Tuesday, June 7, 2011
You already missed it.
They say you have to live here--or just be really freakin' lucky--to hit the salmonfly hatch just right. There are salmonflies in Missoula's rivers (lots of them), but right now they're underneath about 20,000 cfs of what hydrologists would refer to as "heavy suspended sediment load." In other words, our water is high, cold and shit brown.
The infamous tailwater complex of the Henry's Fork in Idaho is a different story altogether. Dams suck, except when they don't. The Fork is widely known to receive one of the earliest salmonfly hatches in the country, so with strong reports coming in of stonefly shucks turning up on bridges and willows, two days of bright sun in the forecast and nothing else to do, we headed south.
We were graciously hosted (read: guided) by my buddy from Idaho Falls who just happens to sell some very nice fiberglass drift boats down there for a living. So, if you're in the market for a sweet rowing boat, go buy one from him. No, not that company. The ones that don't suck, fall apart, or weigh 600 lbs. There ya go.
For the day and a half of nice weather we go out of the deal, the fishing was solid. Not off the hook, but hey, when you just drove five hours to escape dreary Missoula weather and a run off of Biblical proportions, seeing any trout eat a #4 salmonfly dry is just plain awesome.
Then the weather turned to shit, we bailed and the river blew out. As my buddy says, "we timed it perfectly." Sound fun? Better luck next year...you already missed it.