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Update: Big Hole River

The past 4 days have been quite the whirlwind on the Big Hole. First, we had 75-80 degree days and salmonflies. And then it was 35-40 degrees, snowing, and no salmonflies. Yesterday was about 70, with water temperatures still very cold after the winter conditions we had early in the week. We didn’t see much for big bugs yesterday, most likely as a result of the water temp.

Today we have already seen salmonflies in the canyon between Jerry Creek and Maiden Rock. The hope is that they will continue their annual hatch through the weekend. The weather is forecast to be cloudy, with some rain, which should help the fish to feed on the surface. We have also seen some yellow sallies and golden stones across the middle river, with caddis coming off after 2 PM.

The diversion dam below Silver Bridge continues to cause problems for floaters. A few boats have flipped, people have lost belongings, etc. Again, if you are not confident rowing your boat in a class IV rapid, avoid the diversion! Don’t be afraid to drive down the Pumphouse Rd. prior to floating to check it out. This section will become easier in the next few days IF the river continues to drop.

Lastly, we have received several phone calls regarding the 2018 Fishing Regulations. It appears that there is a major typo regarding the “Recreation Rules”. Look at the states that DICKIE BRIDGE to MELROSE is closed to float fishing by guides and non-residents on Saturday. According to a conversation with an FWP employee, this is incorrect, and there are no new or different rules regarding daily closures on the Big Hole. If you have concerns, please voice them to MT FWP! As we understand it, Jerry to Divide is closed on Saturdays, and Divide to Melrose is close on Sundays.


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