Its been the typical opening for the fly shop here in Divide. The weather has been very mild for the past couple of weeks minus a few snow flurries that didn’t stick to the valley floor. This time of year Lia and I are fortunate to have a chance to hit the water together and do some real, in-house, R and D with the help of our friends and guides alike.
The water temps have still been very cold in the Big Hole. There has been a decent blue wing olive hatch in the mornings as we see warmer days, with some reports of the elusive skwalla hatch on the lower river. In my experience with snowpacks and early warm weather trends, the Big Hole should be shaping up by the middle of May and set us up for a good salmon fly hatch. This is just an opinion and could easily change if we have an incredibly wet spring, similar to the last two springs. The color of the water is not bad, with 18 inches of viz San Juan worms and large stonefly nymphs are getting the most attention, along with slow stripped streamers in the white and yellow versions.
The Beaverhead is clear above grasshopper creek, and dark brown afterwards. The blue wing hatch is excellent in the morning until about noon. There are shots at rising fish, but the nymph/streamer game is still producing more fish. The river is very low above grasshopper creek, so don’t bring a drift boat down there until we see a push from the Clark Canyon Dam. The bugs that produced for us were pink scuds, green lightning bugs, and JJ’s specials.