Notice: All of the Big Hole River is now open to fishing
The past weeks weather has made for some tough fishing conditions. There was not a cloud in site for 4 days and the water was dropping, forcing the fish to move to different feeding lanes, making them skittish and hard to get on top. There have been BWO’s coming off in the morning, as long as the wind does not pick up, and blow them off the water. The conditions on the Big Hole gave me an opportunity to do a little guiding on one of my favorite fall fishing spots, the Jefferson River. The weather was similar, but the flows were remaining steady and the fishing was better than the upper Big Hole, but not by much. The fish on the Jefferson were eating size 18 copper johns, size 10 black girdle bugs, and silver … Continue reading
Over the last couple of weeks we have battled high temperatures, bright cloudless days, smoke from local fires, and, of course, low water conditions. I have been hoping that the temps would drop and bring rain to the valley and it looks like it is finally here. The temp today is a high of 54 degrees in Divided and they clouds have settled in, bringing light drizzles that should turn into T-storms this evening. The fish and the river have received a long awaited reprieve from this out-of-the-ordinary summer.
That being said, the fishing has been improving. The browns are putting on their sexy colors and beginning to chase streamers on a regular basis. The big fish have been on the hunt as well. Our good friend and guide, Mark Thompson, managed to catch a client the fish of a lifetime last week coming in at 27 … Continue reading
The Big Hole will be for closed to float launches at Greenwood Flats FAS and Silver Bridge (Powerhouse FAS) on Wednesday, August 19. Wade fishing will also be restricted 1000′ feet up and down stream from Silver Bridge. The construction crew is still working on Silver Bridge; this temporary closure is due to that process. If you plan on floating below Jerry Creek, please be aware that you will need to take out at Greenwood!
We have heard from the construction crew that they are a month ahead of schedule (for now), and hope to be completed with the project in mid-September. Hopefully we can get some photos of them putting the bridge back where it belongs!
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 … Continue reading
Yesterday we had an unusual, but much welcome July rain storm. It dumped buckets all day, with temperatures barely coming out of the 40’s. There are lots of reports of snow
accumulation above 8000 ft. A couple of our clients who are here for the week opted to hit the river regardless of the weather, while some others took off to enjoy the hot springs. Those that braved the weather were well rewarded, boating lots of fish who were hungry for streamers.
Look for continued action on the streamers (olive, white, yellow, copper) as the river came up 112 cfs at Maiden Rock, and is still rising with all of the rain we received. Today is supposed to warm up to about 70 degrees, with some lingering storms clouds. Tricos, hoppers and caddis are working well for … Continue reading
A wade fisherman, fishing around Saw Log lost his wallet yesterday, July 20. He also fished at the Jerry Creek FAS. The wallet is tan, and fell out of his pocket. If you come across it, please drop it at the fly shop. Mr. Graff is willing to offer a reward for it safe return. Thank you!
Additionally, for those of you looking for some hatches, the tricos have started hatching. We have heard they are out from Dickie Bridge clear down to Brown’s Bridge. Mid-morning has been the heaviest portion of the hatch, sometime between 10 and 11 AM, lasting until about 1 PM. As I write this it is pouring down rain in Divide; a welcome rain, sure to add some needed water to the Big Hole. Streamer’s have also been working well during the cloud cover. We recommend copper zonkers, olive/white coneheads, and white/pearl streamers. … Continue reading
The summer is rolling by quickly, a little too quick for me. I have been keeping busy with various tasks; from managing the lodge, filling in at the fly shop when needed, and recently I have been teaching a lot of horseback riding lessons for locals around town. Yesterday, I had a new first: haying. Now, I have done some farm work in the hay fields, but have generally not been given a chance to drive the machinery. Well, after some persuading, my neighbor taught me how to drive his swather. I handily mowed down all 18 acres of grass in our field, and proudly drove the swather back to its parking spot up the road. As I was pulling in, my neighbor, Ron, was standing there watching me. In the gate I went, and CRASH, there went the gate, flying off the hinges. I guess I forgot … Continue reading
Hoot owl restrictions have been placed on most of Western Montana’s rivers as of July 3. The majority of the Big Hole is under hoot owl restrictions (closed to fishing from 2 pm until midnight). Dickie Bridge to Maiden Rock FAS is still open, under normal regulations.
I have just been notified of a proposed law concerning flats fishing in the Bahamas. There is a proposed law which would eliminate all non Bahamians from fishing without a Bahamian guide. Several of my contacts hire a guide for a couple days and then rent a boat to go out on their own as they cannot afford to hire a guide every day.
I found out the dead line for commenting on this law is tomorrow, June 26th. I also just found out about this from my friends in Norway. It seems like they are trying to push it through quickly.
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