Friday, September 28, 2012

Deadman Hole officially open

It's time once again to revisit Deadman Hole.  We've devoted four articles to this spot so far this season.  Today, The BLM put out a news release late Friday (9/28) noting that the new & improved Dead Man Hole Recreation Site is now officially open.  Below is what they had to say in their release.  We have more comments and photos below the news release and its source link.

"CHALLIS, ID – After months of renovation, the popular Deadman Hole Recreation site is now open. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site, located about 12 miles southwest of Challis, Idaho, provides anglers and recreationalists a great opportunity to access the Salmon River. “The new site looks great,” said Ben Roundtree, recreation planner for the BLM Challis Field Office. “We did a lot of work to construct a site that would meet the needs of recreationalists in the area, and I believe we’ve found a good balance.”

The BLM received two sets of comments regarding the Deadman Hole Recreation site project after seeking public input through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and hosting an open house meeting. With the BLM’s new improvements, the site now consists of two-day use shelters/picnic units, a day use parking area, a new vault toilet, a concrete boat ramp, a gravel boat trailer parking area and five campsites with shelters, fire rings and tables. “This site is now the perfect stop for people wanting to explore the outdoors in the beautiful Challis Field Office,” said Roundtree.
For more information, please contact the BLM Challis Field Office at (208) 879-6200."

Source link:

OK, below are some photos of the Deadman Hole boat ramp.  Here's how it worked.  First, they used a crane to drop a pre-fab slab into the river.  Then, they excavated, formed and poured one kick anatomy boat ramp up to the parking area.  They put in a lot of other amenities, too, that you can see from our first Deadman Hole article this year by clicking here:

There are more comments below the photos.
This is the pre-fab slab.
Here are the guys forming the ramp--really thick and well reinforced.
My wife, Susun, cruising the new ramp in late August.
Yep, brand new regulation vault toilet right next to the ramp where it belongs.
These are actually pretty cool picnic spots and will get heavy use from the friends and families of shore fishermen in years to come.

Thanks for looking at the photos and dropping down to read more comments.  Prior to this year's extreme makeover of Deadman Hole, the place was the pits.  The ingress/egress was dangerous.  Turning radius was practically non-existent.  Parking was dicey.  There was no plan.  Now, it's a whole different ballgame.

Old Time Salmon fishermen know that Deadman Hole and the hole below Tunnel Rock are easily the two best places in this area to hook chinook salmon.  Old Timers tell of scores of chinook fishermen who once descended on those rocks in the old days.  One such Old Timer claims he's seen more than a hundred chinook fishermen at once on Deadman and Tunnel.  This year, hardly anyone fished Deadman and due to private property issues, only a few boat fisherman worked the Tunnel Rock hole.

Our local correspondent who lives on Malm Gulch took this photo of a lone fisherman dangling his line from atop the Deadman Hole rock. (Comments continue below photos.)

You can see this guy with a blue shirt sitting on a ledge of the Deadman Hole rock.  At first we thought that was a strange way to fish.  How wrong we were.  One of the Old Timers told us that's one of The Best ways to fish for chinook.  It's a long story and we might tell it sometime between now and the 2013 chinook season.  In the meantime, when you look at the two photos above, try to imagine what this rock looked like with scores of fishermen draped all over it "back in the day."

So, why are we going into such detail here?  Simply to tell you that the presence of the new Deadman Hole ramp is going to be a "game changer" for fishing at both Deadman Hole and the Tunnel Rock Hole.  Now that it is vastly easier to safely park and walk or to launch a jet boat here, chinook fishing pressure is going to increase substantially during any next and subsequent seasons to follow.

Although we salute the BLM for making a really nice new RAP (River Access Point) it's never going to be quite the same again there.  Both Deadman and Tunnel are two of the classic holding spots for chinook as they move up river. There really aren't many other deep holes in this stretch of river like Deadman and Tunnel.  It's definitely now going to be a place to watch during any chinook season in the future.

You can bet we will be following how the whole thing evolves during both spring steelhead and the summer chinook season (assuming one happens in this section).  The Deadman Hole story continues to be a work in progress.

Thanks for reading!

Here are links to the previous Deadman Hole articles we've done this season:

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