Spruce Moths and new River restrictions

Kevin Warren


Spruce moth activity has been hot in the canyon, with the best fishing from Jerry Creek to Maiden Rock. We have been catching rising fish on a variety of patterns, the best being a #12 CDC Underwing Spruce Moth. Elk hair caddis and the 2Pac patterns have worked as well, #12-14. We expect to only see the moths our for a few more days, but there is really no way of knowing. The trico hatch has still been steady on most of the river. Stop in the shop to stock up on moths and grab a shuttle before you head out.

FWP announced yesterday that restrictions have been put back in place. Currently the river is under hoot-owl restrictions from Maiden Rock to the confluence with the Beaverhead. Additional restrictions are in place from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows  Road to North Fork Big Hole River. This has placed a lot of angling traffic from Jerry Creek down to Maiden Rock as people try to fish the Spruce Moth hatch through the canyon. The river has been on a steady drop since last Friday, dropping about 200 cfs. Water temperatures have been peaking at about 69 degrees during the heat of the day, but hopefully a few days of cooler weather will help to keep the temps low.

We finished up with our Kohler fishing trip last Saturday. Eight guys enjoyed both the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers, with 5 days of fishing and 6 nights in the Blodge. Everyone got to catch trout, and a friendly contest ensued of who caught the most and the biggest. We still haven’t heard the result of that contest; forgetfulness most likely due to the cases of Rainier beer waiting at the Blodge for them every evening! I’ve never seen a recycling run quite like that at the conclusion of a trip. Thanks to Kevin Warren for bringing the Kohler boys again this year; we are looking forward to next year!

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Restrictions lifted on Big Hole

We are happy to report that the Hoot Owl restrictions have been lifted on the Big Hole River. The entire stretch of the Big Hole is now open under normal regulations. The restrictions on the Jefferson and Beaverhead rivers have also been removed. Enjoy it while you can, we are forecasted for some hot weather the next few days, which could raise the river temperatures again.

The tricos are still hatching heavily, with the best part of the hatch from 10:30 to about 12:30. We’ve heard a few people say they have started to see a few spruce moths in the canyon; if they begin to really come out, the dry fly fishing should be excellent. We like to throw elk hair caddis and tan sparkle bugs for fish feeding on the spruce moths.

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