Tough Go

Big Hole River 1910 cfs

We launched the boat at the Divide access this morning and the river looked terrible. Visibility was less than a foot and it was obvious it was on the rise. We almost aborted the mission but Dave G. who is my client of 18 years (he reminded me of that fact today) said what the hell lets go as it’s the first nice warm day and be a good boat ride any way. Conditions were really bad and I was thinking to myself that I have not been skunked for many moons but this might be the day. About twenty minutes into the trip Dave presented that JJ Special just perfect in this foam pocket, the line jumped and we had a 14 inch brown trout to the boat. We celebrated the still no skunk deal. In just a few more minutes we had another brown that was bigger. Between that point and the mouth of the canyon we got six, all between 14 and 18 inches and all on the JJ Special. For these conditions this was excellent. Once we hit the canyon and for the rest of the trip we never touched another fish. The river rising about 350 cfs during that time may have had something to do with it.

Another cold front is on the way with snow forecast for Wednesday (imagine that) I look for the river to start to level off as all the ice is melted on the upper stretch. As for fishing conditions my crystal ball is in the shop for repairs so it’s anybody’s guess.


  1. Al, it’s about time you got your head out of Andros and back on the Big Hole. I am sooooo sick of hearing about Andros and bonefishing (just kidding). Glad you had a skunkless day….Would hate to see your reputation go down the tubes first day out!

  2. All I care about is that your crystal ball can forecasat decent conditions for May, 12,13,14

  3. Bonefish Ken

    I to am tired of hearing about Androse and those silly saltwater carp. I also am kidding. I went to Hank’s Place last year and am just jealous that I can’t pull of 6 weeks like you guys can!! Is there a link or anywhere on the site where I can get the tying recipe for the JJ Special? Sounds like a swee tie.

  4. Bonefish Ken

    Nevermind. Googled the JJ Special and found the recipe. Looks suspicously like the “tequillee fly” pattern my guides used to throw on the Green River.

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