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 … Continue reading

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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Big Hole and Mo fishing fun.

Al has been out the last few days with Jim and Mariah Douglas catching some trout and enjoying the Big Hole.  The weather has been so pleasant these last few days they chose a good time for some fun.  Jim and Mariah were on the Mo before they came here and these are some of the fish they caught there.                                               Jim

I have yet to hear back about today’s trip, but I’ll be sure to update this page then.  Don’t forget about the Big Hole River Day in Melrose, on Saturday July 18th,  put on by the Big Hole River Foundation.  I hope you bought your raffle tickets for the boat, because we are no longer … Continue reading

Smith River


Last week I jumped at an opportunity to float down the Smith River with a few of my Dillon friends. This was my 6th time on this river, which is one of my favorites. One of our local guides, Bernard Kailey, who had never been before, came along as well. It was really fun showing this beautiful river to a native-Montanan for the first time. We had great fishing, great weather and tons of fun. He wrote up a quick report of his experience:

Dreams do come true. I found this out last week when I was invited last minute on a Smith river trip with Lia Jones and some other good friends.

My first trip down the wild freestone river called Smith. As we pulled into Camp Baker, the clouds were low and the air was cold and … Continue reading

Jefferson River

Big Hole River 469 cfs—Maidenrock

We floated the Jefferson river a couple days ago and all in all it was a bit of a let down. Streamer fishing was difficult as there was a lot of moss and about every third cast we would be mossed up. It was a bright day also which is not the best for streamers. There was some top water action on mahogany duns. At one point I tied on a big hopper just for the hell of it. Second cast I had a big fish hit and miss the fly. A couple casts later I had another good size fish hit and I stuck that one. We thought wow, this is going to be great hopper fishing here on out. We got two more hits on hopper patterns and that was it.
I’m not giving up on it yet. As soon … Continue reading

Jefferson River

Big Hole 332 cfs
Beaverhead 460 cfs
Jefferson 554 cfs

Just for a change of scenery if for no other reason we floated the Jeff yesterday. I knew the fishing would be tough with the bright sun and temps in the upper 80’s. It felt more like July than mid September. Conditions were not good for streamers but being a streamer junkie I had to try it anyway. About the third cast I had a huge brown boil on the fly, I wish this would have never happened because it only got me tired arm and a groove wore through my finger with that sharkskin line (forgot the tape) That was the only action on a streamer and believe me it was not for a lack of trying. Bob and Andy were doing the hopper-dropper deal. There was very little action on the hopper but they … Continue reading

Frosty Morning

Big Hole River 514 cfs–Maidenrock, 410 cfs–Melrose
Madison River 3640 cfs

The upper Madison was closed briefly due to high flows connected to problems with Hebgen Dam. PPL stated that the dam is stable but they are having problems with outlet control structure. The river and access points are open again but not to camping. FWP stated that there is a slight chance the river may rise as much 3000 cfs so don’t park your rig next to the river.

We were in no hurry to get started this morning as it was just a bit chilly. I was hoping for some clouds for streamer action but it was a bright morning. A.P. was in the boat this morning and he loves to throw streamers so I said let’s try them regardless of the bright sun. We were pleasantly surprised as the browns and bows were whacking … Continue reading

“The Van”

Big Hole 2360 cfs
Beaverhead 506 cfs
Madison 720 cfs (near Varney Bridge)

I spoke with Dan Delekta from Bear Tooth Lodge over on the Madison this evening. He said the Madison is the lowest he has ever seen it and the wade fishing is great. According to Dan it has been low and clear for about a week now. Obviously they are filling Hebgen dam.

Since things are pretty slow here at the shop for the rest of the week I suggested to Art that he grab “The Van” and play the trout bum for a few days. He didn’t say much but after a few minutes I walked to the back of the shop and he already had the van half loaded and was getting ready to be on his way. I have described this van before but will do it again. It’s a … Continue reading

Baetis and Buggers

Big Hole 217 cfs
Beaverhead 174 cfs
Jefferson 546 cfs

Fishing on the Jefferson yesterday was spotty with little action on streamers. In the afternoon a brief light shower came down and if like magic just after, the baetis came out big time. There were duns all over the place and we found a few pods of fish who feasting on them. I tdidn’t last very long but it was fun while it did with lots of top water action.

Today didn’t start out very good as when we got to the river my client discovered he had forgot his waders. He was really upset with himself and asked about wet wading. With the temp. in the 40’s that was not an option. We headed back to Dillon to get him a new pair which he needed anyway. To lighten up the situation I told him … Continue reading