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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning we got up at daylight and headed to the river in hopes of timing this perfect. We had seen a bunch of nymphs on the banks a couple days ago and that usually means adults are close. This is about 10 days early but this year has been a weird water year.

It was nice and cool when we got to the river but the forecast was calling for 70 today. Plenty warm enough to activate the hatch.



Kicking over rocks there were nymphs all over the bank. As we floated further downstream we anticipated seeing shucks and hoped to see adults.





I decided to start off nymphing with a double stonefly rig. I picked up a couple early on including this beauty of a rainbow.



Dave also got into a couple on the Bitch Creek.



As the morning went on, the fishing actually slowed down. We also never got out of the cloud cover and temps stayed cool.And while we did see some shucks, there were no adults. We did fish dries but not even a look. We chalked it up to the cooler weather and a river that is dropping hard.



Over the next week I will be blowing off all responsibilities and chasing this hatch. Tomorrow is going to be super windy but I'm going to head back Wed. When this thing is good, it is about as fun as you can have chasing trout.

Who here has fished a salmon fly hatch? Even better, who hasn't?
 

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I haven't caught a proper salmon fly hatch, but it's hard to beat trout eating big dries for fun fishing. Lucky for me, the psycho cutts in Western WA rise to big dries when nothing is hatching, so I do get that experience from time to time. It's not Montana, but it's still good fun. October caddis hatches in the fall are probably the closest thing we get, and they ain't too shabby.

Hoping to see a follow-up post from a day when they do come off soon....
 

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Not sure about your rivers but it's always the best the few days before we see em in the bushes. Doesn't take many for a trout to get full and picky.

Ever try a stimulated with schlappen and small lead eyes? Too easy!
 

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looks like loads of fun...the last two years I've hit it perfectly on the Deschutes (and one other time around 10 years ago or so). This year? not so much. being limited time-wise, I missed it at both locations I fished (two weekends apart) by a couple of days (from the sounds of things---but then again, fishermen lie)
 

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Who here has fished a salmon fly hatch?
We used to chase them every year on the Big Hole, but we caught the best fish on nymphs just ahead of the hatch. One time there were some Honda Gold Wing enthusiasts pulled off the road; thinking they were in trouble, we turned around and went back to offer assistance. When I asked if everyone was ok, this was the first response: "What the hell kind of little birds were those we just drove through?"
 

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The big river level here in the valley is also dropping like a rock, and the water clarity now is just about perfect. I saw what looked like several Salmonflies flying into spruce trees in front of our place at midday today, but I didn't get a good look at them due to the wind.

I fooled around fishing a black streamer a bit this afternoon and hooked into 5 fish, including one respectable brown.

We've got a myriad of bugs on the river right now and I imagine the Salmonflies could show up here in force shortly.
 

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I would stop everything I was doing and chase the big bugs every year I lived in MT. Hit it perfect on all the major rivers many times. My all time favorites were floating the trap in pontoon boats and the Gallatin. Hit the Gallatin many times where they were eating both salmon flys as well as golden stones. Many over 100 fish days with a lot of fish over 20".

Typically once the word gets out that they are on a section of water, they are gone. I made it a point to be there before that word got out;).
 

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This morning we got up at daylight and headed to the river in hopes of timing this perfect. We had seen a bunch of nymphs on the banks a couple days ago and that usually means adults are close. This is about 10 days early but this year has been a weird water year.

It was nice and cool when we got to the river but the forecast was calling for 70 today. Plenty warm enough to activate the hatch.



Kicking over rocks there were nymphs all over the bank. As we floated further downstream we anticipated seeing shucks and hoped to see adults.





I decided to start off nymphing with a double stonefly rig. I picked up a couple early on including this beauty of a rainbow.



Dave also got into a couple on the Bitch Creek.



As the morning went on, the fishing actually slowed down. We also never got out of the cloud cover and temps stayed cool.And while we did see some shucks, there were no adults. We did fish dries but not even a look. We chalked it up to the cooler weather and a river that is dropping hard.



Over the next week I will be blowing off all responsibilities and chasing this hatch. Tomorrow is going to be super windy but I'm going to head back Wed. When this thing is good, it is about as fun as you can have chasing trout.

Who here has fished a salmon fly hatch? Even better, who hasn't?
I haven't. Hoping I can hit it this week!
 

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Hit it perfect once on the SF Boise and the fish could care less... I couldn't believe it. Huge salmonflies all over the water and the fish just let them swim right by. Finally found a few rising fish that were hitting some small mayflies. It was crazy. After getting over my disbelief I threw on a #18 cripple pattern and started picking them off... all while huge salmonflies we're drifting right by untouched. Never hit another hatch but that experience left me wondering if trout even eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not sure about your rivers but it's always the best the few days before we see em in the bushes. Doesn't take many for a trout to get full and picky.

Ever try a stimulated with schlappen and small lead eyes? Too easy!
Fishing before or after the hatch is usually better fishing. See my tr from Saturday...

And yeah do you have a pic of said fly?

I haven't. Hoping I can hit it this week!
Yep, as I told another member via pm who is also heading this way today your timing could not be more perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Have never quite hit this hatch just right.
The stars have to align perfect to have good fishing during this hatch. It can actaully be very frustrating.

Last week my buddy floated 26 miles on another river west of here that gets a solid salmon fly hatch. Said it was one of the thickest hatches he'd ever seen and he's been fishing this hatch for over 25 years. Sky was full of big bugs. But in 26 miles they landed 6 fish. Argh.

As I mentioned in my initial post, the hatch on the riffle is about 10 days early. Normally you start seeing bugs show up here around June 22. But we had unseasonably warm weather recently and that might have triggered these bugs to get moving sooner.

Also mentioned are the flows. This river is dropping fast. Normally a dropping river is great for fishing but not on this river. If the water gets too low, a lot of the grass banks (prime salmon fly habitat) are too shallow to hold fish, especially lower in the river. To give you an idea, we've lost 30% of our flow in 3 days. This really hurts the fishing.

Checking the weather forecast for the rest of the week, we will have chance of showers each day and temps in the 60's. Today is going to be winds up to 40, tomorrow will settle down, Thursday windy again with gusts up to 40, then calming again. Not ideal but what can you do.

Again, this hatch can be frustrating.
 
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