Thursday, June 27, 2019

June 27th ’19 – Intermittent weather has the hatches rolling full tilt!

After a week of stoneflies hatching, ole Mother Nature brought in a great week of cooler weather to the region that started with snow and has had daily rain showers including the one that is cleaning the shop roof now. This did put a hamper on the stonefly dry fly bite, however the PMD mayflies and the summer caddis went off. Which resulted in a very consistent dry bite that has continued on and offered darned good fishing. Purple Haze + Caddis = Great Success.

Flows have dropped, and folks fishing the canyon stretches have seen great fishing on top. The upper river is getting skinny, so it might be time to get the rubber ducky ready if you are fishing above East Bank. The fishing has been great all the way to the Notch Bottom and down. The typical pattern has seen the PMD hatch begin around 11, with the caddis picking up around 2 PM and going to dark.

Water temperatures are just now about to return to the magical 60 degree number that summer stoneflies love, so we are anticipating a great wave of Golden stones to start again any day. Folks looking to pry the depths with nymphs have been rotating between girdle bugs, sally nymphs, PMD style nymphs, and caddis larvae. The fish seem to be more selective towards the nymphs, so be patient and keep at it.

The minnow bite has been very good for the streamer guys and gals. Olive seems to be a hot color as of late, with silver, white, and yellow being hot during darker parts of the day. Crawdads are still the main fare on the lower river below Browne’s Bridge, and you can’t go wrong with a sculpin either.

Holler at us for the latest update, 406-835-3474 – thanks for checking out the report!

Dan Soltau

#4 Mini Dungeon Olive
#4 Mini Dungeon White
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#14 Kyles BH Yellow Sally
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#16 Purple Rooster
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#14 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Sparkle Dun PMD
#14 Lafontaine’s Sparkle Pupa

 Melrose local, Naomi, doing some heavy lifting with a recent lower river streamer eater.

Melrose local, Naomi, doing some heavy lifting with a recent lower river streamer eater.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June 19th ’19 – Big Hole River Fishing Report and big bug update

Salmonfly Fest ’19 was a hit, thank you to everyone who participated and we raised buckets of money! Congrats to all the big winners in our raffle and competitions!

We are a week into our summer stone hatches, and there is a plethora of bugs coming down the river at the moment. Salmonflies have been hatching all the way up through Jerry Creek, and golden stones are hatching river wide. Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and PMDS are coming off through out the day, along with a few green drakes. A single or double dry fly setup is paying dividends, along with a dropper nymph. A smaller dry fly in a #14-16 trailing a large stonefly will be seeing plenty of action. Our guides have been employing this spread from East Bank all the way down through to the Notch.

Flows have stabilized and are sitting at an ideal flow for just about every technique, and the streamer anglers have taken note. Many large trout have been fooled by minnows and sculpins lately, with a crawdad working well down river. Look for the lower river to continue to fish really well for the next few weeks, along with the canyon stretches.

Popular floats include the stretch from East Bank to Jerry Creek, Divide to Melrose, and Melrose to Glen. Try varying it up to get out of any possible floatilla, or just an early start. Holler at us for guides, shuttles, and the latest report off the river at 406-835-3474!

Cheers,

Dan Soltau

 

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#4 Smoke & Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Fluttering Stone
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#6 Flutter Bug

#12 Chubby Royal
#14 Chubby Tan
#14 Chubby Purple
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Comparadun Purple
#12-18 Rocky Mountain Mint

 Big browns moving on baitfish patterns.

Big browns moving on baitfish patterns.

 Yellows streamer eater.

Yellows streamer eater.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

They are Here! We have Salmonflies from Glen up to lower Maiden Rock. Several people had fantastic dry fly fishing today from Lower Maiden Rock down to Glen on the Salmonfly dry fly. Today was the first day that adults were flying around and smacking the water while trout voraciously attacked the dry fly. River conditions are perfect for the hatch. Clarity is over 4 feet and the river is currently at a stable flow. As water temperatures rise in the canyon the hatch will take off from Maiden rock upstream through divide and Jerry Creek. It is time to throw the #4 dry fly under the willows and hold on while possibly the largest trout of the season eats your fly on the surface.

Salmonfly Fest starts tomorrow evening. Details here or give us a call. It will be a great weekend! 

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#6 Flutter Bug

#6 Rogue Stone Salmonfly

#6 Cat Puke #12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze

Friday, June 7, 2019

June 7th ’19 – Solid flows and happy trout on the Beaverhead River!

The reports from our guides and associates on the Beaverhead continue to impress. Fish are taking small mayfly nymphs and sowbugs well, with the PMD hatch just a little ways off. Flows are just under 700 CFS out of Clark Canyon Reservoir, which makes for great floating conditions and still very wadable in most spots.

Anglers using deep nymph rigs and a decent amount split shot are getting it done and catching great fish. The streamer fishing has also been very good, and with the inclement weather moving through the streamer fishing can be excellent. Crawdads and minnows are typical fare.

Dry fly anglers are still seeing a couple fish up here and there, with outcroppings of BWO’s and caddis, and a few PMDS poking around down lower. We will be looking forward to the summer hatches getting going soon, but it has been much more consistent subsurface.

Holler at us anytime for the latest at 406-835-3474!

Salmonfly Fest Click Here for More Information 

Tight lines and wet nets,

Dan Soltau

#18 Split Case PMD
#18 Split Case BWO
#16 Soft Hackle Sowbug
#6 Mini Dungeon Yellow or Olive
#18 Shop Vac
#18 Film Critic PMD
#20 Barrs Emerger

#14 San Juan Worm Brown
#3/0 Lead Split Shot
6-8′ 3x Rio Flourocarbon
1” Thingamabobber or Air Lock
-Helmet
#10 Rubber Legged Crystal Bugger Olive
#6 Clouser Crawfish

 Beaverhead rainbows are not scared to be over served at the bug buffet.

Beaverhead rainbows are not scared to be over served at the bug buffet.

Friday, June 7, 2019

June 7th ’19 – River is in great shape and the big bugs are coming!

After a bushel of warm days, a few cooler ones have set in southwest Montana. Reports from today indicate remarkable fishing. The Big Hole has begun dropping, and the entire river is fishing well. Stonefly nymphs have been highly effective on the river below and around Melrose, which means we are very close to seeing the magic of salmonflies take place. Caddis are around and hatching daily, along with a variety of sparse mayfly hatches. Good trout have been up in the right places at the right times, and fishing a dry fly in the blind has also been worth while.

With the hatch building in the lower river, streamer fishing has been top notch in the faster stretches of the upper river, and all through out the river below. Sculpin and minnow imitations have been preferred by many of the large trout. On the lower river below Browne’s Bridge, crawfish are in favor and it is making for some excellent streamer fishing.

While the flows on the upper portions are relatively benign, the flows from Jerry Creek down are rolling pretty good so make sure to be sharp on the oars. The river looks amazing and is fishing well, so don’t let that get your oarsman too distracted! We are finding fish on the faster banks upriver, and as the flows increase, fish are being caught in the soft buckets and inside riffle drops.

Salmonfly Fest is one week out, and we are extremely excited and hope everyone can make it out for the festivities! Our raffle has an AMAZING line up of goods, so check out the official page here. Live music, fun contests, and a raffle to help our aquatic insect population! What a party! Call us at the shop with any questions!

We have your shuttle plans covered, the bugs you need, and up to date reports on the Big Hole, Beaverhead, and Jefferson Rivers right now. Holler at us for booking a guide this summer, or any other questions you may have about what’s going on.

Thanks for reading and tight lines!

Dan Soltau

406-835-3474

#4 Smoke & Mirrors Cream
#4 JJ Special
#4 Girdle Bug – Black
#6 Yuk Bug Pep Stick
#6 Jewel Thief Minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#6 Mini Dungeon – Olive, White, or Black

#6 Cat Puke Black
#6 Water Walker Purple
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#16 Film Critic PMD
#6 Black Out Stone
#4 Girdle Bug – Black

 Sunrise Guide, Chris ″Romo″ Romankiewicz hoisting a quality brown that took a crawfish pattern on the Big Hole River.

Sunrise Guide, Chris ″Romo″ Romankiewicz hoisting a quality brown that took a crawfish pattern on the Big Hole River.

 Few things rival empty rivers and sunny day streamer eaters! Yours truly holding a Big Hole River brown trout that wolfed a crawdad imitation.

Few things rival empty rivers and sunny day streamer eaters! Yours truly holding a Big Hole River brown trout that wolfed a crawdad imitation.

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#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#12 Mahogany Dun

#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

Saturday, June 1, 2019

June 1st ’19 – Somehow June is here, and the river is alive!

River levels are ideal from top to bottom, and clarity is perfect with at least 3 feet everywhere. We are seeing enough caddis and early summer mayfly activity to get the fish looking up. Double dry fly setups with a caddis trailing a small stonefly have been working well, and fish have been up rising in the foam pockets. Trailing a nymph, worm, or small streamer has also been highly effective.

If you are looking for the tug, then look no further. Anglers using streamers have been producing with black, copper, and olive streamers on the brighter days, with lighter tones cleaning up with clouds. Get the sink tip out and start stripping!

Traffic has been thickest in the East Bank to Jerry Creek section, with increasing traffic in the canyon sections. The river has a strong flow, so keep that in mind when floating and keep your eyes ahead when rowing and fishing. Most of the water is heading down the Glen back channel, so either be diligent about finding the river right channel or be prepared to do a short boat drag back up to the boat ramp if you are taking out at Glen.

Salmonfly Fest ’19 is approaching fast, and we have an incredible line up of awesome raffle items, contests, and festivities planned for Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of June. link to Salmonfly Fest Click Here 

Holler at us anytime for the last report, to schedule a shuttle, or hire a guide at 406-835-3474!

-Dan Soltau

#4 Smoke & Mirrors Silver & Blue
#6 Peanut Envy Black
#6 Kreelex
#6 Pat’s Stone Black
#6 Jewel Theif Olive
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#16 Mercers Missing Link

#16 Purple Craze
#10 Jumping Jack Flash
#6 Zonker Natural over Copper
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Elk Hair Caddis
#16 Compara Dun PMD
#18 Film Critic PMD

Recent streamer eater from inside city limits, Melrose, Montana.

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