It seems almost every regional angler is keeping their eyes peeled for the arrival of our big bugs, the salmonfly. I was betting on Sunday the 9th, but the cold weather over the weekend dropped water temperatures and seems to have delayed their arrival. Prior to the cold front, we were finding salmonfly nymphs in knee deep and shallower water. The water temperatures have recovered quickly, it is already 54 degrees at Melrose, and 57 up around Dickie Bridge. With any luck the meaty, trout snacks will be on the water by mid to late week.
In the meantime, the Big Hole is still experiencing moderate flows and great clarity. The Wise River dropped by almost half over the weekend, which has slowed down the current around Jerry Creek and in the canyon. We have seen continued success on pumpkin buggers, rusty trombones and yuk bugs underneath; you don’t need to move it too fast off the bank, and don’t be afraid to swing it through the buckets. There are still caddis coming off, but the caddis bite on top has not been super consistent. Mayflies have been hatching in moderation above East Bank. The pink gummy worm made a re-appearance yesterday, and was our best bug underneath a chubby.
We took a short video clip of the diversion dam at the Pumphouse, below Silver Bridge. This is the easiest way to get through the diversion. Remember, this particular area can be quite dangerous, especially to novice paddlers. Always use caution. This video is meant to be a visual guide for those who haven’t seen this section of the river.