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Big Water, Big Streamers, and Big Fish:

Spring in the Big Hole is always complicated. The water is jumping all over the graph and the weather is unpredictable. What is predictable is that brown trout like to head upriver, and munch on smaller fish, including Brook Trout and Grayling. In the past couple of weeks, we have had a few boats out, but the river is still quiet due to weather and rising water. The ice on the upper river lasted longer than usual, and most of our time has been spent on the Beaverhead. The ice jams let loose on April 26, and the Big Hole is shaping up for a big May and June. Currently the gauge at Mudd Creek is reading 2730, well above average, with about a foot of clarity. Despite the unfavorable conditions, fish have been getting caught. The most effective tactic for our anglers has been the good old "Big Hole dredge." Dredging is not the most glorious of fishing techniques, but it can be quite effective on big browns looking for an easy meal. The color of streamer is important, but luckily that is one thing that is consistent in a cold spring runoff. We have been fishing silver/white/gold streamers tight to the banks, with very little to no strip. The San Juan worm has also been catching a few fish and we expect that to get better as the upper valley continues to thaw out.

The status of Jerry Cr and Divide boat ramps is still up in the air. We have been in contact with the contractor every now and then, and they are saying that they might put pavement down next week and be done in about 2 weeks. There are some alternative ramps in area, so don't panic. The campground ramp at Divide is open and relatively easy to use. There are some other put-in options, so give us a call with any questions. Lets all hope they wrap up these projects by Salmon Fly season.

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