The March weather tricked us into thinking Spring had arrived, but Mother Nature has had different opinions in the last week. To be honest, it has been rather unpleasant to be outside, and we are hoping for a change in conditions! The ice jam broke loose last Wednesday, and sent a big flush of ice, debris and water to Twin Bridges. Since then, the Big Hole flows have been slowly coming down, and we are currently sitting between eight and nine hundred CFS at Maiden Rock. These flows are a little below average for this time of year, but the cold days and nights are holding our mountain snow pack up high, where it should be. We should see another flush of water whenever it warms up, and the rest of the ice melts from the upper river. Clarity on the Big Hole is good, about 20-24″ or more. Water temps are still very cold, barely reaching 42 degrees during the day. If you venture out for a float, we would suggest sticking below Divide. Try slow-twitching or dredging streamers through slow back water pockets, the fish we have been able to move have been eating basic Wooly buggers, in light colors (white, JJ, pumpkin). The wind has been blowing too hard to notice much of a BWO hatch, so nymphing would be the next best move. Red worms, olive micro mays or a standard PT behind a rubber leg would all be worth trying out.
Give us a buzz at the shop if you are thinking of venturing out. We will be here, and are happy to help with some bugs, a shuttle, or a cup of coffee. 406-267-3346.