The famous Salmon Fly hatch is currently in full swing on The Big Hole River right now. The massive Pteronarcys californica or Giant Salmonfly, named for the salmon/orange color of the abdomen of the insect are bringing every fish in the river to the surface to feed on the adults, which are like a double bacon cheeseburger to a trout. The nymphs migrate towards the banks as the water temperature reaches fifty five degrees. They then crawl out of the river at night and up onto the exposed rocks and Willow roots to shed their exoskeleton and become adults ready to mate. There are also Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies and Caddis hatching as well making this time of year a dry fly fisherman’s dream come true.
VISIBILITY: Good at 2.5 to 3 feet
FLOWS: Wise River-1,970 cfs
Maiden Rock-2,900 cfs
Although the Willow lined banks are always obvious targets, we recommend fishing your big dries out off the bank a little in the main foam line, as this is where most of the river’s fish will be looking for floating food items like Salmon Flies. Also, don’t be afraid to twitch and even skate your Salmonfly as the fish will respond favorably to movement on the surface as the naturals flutter and and crash into the river during egg laying.
- Rogue River Stone size #4
- Sofa Pillow size #4
- Chubby Chernobyl size #6-4
- Rogue River Golden stone size #8-6
For more information on Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on Montana’s beautiful Big Hole River visit Fishtales Outfitting.