Governor Bullock has implemented Phase One re-opening across the state, and retail stores around the State of Montana were permitted to re-open for business on Monday, April 27! Thanks to all who have called, stopped in and knocked on the door this past week. It is certainly great to see folks out enjoying the river, casting some flies and enjoying some time outside of their homes. We have been diligently cleaning, bleaching, wiping and spraying down the shop and shuttle rigs, and really appreciate everyones willingness to follow the governors guidance on customer capacity and respecting the space of those who are inside the fly shop!
The Big Hole has been up and down throughout the week. Warm weather on Wednesday bumped the river up as the snow and ice in the valley floors melted. We have had a couple of cold nights though, and expect the river to level-off. Clarity should improve too; there is about 10-12 inches of visibility at Divide and down, with about 16 – 18 inches of visibility above East Bank. The Wise River doubled during the week, but has already started to clear up, adding some very cold, but clean water to the river.
Break out your big rods for throwing heavy streamers; hitting the banks with a slow dredge has been the most effective. We have also seen success on nymph set ups; small buggers or stone fly nymphs with a worm trailing it have been working. Recommended flies: Sparkle Minnow (Sculpin, JJ, Smoke) Kreelex Articulated Goldie JJ Special #2 New Age Yummy Pink Gummy Worm TJ Hooker Pat’s Rubber Leg (Black w/ brown legs)
We have been receiving a lot of questions regarding guiding and in particular, can we take out-of-state visitors on guided fishing trips? If you have arrived in Montana from another state or country, you are required to complete a 14 day quarantine/shelter-in-place before we can accommodate guided fishing services. This restriction will be lifted when the Governor implements Phase 3 of the state re-opening, date TBD.
Thanks again for your support, and for following the guidelines to keep everyone healthy! Let’s keep at it, so we can all enjoy each others company on our great rivers this summer.