A quick check-in, with river conditions, updates on closures and late season conditions. Southwest Montana received some much needed moisture, in the form of snow and rain over the past week. The snow has helped to put most of the local fires out, and we are enjoying clear skies for the first time in months! The moisture also helped to put some water back into the rivers, bringing flows up to a more manageable level. One of our guides even commented that he did not have to drag his boat over a certain riffle for the first time in 6 weeks.
The brown trout are beginning to clear off gravel beds for their annual spawn cycle. Please remember to be aware of what a “Redd” looks like, and try your best to avoid them. There are many articles and posts going around social media on how to identify a redd, check them out, and educate yourself on why it is best to leave spawning fish alone. The Big Hole River Foundation, Montana Trout Unlimited and other conservations groups are circulating this information.
The Big Hole is still under closures on some sections of river. The current section open to fishing is from Dickie Bridge to FWP Maiden Rock (AKA Dead Zone). That being said, we might see some re-openings happen in the coming days, as water levels could meet the re-opening criteria laid out in the Big Hole Watershed Committee Drought Management plan. Current criteria says that the Glen gauge must read 240 cfs for seven consecutive days, in order to re-open from Maiden Rock FWP (AKA Dead Zone) to Notch Bottom. Further downstream, Section V (Notch Bottom to confluence) must read 200 cfs or greater for seven consecutive days, at the Hamilton Ditch gauge. Read more about the drought management plan here.
We will be around the shop on a limited basis beginning on Oct 18. Rifle season is approaching, and we need to get ourselves ready! If you decide to head this way, and need a shuttle, flies or a fishing report, give us a call the day before.
We still have a few spots left for Andros Island 2022! If you are itching to get to the saltwater, let us know! We will post some more information in the coming week.