Caddis Explode on the Big Hole: East Bank to Maiden Rock
For most of us who have fished the Big Hole for many springs, the river rarely fishes as poorly as it did this year. We still caught fish, a couple of big ones, but little to no consistent action. The first dry flies of the year are usually the skwalla’s and BWO’s, but the water this year prevented most of those hatches from getting keyed on by the trout. The mothers day caddis hatch was my next hope for a chance at some great fishing before we are in the heart of the season, but for the last 3 weeks I have been unable to get the fish up even when the bugs were out.
Things have changed dramatically in the last 4 days. The river has been slowly dropping, keeping much of the new snow in the hills longer than anticipated. The clarity has been fair for most of the season but the river is looking better than ever this week. Everything was right for the caddis and they have finally shown up in full force. I was sitting on a bank just below dickie bridge yesterday, wondering if I was going to have to chase the bobber or if a big dry dropper would be best, then I saw the heads coming up 50 yards down the bank. One, then two, then 12, then…well, all of them. The fish began to key and pick caddis off along the long grassy banks, and we switched to a caddis (the secret one!). Before we left that bank we had 5 in the net, a few misses, and a hell of a head wind to deal with. We threw one dry the rest of the day and had a blast picking fish off, of the grass and in the big row-around pockets.
I want to give a shout out to my client and friend, Mr and Mrs Van Allen for showing up on “the” day. No “you should have been here yesterday’s,” or “Its going to be amazing in a couple more days” for him. Even with a steady head wind at 15-20 he still managed to get it in there and rip some lips! Thanks for a great day and some great pics you two!
If you have been waiting for the right time to hit the water, and you love fishing dry flies, come down to GDO and get the latest on the hatches movements, and whats working best to fool the fish. We are open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. 7 days a week. Give us a ring to book one of the few days that Craig and Al have left to catch the best part of the famous Mothers Day Caddis Hatch!
Al playing with his cats in the shop
The last storm…maybe
Another good one!
Josh Bush with a hell of a Brown Trout!
First caddis eat of the year
Van Allen with a great Beaverhead Brown