The Big Hole River has had a steady and BIG increase in water since Memorial Day weekend. It is rolling! Additionally, heavy rainstorms yesterday added more water to the river. Currently, it is about to reach flood stage in Melrose, and it is now running over 8,000 cfs. We would suggest avoiding that area, as the river is large with lots of debris washing down that could cause problems to floaters. Wise River is running muddy, and affecting clarity below the confluence with the Big Hole. If you are looking to fish, stay above the Wise!
And the question everyone wants to know: Where are the salmonflies? Cool water has definitely delayed the hatch, especially in comparison to last year. We suspect it will start at anytime. Water temperatures have been increasing to the 56 – 60 degree range at Melrose, while hitting closer to the 60+ range around Wise River. Craig is checking out the upper river today, and we will report back to confirm salmonfly activity up there.
Suggested patterns for the next few days are Art’s Pumpkin Buggers (Art has tied up a bunch for us!) , yellow zonker, JJ Sparkle Minnow, purple worm #6, and Brown/Green Pat’s Stone.