Remember this? That was mid March on Pritchard Creek where it enters the NF of CDA. But the warm weather has returned and it looks like summer is just around the corner. The flows on both the St. Joe and NF of the Coeur d A'lene (CDA) have declined and leveled off. The water temps are up, we have longer days and the hatches are starting to come off strong. Salmon Flies, Yellow Sallies, PMD and Sm Green Drakes are making their presents known. Gray Drakes, March Browns and Skawala are still around but in lower numbers. But don't be afraid to tie one on. The fish have memories.
Also with the warm weather the upper stretches of both rivers are accessible and starting to fish well. If your heading to the St. Joe check the conditions of the passes. As of this morning both the St. Regis Pass and Moon Pass are still closed due to snow. With the snow, thawing and refreezing in the Bitterroots, we could still see some fluctuations in the flows for the next few weeks.
NF of CDA 3,800 CFS Water temp 48 degrees
Suggested Flies - We carry Montana Fly Company, Fulling Mill, Fly Fish Food and Catch Flies
Big Sky Salmon Fly #10
King Kong Yellow or Orange #10
Improved Sofa Pillow #8, #10
Britton's Golden #8
Henry Fork Golden #10
Wilson's Little Golden #14
Jake's Yellow Sally #14, #16
UM BUtt Sally #12
Adult Yellow Sally #14
Goulds Half Down Sally #14
Galloup's Tilt Wing PMD #14, #16 (New Fly)
Thorax PMD #14, #16
PMD Cripple #14
Stimmies #8-#12, Orange, Yellow
PMX Swisher Original #10-14
Jakes Green Drake #12
South Fork Chernobyl #12
Chernobyl Ant Black/Tan #10-12
Grumpy Frumpy #12-16 (New Fly)
Lil' Kim Olive
Complex Twist Olive
Bubba's NBX Sculpin
Cheech Leech Tan/Orange
Nymphs - Big Stones
Double Bead Black Stone
Galloup War Bird Black and Coffee
Pats Rubber Leg
Kyles Golden Stone
Kyles Yellow Sally
St. Joe 5,900 CFS Calder 48 degrees
The suggested flies for the NF will also work on the St Joe, but don't forget about the St. Joe Special Fly. Local Tier, Shauna Hillman just brought by 12 dozen dozens!
St. Regis and Clark Fork
St. Regis opens this Saturday. If you fish it send me a report
Clark Fork is still flowing high and dirty, 28,000 CFS. It will be after Memorial Day before it is safe to float.
We are guiding on the Clark Fork this year in the St Regis area.
Clark Fork before the confluence with the St Regis at 24,000 CFS
We had some changes last week on the NF of the CDA and the St. Joe when our first warm day since September rolled in on the 6th. This sent water levels up on both rivers.. The North Fork peaked at 10,000 CFS and the ST. Joe at over 13,000 CFS. Add cold water temps and the fishing has been a little slow. BUT, the water levels are trending down. The North Fork is almost at its historic average flow. The St. Joe is at 9,300 and still high. The pass from St. Regis and Moon Pass from Wallace are still closed. I was in Montana this morning and there is still snow in the higher elevations, but I believe we are past our peak runoff for the St. Joe and NF CDA.
For the next week we will be under the influence of another low pressure system. Expect showers daily, overcast and temps in the 40's-high 50's. If the water levels remain steady or trend down we could be in for some nice hatches. Most should be occurring from 1:00- 6:00.
I will also start reporting on the Clark Fork and St. Regis in June. Currently the Clark Fork is blown out and the St. Regis is still closed for the season. It will reopen the 3 Saturday in May.
Norm Woods Special
Henry Fork Golden
Trina's Carnage Skwalla
Kings CDC Golden (My Favorite)
Big Sky Salmon
PMX - Swisher Original & Peacock
Special Klink Duo - This fly is barbless & has an add. hook eye on the bend of the hook for a dropper
Galloup Tilt Wing
Adams CDC Emerger
BWO Veiled Emerger
Hilda's Spring Creek Mahogany
Christiaen's Gray Drake
If you are nymphing, I'd tie on some big stones like Kaufman, Pat's Double B's or a War Bird. With the banks eroding try some San Juan worms.
If your going to throw some streamers go big with some Circus Peanuts, Galloup Sex Dungeons, Cheech Leaches or Lil' Kims.
These hatches and flies should cover both the NF of the CDA and St. Joe
A day early but happy Cinco De Mayo! Spring has finally arrived. It will be pushing 80 degrees in Wallace today. Tomorrow will be in the 70's with afternoon thunderstorms. The weekend is shaping up to be quite nice. If you have been waiting for this winter to end to fish, then this is the weekend to start.
The North Fork of the Coeur d Alene is currently flowing at 5,200 CFS and on Tuesday the water temp was 44 degrees. So it is still flowing fairly high and is on the cold side of optimum. But, there are some really strong hatches going on right now. If you are on the lower river keep an eye out for the Salmon Flies. The March Browns are still out along with Gray Drakes and Skawala's. I used to fish the Salmon Fly hatch each spring on the SF of the Snake or Henry's. One of the strategies was to fish large (#2-6) stonefly nymphs miles above where the hatch was happening on the lower river. The hatch usually rolls up the river over a few week period depending on weather. The trout will definitely be feeding on those nymph prior to the hatch. The thought was that since the Salmon Fly is so big the fish can only eat so much. So by the time the hatch arrives they may be a little full. Kind of like if you go to both sides of your family for Thanksgiving dinner and have 2 meals. Just a different thought on how to approach the Salmon Fly Hatch.
The afternoon has been the most productive time to fish dries. The lower river is fishing better than the upper section.
Here is a list of flies we are suggesting;
Swisher's PMX and Original PMX
Galloup Tilt Wing Olive (New Fly)
Christiaen's Grey Drake
Hilda's Spring Creek Mahogany
Big Sky Salmon Fly
King's CDC Stone
Henry Fork Golden
San Juan Worm, Blood and Pink
Brillon's Lucent Jig (New Fly)
Galloup's War Bird Black and Coffee/Black (New Fly)
Double B Black Stone
Kyles Golden Stone
St. Joe River is currently flowing at 6,000 CFS. I do not have a reading of the water temp, but I'm sure it is in the mid 40's. The flows have been much steadier on the Joe compared to the NF of the CDA. While I have not been on the Joe I have heard from customers and others that it is fishing very well right now. It is still high so you will need to pick your spots and try not to fall in. Remember it is flowing at 6,000 CFS. The hatches and basic conditions are similar to the NF of the CDA. Right now the lower half is fishing better than the upper half above Avery. The last report I had was that MOON Pass is still not open. But you can reach the Red Ives station.
As for hatches and suggested flies please see the above for the NF of the CDA.
Thanks and give us a call with a report.