Salmon Fly Update

Big Hole River 1950 cfs and holding nicely.

As of this update the big bugs have shown up all the way from Glen up river as far as Fish Trap. There are quite few in the Maidenrock Canyon and the word got out quick.
I was helping the girls shuttle today and it was never ending. I didn’t think we could squeeze another rig in the Melrose access but we did, over and over. The Divide access was totally nuts all day with rigs coming and going. I will have to say that with all the traffic and boats and trailers at these access points people were very friendly to each other and when things got jammed up there were no drive by hookups or such.

It was late in the afternoon when Daniele and I finished the last shuttle. I was beat but told Art we should go up river for a short evening float and be away from the crowds even if we don’t catch any thing it will be a peaceful trip. We decided to stay with salmon fly patterns cuz we saw a total of two when we put in. For about a mile or so there was nothing and I switched patterns a couple times. There was some mention of nymphs and I quickly put that down. Like I said I didn’t care if we didn’t catch any fish but we are staying on the big dry’s. It was then Art’s turn as we did start to get a couple lookers on top. We were almost an hour into the float when he hooked into a nice 18 inch brown, the first fish of the trip. Talk about stubborn— we were not about to go under and it is a good thing we didn’t. A short time later close to the bank in fairly fast water that was not more than a foot deep there was a plop sound and the fly was gone. I told Art right off I think it’s a pretty good one. When it rolled on the surface it turned out to be hog. I pulled the boat over in some soft water and the fish made out for the middle. He was using my rod and I told him he could lean on him a bit cuz I had on a 9 foot 2x leader that was chopped back to 7 feet so it was at least down to 1x. It was a good thing because we landed the fish as quickly as possible and it turned out to be just over 25 inches with big shoulders and heavy girth. It was a big female brown trout in her prime that we estimated at about 7 pounds. All this was witnessed by Fergie who was wade fishing on the far bank and is a regular customer at the shop.
I won’t say exactly what salmon fly pattern it took and I don’t think it really mattered, but if your in the shop in the near future I’m sure Art will be happy to show you one and relate the story. We finished up with another 18 inch brown on the same fly. It was a nice peaceful short evening float with nary another boat in sight.

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