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Breaking Ice

Big Hole River 1100 cfs

If you have been watching the graph at the Maidenrock or Melrose USGS guaging stations you probably have noticed the crazy up and down chart. I believe this is due to the ice breaking up on the upper river. I took a drive up there today and there are several very small ice jams. Each time one of these breaks loose it causes a brief spike in the river. There are no big jams which are common in that upper stretch. This is also the reason the lower river is getting a little more tea colored. However visibility is still around two feet and that is very fishable.

Fisherman have reported catching fish on streamers and stone fly nymphs. No reports of any action on top water except mine. On Sunday I decided it was time I made the painful switch from saltwater in my veins to fresh water. It was late in the day, warm and no wind. I had one skwalla top water fly with me as I made my way to my honey hole just to check things out. There were a couple fish coming up for midges. There was no way I was going to try to match that hassle hatch. I just presented my big dry fly to them and guess what? They ate it. These were just those stupid bows according to some that anybody can catch. I got three around 14, 15 inch range and I was happy.

If you are thinking of fishing the river this weekend, it looks like Saturday is the best weather day. Any major changes in river conditions and I will let you know. Also you can always call 406-267-3346 to get latest reports. Also this time of year, don’t get on the river too early. The best fishing is normally mid afternoon.


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