18 June 2009

Big Hole River: Salmonflies, Troutfishing, and Bears OH MY!

Angling residents of Butte, Montana have a rule of thumb: when the lilacs are blooming on the hill, the salmonfly hatch is on for the Big Hole River. With the lilacs (and poppies) blooming at my house, it was time to go:

And sure enough, the willows were full of the big, 2-inch plus size bugs. And my flybox had a few fair imitations:

I don't look around much while fishing, but I did notice this dainty little mule deer fawn track:

Along with its mother doe:

Hmmm... Given the size of this black bear track (front paw; about 5.5" or 6"), maybe I should look around more:

But the fish were on the feed, and I had to keep my eye on the prize. Like this brown trout (caught on a big stonefly nymph):

And this hefty whitefish (surprisingly, caught on a salmonfly dry!):

I also ran into fellow professor John Amtmann and his beautiful, athletic kids. Here he is with one in their tandem kayak:

It didn't take much persuading to get them to demonstrate a roll in the big boat:

Tight lines & fast rolls!


citizen of the world said...

I love that bear paw print.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Eco, It's interesting that your time-line of watching for the lilacs to bloom --determines the salmonfly hatch.. That's neat!!!!

Looks like you did well with your fishing. The kayak team looked like they were also having a great time.

As I've said, you do live in a beautiful area of the country.

~Sheepheads said...

Nice post. Careful with the bears. I'm finding that there are many about this year!

troutbirder said...

looks like fun. One of these years I've got to catch that salmonfly hatch!

Cutthroat Stalker said...


Funny you mention you don't look around much while fishing. I guess I'm just a wuss because I'm always looking--mostly for moose and cougar (a couple of critters I don't mind seeing with a bit of breathing room between us).

I'm glad you caught the salmonfly hatch (no reports of weird happenings on your quest, so things must have gone smoothly).

-scott c

David said...

oh, Lord, have mercy on my jealous soul.

The Crow said...

What David said! Mine, too, please God!