Swim camped near the mouth of the Yankee Fork. A tremendous wind and rainstorm kept him there an extra day. When he woke up the next morning, he discovered that the wind had blown down branches and trees all around him. But that wasn't all he discovered. Beneath the roots of an uprooted tree, Isaac Swim discovered the glitter of gold.
The prospector blazed trees in the area so he could be certain of finding his way back. Then he set out for Challis, where he filed a mining claim on September 9, 1881.
Swim returned to his claim and gathered some choice samples of quartz generously flecked with gold. When he brought that back to civilization, it set men's imaginations to running wild. His grubstake partners were elated. They could hardly wait for spring.
Swim tried to lead his partners back to the claim in June 1882. Some stories say that a gaggle of miners also followed Swim, hoping to cash in.
The Salmon River was roaring with spring run-off. Eager to get back to his claim, Swim risked the river astride his horse. No one saw him drown, but it seems certain that the man named Swim was swept away in the river.
His partners went on to the area where Swim had discovered the vein. They found at least one of his tree blazes, but they didn't locate any gold.
Swim’s horse turned up months later, 50 miles downstream, lodged in driftwood. A body thought to be Swim’s turned up that summer in the Salmon River about 12 miles southwest of Challis. The site is called Dead Man’s Hole. A BLM campground is there today (photo).
Meanwhile, the Lost Swim Mine is still out there for the finding.