Summer is officially here. It is time to take the waders off, put on the the sunshirt and fish dry flies. We have Yellow Sallies, PMD’s, Caddis, Green Drakes, and Golden Stones Hatching on our Southwest Montana Rivers.
The Big Hole River has leveled off and is consistently producing PMD hatches in the morning, caddis throughout the day and Golden Stones. Below is a nice brown caught on a golden stone dry fly pattern a few days ago on the Upper Big Hole.
Currently the Beaverhead River is fishing very well on Nymphs. We have hatches of Yellow Sallies and PMD’s. Flows are currently wader friendly up near the Dam. Our fishing has been the best below High Bridge. As the PMD and Sally hatch thickens the dry fly fishing will be very good on the Beaverhead. Below is a Rainbow caught on the Beaverhead on a PMD nymph a few days ago. Large rainbows are being found throughout the lower stretches of the Beaverhead, which is very exciting.
Welll, the talk over the phone and in the shop these days consist of when are the Salmonflies going to hatch on the Big Hole. Historically we see the Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch start around June 10th – 15th. I think because of a below average runoff we are having the big bugs should pop a little early this year. Water temperatures are already climbing into the 50’s. We just need some hot days to get the salmonflies to hatch during the night. The key element for the bugs to start hatching is nighttime temperatures staying above 50 degrees for several nights in a row.
The Salmonfly hatch starts around Glen and works it’s way up river as the water warms. We have had good stonefly nymph fishing from Melrose to Glen, which is a good indicator that the Salmonfly nymphs are moving closer to the banks getting ready to hatch. We have very good clarity in the river right now and I don’t see any major bump in flows since we have already had peak runoff, unless we get big rain storms. The Big Hole Salmonfly hatch should be a great one this year!
We are two days into the Salmonfly Hatch and the big bugs can be found from Glen to Lower Maiden Rock. Eric gave me a report this afternoon while he was guiding that willlows were bending over because there were so many salmonflies on them. Dry fly fishing was great from the morning hours till about 2:30 today on Salmonflies. The hatch should slowly work it’s way up the river this week. With cooler day time temperatures the hatch should slowly progress, which is a perfect scenario. Dropping and clearing water has made for perfect conditions for a great Big Hole Salmonfly Hatch this year. We will get some photos up here soon.