Monday, April 14, 2014

Montana Fly Fishing: Big Hole Dropping...

...faster than your basic "anvil tossed in a swamp" as Ol' Lefty might say.Friday evening, a few hours after I shot this (4000 cfs) the river spiked just under 6000 cfs--which is not quite double the highest peak all last year (3500 cfs). This morning it is running about 3000 cfs...Judging the forecast for the next few days is on the cool side the river should continue to drop and the fishing pick up daily. I'd be surprised if it didn't fish well even today tossing streamers or the always reliable turdnworm duo off the banks; look for skwalas, especially later on in the day.

What the future holds, who knows. With snowpack as high as 170% of normal anything like a heat wave might send the high snow runoff runnin' right off the charts--higher even than the record setting 14,000+ of a couple years ago. If stays cool, why hell, Friday evening's 6000 cfs might just be it...stay tuned.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Montana Fly Fishing: Help Save Poindexter Slough

Thanks to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Beaverhead Watershed Committee Poindexter Slough near Dillon is on track to get a major overhaul. A badly needed one given Poindexter has been in steady decline for at least the last dozen years. Decreased groundwater discharges (on going drought combined with a huge increase in development, both residential and agricultural) the Slough now relies heavily on increasing amounts of diverted Beaverhead River water through an antiquated head gate. The river water deposits large amounts of fine sediment resulting in diminished fish counts, bugs and angler use—all of which are at all time lows.

The project involves the replacement of existing irrigation infrastructure (head gate), modification of the channel's dimensions and other work, designed to flush out the sediment, restore fish and bug habitat and improve the fishery to historical levels. Which, by the way, were pretty damn good—great hatches, good fish in a challenging arena—can’t beat it.

As we all know such work does not come cheap. In this case the estimate is about  $445,000. Thanks to a variety grants, in-kind-services and private donations about $358,000 has been secured.  So yes, the goal is well within reach but  if you would like to help raise the final $85,000 please send your donation to:

Beaverhead Conservation District, 420 Barrett St., Dillon, MT 59725.

For more information visit:  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fly Fishing Montana: How High's The River Mama?...

"Pretty Damn High and Risin'...

With the snow pack in the Big Hole watershed currently 145% of normal not many would argue this year's runoff might just reach record levels...Should you harbor such doubts consider just a few days ago, April 4th, the river was running at a benign 450 cfs or so...fishing great and promising to get only better in the upcoming days...Then it got warm. Suddenly the low snow started to melt and, surprise, surprise last night the river roared past 5000 cfs...Yes, it did drop slightly over night but with today's forecast of temperatures near or above 60 and strong winds...It would not surprise me to see it top 6000 before night fall...And remember this melt down is only the low elevation snow, which by the way, is considered only so, so as low snow pack goes...Hopefully once the low snow is gone, temperatures will remain on the cool side, the high elevation snow will come off slo-o-w-wly and good water and fishing will prevail straight thru to freeze-up...Keep your fingers and toes crossed and stay tuned for the latest...