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Fishing Report 8/22/18: Rising River and Dropping Temps

The summer is slowly but surely turning into fall.  The water temps are bouncing around between 55 and 62, and the water level has risen about 35% over the last two days (100 CFS).  The rain has finally shown up and stomped out the spruce moth hatch for 2018, but that was a hell of a good hatch for all of those that were lucky enough to see the Big Hole dry fly fiesta for the last few weeks.  With the night time temps getting low the bugs are changing.  The tricos are still out and have been hatching around 1030 a m and staying out until the wind picks up, which varies from day to day.  There have been a few nocturnal stones crawling around on the bank, and from Jerry Creek down to Dead Zone we have been picking up a few good fish on a tan chubby#12.  The other patterns that have been somewhat consistent are the small purple haze, flopper and panty dropper hoppers, purple gypsy kings, and olive or rusty tilt wings.  The lower river has been tough and not many guides have been floating below Browns Bridge because of the Glen access being too difficult to get out at.  The upper river has been great wade fishing during the tricos and the evening caddis.

The Beaverhead has finally shaped up and been fishing well.  The fish are bigger and healthier than they have been for several years.  The nymph game is still the main fishing style, but ants and small hoppers have also been fishing well on the dry side.  The crane flies are hit and miss, but if you are looking for that action you need to be out on the water before 630 am.

The fires have brought the smoke as usual this year.  I have seen it a lot worse (like last year) and am hoping that this year will continue to be mild in comparison.  With the forecasted rains and cool nights I can’t believe that the smoke and fires will be a problem this far north for much longer.

We are currently booking up our trips to Andros Island in the Bahamas.  If you are interested in coming down with Lia and I to slay some bones, tarpon, permit, and anything else that wants to put up a fight, give us a call at the shop at 406-267-3346.  I am excited to say the Travis Thompson will be joining us as well as Rudy Ketchum of Montana Rod Smiths for a month or so of rum drinking, lobster eating, and general debauchery.

I also want to mention that the Lewis and Clark chapter of Trout Unlimited has decided to change its name.  We wanted to honor one of the fishing greats of southwest Montana that recently went to the fishing hole in the sky, Mr. Chuck Robbins.  The first annual banquet was held last Friday and was an amazing success.  I want to thank all of those that come out to support our TU chapter as we wind up our first year.  The CRTU has been instrumental in keeping local river access open to the public, and we can’t wait for another round of projects next year.

-Craig Jones


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