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Big spring flows, Caddis! & river treasures

This past week was a wet one across the state of Montana. Craig & I were lucky again to jump on the Smith River with a group of our good friends, and we didn’t let the rain wash the smiles off of our faces. We were able to tease a few fish up the first couple days, and even saw some salmon flies. Then, the rain came, the river turned to mud, and we changed gears to morel mushroom hunting. This was the first trip I’ve been on where the mushroom hunting was far better than the fishing. Our group was able to dig up about 8 pounds of mushrooms, and with some campside bartering for butter, we feasted!

Back in the Big Hole Valley, the river had the same big bump in flows after a very wet week. We hit a peak of almost 6,000 cfs at the Dickie Bridge gauge, and the river turned to mud. The good news is, after a few days of continued cold weather, the river has dropped considerably and clarity is improving daily. Right now the Big Hole is very fishable from top to bottom, with 2 – 3 feet of clarity.

The second bit of good news is, Caddis are here! I jumped in with Al & Skiba on Monday for a Divide to Melrose run, and we hit clouds of mothers day caddis! The hatch lasted from about 12:30 until 7 or so in the evening. We had the best luck pulling over and fishing any slow back water we could find. We were able to tease a few up while floating too. The caddis should stick around through the week, so take advantage of some really fun dry fly fishing.


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