I arrived wed morning at the flyshop here in Divide. Art, “The Man” showed me the ropes: what to use, where and how to fish it, plus a little help on mending my line and knots. Being set for a week of fishing I set out for Pat Baileys cabin. First notible event was the damn horses on his property. I thought they were in heat with my car. They also were able to bend my mirrors back on several occassions. Ok, now to fishing, for all of you who dont give a damn about the horses. Fishing the first few days were fantastic for most people standards, especially mine. I never had to drive for the mile of river off my backstep, thanks to Pat Bailey. There is a power plant with a slow pool above it, AKA “Al’s Honey Hole.” Fishing this hole took me about an hour to get the hang of. The fish there do not like ANY drag, like most of the river. I had most of my luck in the hole with size 20 emerger and cripple patterns in accordance of color to what is coming off. Black was the best choice since there was a fair amount of Tricos in the morning and evenings. Only a 5x tippet and no shorter than a 9 foot leader for dry fishing is required. During the day i had the best of luck on the EC caddis emerger size 12. I make fun of my dad for using this fly and tell him it sucks, which hurts his feelings. The i secretly use it when hes not looking. This fly works for beatis hatches when tied small enough. But it works really well for a attractor pattern. The fish seem to hone in on the 2-tone body coloring and the trailing shuck of the fly. Another successfull fly when the hatch wasn’t on was the PMX which is like a stimmy with legs. I tied a few with a blue/yellow polyyarn post for visibility in the evening or when there was flat light with glare. The biggest fish caught in those first 3 days was a 17/18 inch rainbow out of Al’s hole with a trico cripple, then the same length Brown,maybe slightly larger on a PMX fished close to the boulders. The rest of the fish were 12-16 inch bows and browns, with 12 inch average Mt. Whitefish. But then…..the weatehr went to shit. Which meant I didnt need to fish early mornings to catch big fish, but it did change the hatch scedule. On these last few days I spent fishing the water from Divide bridge to the power plant, but mostly around the bridge. I would fish the Trico hatch on the on the long riffle above the bridge untill about 3 pm. This would produce good sized rainbows, browns, and whitefish. When the hatch starts winding down I change to the EC caddis like I said before. yesterday, my last day of fishing I produced my biggest trout of the trip on the EC Caddis fished in the seam behind the big rocks. This was about a 20 inch brown. “i mentally noted the length of the fish on my rod then a guy i met from N. Carolina a few minutes later measured it from where i mentally marked my rod. So yep thats about it. From what Art is telling me the good fishing is just starting. “The best times to fish the Bighole is May and September.” So if you have time, come on out to Divide and stop by Great Divide Outfitters for a float trip or just someone to talk to about fishin.
A Bighole Week by Peter Haun