One of my favorite Montana trout streams is the BIG HOLE RIVER that runs for miles south of our Maxville location - I like the area west of Wise River that was shown to me a few years ago by my now 91 year old fishing buddy, Louie. It is a mostly placid stream with runs and riffles throughout its length with a lot of scenic rock formations like the one above. This stream is home to multiple mayfly, stonefly and caddis bug hatches from May to October as well as elk, moose, deer, antelope, bears, eagles and more.
Starting in July into October, the tiny but mighty "TRICO" hatches by the millions most days. What looks like fog is actually swarms of the tiny critters who have just hatched and are awaiting to mate and fall into the stream to lay their eggs and provide lunch for the awaiting trout and whitefish.
This a close up of the hovering Tricos awaiting to fall to the water to lay their eggs and die. Looks like snow flakes doesn't it? This is the "blizzard" us trout fishermen refer to when a big hatch is on!
This is smallest mayfly we fish during the season. Fishing during this time calls for patience till the bugs hatch, molt and fall into the stream. Then we need to find the pods of rising and feeding trout to present our imitations to.
I usually use one of the flies above to try to imitate and entice the trout to rise and take my offering over the natural bug. These are tied in size 18 although the natural is more like a size 20 or 22. But sometimes, we can get away with a larger model with bright wings, so we can see the fly floating on the surface into the feeding lane of the trout and see the take in time to set the hook and experience one of the real thrills of fly fishing. On the left is an "ADAMS" style in gray colors. In the middle is a down wing spinner and on the right is the famous "PURPLE HAZE." I have never seen a real purple colored mayfly, but it works none the less!!!
This is a 17" dandy rainbow that I fooled into taking my imitation. He gave me a good tussle with some head shaking long runs that made my reel sing. No horsing these fish, caught on small flies and light tippets. I consider it a good day of fly fishing when I can fool a few of these beauties. This fish was released, unharmed, to fight again.
Love the sport and the settings in which we find beautiful trout fishing!! The Trout