We are happy to report that the Alder Creek Fire, located just outside of Wise River, has been kept at bay, nobody has been injured, and there has been no loss of property. The effort put together by the firefighting teams has been very impressive, a very special thank you is due to everyone involved in keeping our community safe! Hopefully those of us who have been evacuated will be able to safely return home soon. Our hours have been a little erratic, and we apologize if we have missed you. Due to the evacuations from the fire, we have had to close up several times in order to get up the valley to follow the direction of our local law enforcement and fire departments.
The flows on the Big Hole River have stabilized substantially in the past week, and the river is not dropping as quickly as is was in the earlier part of the month. That being said, water temps are still peaking in the mid to late afternoon, so we continue to encourage anglers to keep an eye on water temperatures, and reel it up at sixty eight degrees. New restrictions have been put in place across Southwest Montana. A full report of that can be found at the FWP website. Locally, restrictions include: – Full river closure upstream of the North Fork of the Big Hole River – Full river closure from Tony Schoonen (Notch Bottom), downstream to the confluence with the Beaverhead – Hoot owl restrictions from the North Fork of Big Hole, downstream to Dickie Bridge. – Hoot owl restrictions from Maiden Rock FWP (AKA DEAD ZONE) to Tony Schoonen (Notch Bottom).
We have still been finding some good days of fishing, and when conditions are right, have had good fishing on dry flies. Fish have been rising to nocturnal stones, caddis and small mayflies. We are awaiting the beginning of the Trico hatch, and have seen hatches of pseudo tricos in the mornings. Patterns to have on hand include purple haze #18, PMD Dun, Gray Sparkle Dun, Tiltwing Duns, Chubby #12 – #14 (tan, purple). Underneath we have been having fish bite well on Splitcase PMD, PMD Jig, dark colored bullets and small stonefly patterns. Don’t ignore the fast riffles, especially with small wooly buggers. Remember to bring fish in quickly, keep them wet while removing the hook, and making sure they swim away strong. Pinching the barbs on your flies makes all of this much easier!
We have been trying to minimize any fish photography, so you probably won’t see much here for the time being!