Orange is the New Black

The first of the big bugs are moving up Rock Creek, so expect the stampede to begin yesterday. The creek is high but clearing, and the salmonfly aficionados at Rock Creek Mercantile have given the nod. Bugs are moving along the lower stretches, perching in those low-hanging bushes that fill fly angler’s dreams.  Now, there is plenty of opportunity to chase the big bug eaters coming your way this summer in western Montana. No need to drop everything and hurry to the creek, but catching those early ones can feel so good that some locals are dropping all plans and leading the charge. If fishing is your plan today, there are some great options out there from the Clearwater river to Blanchard lake, and we even saw rods sticking out of some boats on the Blackfoot yesterday. Rock Creek coming into shape is just icing on the cake.

Yep, that’s an early salmon fly in the twigs. Photo via Rock Creek Mercantile

If you’re heading out to the creek, remember that early in the hatch the best fishing is on the bottom- a big stonefly nymph imitation coupled with a dropper and an indicator will put you into fish, but don’t neglect giving them a try on the top. Early in a hatch, sometimes as anglers get so focused on hoping the fish will eat the flies we think they’ve been dreaming of, that we forget to do what really catches fish: slow down, observe and attack accordingly. Find what works and get into some fish.

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