The Big Hole River received some much needed rain yesterday, totaling almost 1/4″. While it did help to bring the river temperature down, we are expecting it to rise back up again over the next few days. Dropping river levels have limited float fishing in the upper-reaches of the river. You can still get by with a hard boat below East Bank, but we would recommend leaving the drift boat home and inflating your raft.
The top water dry fly fishing remains consistent, with the best timing between 8:30 AM to 1 PM. We have still been using caddis patterns (twisted baby or sister in tan/brown), purple haze and small chubbies (#12-#14). Small buggers in black, brown and olive have been good underneath, as well as lightning bugs and FB PT’s.
Please remember to bring your thermometer along when fishing any of the rivers in SW Montana. Temperatures rise quickly in the bright sun. Water temperatures above 70 are stressful to trout, and catching them adds on more stress. Don’t fight your fish for too long, use a net and release them quickly. If your wading, hit the main river in the morning and then head to some of the higher tributaries for your afternoon angling.
Don’t hesitate to call the shop in the afternoon to set up an early shuttle for the following day!