The Big Bug

Chase salmon flies for three months? It can happen. We’ve been doing it for years.

Last June while floating the Upper Madison, in between casts to bankside structure, a client asked Pat when was the best time to fish salmon flies in Montana? His response: mid-May through July.

“Seriously?” the angler responded.

For Pat, during May through July it has been a personal goal to fish a salmon fly pattern more often than not. He’s been getting closer each year.

On certain rivers like the Smith and Dearborn, the big bugs can hatch as early as Mother’s Day, but Memorial Day is more likely. After the holiday weekend, west-side rivers like the Clark Fork, the Blackfoot, and others see the big bugs.

By the time June rolls around it is very likely to see three-inch long naturals on the Lower Madison, then the Upper, and then over the mountains on the Yellowstone.

Late July means Yellowstone National Park waters, and primarily the Yellowstone River in the Park, to find salmon flies. For adventurous and fit anglers willing to hike, throwing large dry flies to native cutthroat trout is a well-deserved reward.

By August, the potential for salmon flies finally wanes…but that’s ok, because then it’s ‘hopper season, just another big bug!

If chasing trout with a single, large dry fly on a freestone river is your passion, contact us today to start planning your big bug adventure.