bed of jasmine rice. The next day, we packed up camp and headed off on a four mile jaunt to our last camp at Broken Oar. That day, I caught the biggest cutthroat of the trip: Jes hammered several nice bull trout: The river as we approached camp: I slept well that night in the old hammock; lulled to sleep by the chuckle of the river. The next day, Thursday, was our last day. We were scheduled to meet our helicopter at the airstrip at 9:00 for our ride out, and we arrived 20 minutes early. We played a game of turdball while we waited, and around 9:30 we began to get a bit worried. No bird. We waited patiently until 10:30 and then decided to take action. Lucky for us, an old homestead turned into a wilderness vacation home with a caretaker, was about a mile and away. The caretakers were there, and Mark was kind enough to let me use the satellite phone. One phone call and a solid ass chewing later, the asshole at Mission Mountain Helicopter (http://www.flywithmmh.com) was scrambling to get a flight arranged for us. He broke the cardinal rule for a back country charter business. He FORGOT us. Anyway, three hours later a Cessna 182 arrived to pick us up and take us out in two trips. Good times were had by all.