Today I guided one of my favorite stretches of the Big Hole river, Jerry Creek to Divide. When I arrived at the shop in the morning and made the previous post it was sunny with a slight breeze. David and Kari showed up a few minutes early and we discussed how they would like the day to go. Originally David and I talked about doing a half day float because the weather was going to be questionable, but after seeing the hatch yesterday there was no way I was going to let that happen. Kari mentioned that one of the reasons that they had to be back early was because they had left their dog locked up at their house in Melrose. I told the couple that the caddis were not going to come off the river until later in the afternoon and that if we were to get off the river around 3 or 4 we would miss the caddis explosion.
I mentioned to the couple that I could take the drift boat if they wanted to bring the dog along and stay out while the fishing was good. With minimal convincing they grabbed the dog, I swapped rigs and boats, and away the 4 of us went.
The day started out cold and windy, which had me concerned for the caddis hatch, but after raising 2 fish on miracle caddis in the first run I realized that the only battle we were going to face was getting the flies where they needed to be with a stiff breeze. As we worked our way down the river we picked up fish consistently on any bank that had willows on the water (or at least we had chances 🙂 ). At the end of jones’ pool the wind started to die and the caddis came alive. I saw black, grey, and green of various sizes but the best seemed to still be #16’s. As we headed into the Dewey Canyon it started snowing beautiful caddis and every fish in the river was on the hunt. At one point we just stopped and watched and giggled for a while as David proceeded to catch 4 nice fish, including a couple grayling, right in front of the boat. From that point on it was fast and furious. I have a few pictures that I will post tomorrow, as well as a few video clips of the craziness.
There are still very few boats on the river up high and the fish are loving it. We are still running our pre-season special of 10% off so if you are thinking that you might want to see what a mothers day caddis hatch looks like give us a call. We are booking days quickly so I recommend that you call in advance and schedule a day with Al or I. If you are thinking you need a dry fly fix, there is no better time than the present!!
PS. Happy Mothers Day Kari and David! You two deserved it, well done and I hope to see you again soon!