House Bill 309 is an attempt to modify Stream Access Law in Montana by modifying the term ‘ditch.’ Montana has one of the best Stream Access Laws in the Country, it is about to be stripped if we do not act now.
FOAM (Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana) has these strong opposition points to House Bill 309:
1) A live, flowing braid or channel can be defined as a ditch if there is any kind of control structure at the head of the live channel, including ‘natural features incorporated into the water conveyance system’;
2) Recreational access is available only with landowner’s permission on water bodies created at least in part by waters diverted from a natural water body where the diverted water is the principal source of water in the water body – think about low flows in August and September and the many Montana rivers and streams with side channels and braids that have diversion structures on them where return flow could be considered the ‘principle source of water’ in the river or stream.
#2 above could potentially turn side-channels of rivers, streams, and possibly whole rivers into ditches where recreational use is allowed only with landowner permission.
This Bill if passed will be a huge detriment for recreational fishing on Southwest Montana’s Rivers and Streams. The hearing for house Bill 309 is Tuesday, March 8 in room 303 (Old Supreme Court Chambers in Helena) starting at 3:00p.m. Be there to speak your voice!
Stay up to date on Facebook. @ Montana Coalition for Stream Access.
Trout pack on the pounds during the Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch. It is not uncommon to catch a trout and see Salmonflies crawling out of their gills. There are three stages of the Salmonfly: egg, nymph, and adult. These creatures of nature will live for 2 – 4 years as a nymph before they become an adult. Several factors need to occur before these flies emerge as adults. The Salmonfly needs a constant water temperature in the 55-degree range for a steady period before they hatch. When conditions are just right these nymphs swim towards the bank to hatch. Salmonflies like to crawl onto willows and down trees on the banks to then shed their shucks and become an adult. You will find these flies most susceptible to trout as wind blows them off willows onto the water, or the females are flying over the water dropping their eggs into the water. These flies struggling on the surface while the females drop eggs and trout are waiting to slurp them up.
The Sunrise Fly Shop has many hand-tied Salmonflies that are proven patterns that work on the Big Hole River, and Madison River. For more information on this incredible hatch, fly patters and booking your next fly fishing vacation contact the Sunrise Fly Shop.
Every angler waits, and waits, and waits for hatches to occur. The most famed hatch in Southwest Montana that is worth the wait is the Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch. It is every anglers dream to throw#4 dry flies to the bank and watch 5 pound browns rise with a vengeance to eat your fly. This is truly an exciting time to be on the Big Hole River. Typically as the river is coming down from runoff you have your best dry fly fishing. Anglers have to be on their game as your boat is rolling down the river and you are trying to get your dry flies as close to the banks and willows as possible to get an eat from a trout.
The Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch typically occurs from June 15th-July1st. What makes this hatch unique to the Big Hole River is the length of the river it takes place on and the abundance of flies hatching. You can find this hatch first on the lower river near Glen, then it works it’s way up the river to East bank. This is about 80 miles of floatable river that this hatch is occurring on. A lot of people refer to “Chasing the hatch” when they talk about Salmonflies. You will find guides in the early mornings and late evenings looking for shucks on the willows and bridges to see if Salmonflies hatched during the night.
Sunrise Fly Shop is happy to announce the new website for Sheerwater Guide Service. Owner and operator Karl Jones is an exceptional guide and wooden drift boat builder. Sheerwater Guide Service operates in Western Montana on the Clark Fork River, Bitterroot River, and Blackfoot River. Karl also guides for the Sunrise Fly Shop on the Big Hole River and Beaverhead River. If any of you are looking for an early Spring dry fly fishing fix, contact us for some March Skwala fishing on the Bitterrroot River. The Bitterroot River starts to fish earlier than our rivers in Southwest Montana due to the valley floor being lower in elevation. If you are looking to fish in Western Montana, Sheerwater Guide Servicewill take care of all your Western Montana angling needs and your wooden boat building needs at Bitterroot Boat Works.