The fishing has been hit and miss with the changing temps and water conditions. The Big Hole has more than doubled during the warm weather last week. The color has been fluctuating throughout the day from being relatively clear in the mornings and gathering suspended particles as the temps warm. The fishing has been typical to our average springs, maybe slightly on the cold side. The nymph fishing is still the most consistent. We have been picking up fish on small stone nymphs of dark color, pink and red San Juans, and size 14/16 blue wing olive nymphs. The streamer fishing is also turning on. The chase has still been short, mid morning until the dirt starts flowing hard (this will probably slow with this next cold snap). The colors have been varied between olive and white, sticking with size 4, 2, and larger. The dry fly bite has also been improving rapidly. I found skwallas on the banks as far up as Greenwood Bottoms as of yesterday. The eats have been sporadic as far as I have witnessed, but if you put the time in there would surely be opportunities to catch fish on a size 10 chubby or something similar. The blue wings have been thick on the water as well. I have honestly had the patience for small dry fly fishing on the Big Hole yet this year but the time will come hopefully sooner than later.
Personally we have been trying to hit the water as much as possible during this stay-cation we have been enduring since coming home from The Bahamas. On Wednesday we launched on the Jefferson at Waterloo. The river looked low and clear (Jeff standards) and there were bugs all over, including skwallas, bwo’s, and a few other random mayflies. Despite the great hatches happening, the fishing was trash, probably due to the rising water and chill temps. Lia managed to poke one nice brown about 2 minutes into the float to Point of Rocks, but nothing after that except for a few questionable bumps. On day two the weather was still great, hangover impressive, and bugs galore. Unfortunately the fish were still not listening to me scream EAT IT! A beautiful float under the tobacco roots and a nice camp, still an excellent couple of days.
Yesterday Lia and I had a blast doing our annual Josh B’s birthday float, which was unfortunately cancelled last year due to the huge ice break up that happened on the same day. Literally the first cast of his 40th year caught the one and only fish of the day. It was a nice rainbow before we left the ramp. The bad news? It was the only damn fish of the day, possible due to a late start after trying to fight off the 2 day hangover from the Jefferson, but who’s counting anyway.
As I am writing this I am watching it dump snow on the Big Hole. Be prepared for changing conditions in the next few days. Stay safe and healthy out there and we will hopefully have the shop open by Aril 24th!