Over eight miles of water and not another soul in the boat ramp. This is definitely how I like to start a guide trip no matter what the river. You’ve gotta love this time of year around here: while the crowds chase salmon fly dreams on Rock Creek and tour over the hill to the Big Hole looking for the big browns, our sweet Bitterroot river teams with healthy fish with hardly anyone bothering to throw them a bug.
So we just figured we’d brighten their day and give them some company. What a fine day out there with the whole thing to ourselves. From the moment we set out to the time we rounded the last bend, the fish cooperated wonderfully with whatever rig was in the water. Buggers and nymphs mainly, and we even stumbled into a little early salmon fly dry action. For the second time this year I’ve witnessed adult salmon bugs well below the upper forks, and this time the fish were eating them in select spots. Always keep a heads up for those pockets of activity instead of just bobbering right on your merry way and not even seeing whats going on: protected river bends, back channels, and log jammy areas can have their own little micro hatches going on among the high water. Actually, I take all that BS back, just keep your eyes on the pink orb and nevermind that slough mouth we’re watching closely.