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Big Hole Brown on Paulson's Flutter Bug
Brian Barney putting Paulson's Flutter Bug in the right spot!

Salmonflies are coming off strong on the Big Hole now. The main hatch has been just above and below divide, although we saw about 20 big bugs in the air between Fish Trap and Jerry Creek. Also saw tons of PMD’s, a few golden stones, a few sallies, and some tiny black caddis. We got about a dozen eats on salmonfly dries – all within centimeters of the willows, so plan on loosing some flies with the big water. Bring a strong rower as it will be difficult to slow down with flows above 8,000 CFS. As soon as the Hole starts to drop the bite should get a little better, there are a lot of places for fish to hide right now…

Salmonflies are also into Bear Trap canyon on the Lower Madison. Visibility here is not as good on the Big Hole, but enough to make fishing big dries worth while. You might also try a mix of crayfish with various stonefly nymph droppers.

We have several new salmonfly patterns in the shop this year.  So far, everyone’s favorite has been Eric Paulson’s “Flutter Bug.”  The feather’s on this fly imitate the fluttering wings that are so noticeable when these big bugs hit the water.  While fish will slam this fly on the dead drift, they also will also chase it down and attack it on the swing – making it an incredible guide bug for all skill level clients.  Fair warning to get ’em while they’re hot – these are sure to sell out before you can blink.   Ken Morish also came out with a couple super realistic patterns this year.  His “Still Stone Salmonfly” will be perfect for smoother rivers like the Lower Madison, while his “Fluttering Stone Salmonfly” will be easier to see on rivers like the Upper Madison, Big Hole, or Yellowstone.