With the mild spring weather we have been experiencing, the skwalas have arrived a little early this year, and because of that we have had great skwala dry fly fishing this week. Throwing smaller skwala patterns into slower moving water near the banks has been producing a lot of fish. The best dry fly action has been from Divide down to Notch Bottom, but we have also been fishing the upper river with good success. The dry fly fishing on the upper river has definitely been slower than it has been on the lower sections, but throwing a dropper has kept us in fish all day.
We had a significant warm up yesterday, which got the water temperatures into the mid 40’s. I spotted two adult skwalas on the water and it was go time. The skwala hatch has started on the Big Hole. From 2:00 yesterday till about 4:30 we had some nice dry fly fishing. The big fish were not rising but plenty of small fish were looking up. I would still give it some time for the big fish to key into the dry fly. This is the earliest we have ever seen skwala activity on the Big Hole. I would stick to droppers in the morning and then around 2:00 you can fish a single dry fly today unless the wind kicks up like it is supposed to. the visibility is still around 2 1/2 feet.
Warm weather on tap today. It is supposed to hit 70 degrees this afternoon. After the cold week and the warm weather for the next few days the Skwala nymphs should start moving towards the banks. We have gotten some dumb fish on top with Skwalas but it is still early. We have been fishing dry dropper rigs all week and we have done very well on the Pat’s stone dropper and worm as a dropper. Occasionally we have had eats on top but we are still not in full swing on the Big Hole River skwala hatch. Your best window of opportunity right now is from about 11:00 am till 5:00 pm. Streamers have also been working for our Big Hole River guides. You will need to dead drift the streamers for your best results since the water is in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. Flows are stable at the moment and the visibility is around 2 1/2 feet.
Our guide boat yesterday did well. The mornings are pretty slow due to the freezing nighttime temperatures. Our afternoon fishing yesterday was pretty good. The fish are eating San Juan worms and pat’s stones tight to the banks on the tail outs of the runs. We did some nice fish on streamers on the inside bends of the runs at a dead drift pace. Streamers of choice are Yellow Yummy’s, and sparkle minnows. Sunny and warmer today. The fish should be more active today since it will be warmer. Clarity is still around 2 feet. We have another Big Hole River guide fishing today with clients so we will have more detailed fishing reports throughout the week ahead.
Earlier this week the ice broke off the entire upper Big Hole River. We are currently in the clearing process and the river is dropping from the ice flow. Water temperatures are starting the day around 37 degrees and warming to about 42 degrees. We currently have 2 feet of visibility in the Melrose area. We fished yesterday and it was ok, not great. We boated about a dozen fish in 5 hours. We have a Big Hole River guide boat out today so we will let you know how the river improves. All sub surface fishing right now on the Big Hole. Our best bug yesterday was a red San Juan worm and a yellow yummy streamer dead drifted tight to the banks.
It is time to shake off the cabin fever and enjoy some Big Hole River spring fishing. Our season kicks off soon and our Big Hole River guides are ready to take you fishing. We will have hatches of Skwala stoneflies, and Blue Winged Olives in April and May. Every year some of our largest fish are caught in April and May. Timing of the Skwala hatch on the Big Hole is from April 1st – May 15th. Spring is a time of change, so you have to monitor river flows, temperatures, and weather conditions to catch the elusive Skwala. Experiencing a fly fishing vacation in Montana to catch this hatch is not to be missed. This is a great time to experience trout feeding with fury, as they eat their first stoneflies of the season.
We made it back from our hosted trip to Patagonia River guides. We will be getting some photos up here soon to share our amazing moments down south. March is here and with it has come a winter storm. We are having heavy snow in the Big Hole Valley tonight and we will have sub zero weather following the storm. We had a very mild February in Southwest Montana but we are lucky to have a snowpack hovering at 100%. Typically our high country in March and early April receives some of the heaviest snow of the winter season. Eric was up in Wisdom yesterday and the Big Hole is still frozen above Dickey Bridge. Most of the ice is off the river below Dickey Bridge but we are having slush ice daily from the overnight low temperatures. Our Big Hole River guides are dreaming about the days in April when we get to throw Skwala dry flies to eager brown trout. The Spring fishing on the Big Hole is coming soon.
March is here and it is time to get your 2015 fishing license. Don’t get fooled just yet that spring is here. We have a winer storm warning tonight and sub zero temperatures are to follow the snow storm. The tailwater quality of the Beaverhead still makes it a great winter fishery. Remember that the Beaverhead is closed from the Dam down to Pipe Organ Bridge. It remains closed until the 3rd Saturday of May. Wading below Pipe Organ Bridge has been good with Scuds, Sow Bugs, and Zebra Midges. Some days fish have been up eating midges on the surface. Warmer weather awaits us at the end of the week and Beaverhead River Spring fishing is around the corner.