Salmonfly hatch in full swing
By Hookemharry

Posted: June 10, 2004

“The salmon fly hatch is in full swing,” said Doug Persico from Rock Creek Fisherman’s Mercantile. “The big orange bugs have emerged along the whole length of the stream and there are out along the creek.”

That’s good new for fly fishermen. And it means it’s time to put all other things aside and head for the waters.

The biggest number of flies reported is from The Dalles up, while they are starting to disappear from the lower creek. The normal pattern of the salmon flies sees them move up the creek a few miles a day. As they hatch on the upper part of Rock Creek, they disappear from the lower stretches.

But just because the big bug hatch plays out, the good fishing goes on as other insects appear.

“When the salmon fly hatch is over, then it is the Golden Stone’s turn”, says Persico. “These stoneflies are slightly smaller than salmon flies and golden brown in color.”

Local fly anglers should really look at making a trip to the famous Blue Ribbon trout stream just east of Missoula. This is a wonderful time of the year to fish Rock Creek because of the insect activity.

Green Drakes and Caddis flies are also hatching in areas of the creek. As Persico put it in his e-mail, “You’re are bound to find something that does work.”

Wayne Knudson (Walleye Wayne) and I fished a couple of the reservoirs over by Helena last weekend and Monday of this week.

Canyon Ferry was our first stop Saturday afternoon. We caught just one small walleye till a series of thunderstorms kicked us off he lake. The next day we awoke to more thunderstorms and winds that pushed 25 miles per hour.

We decided to head to Holter Lake, just north a few miles. Fishing was slow but better for us than it was at Canyon Ferry. We caught four small walleyes and a 23-inch and 24 inch “slot” walleye that we released.

We also caught four nice trout in the day and a half we spent on Holter Lake.

Fishing on Fort Peck Reservoir was excellent for tournament anglers during the annual Rock Creek tourney last weekend. The top three teams that placed in the two-day tourney caught and released more than 67 pounds of walleyes.

Each day the five largest walleyes caught are weighed for the team’s daily score.

The top two teams caught over 70 pounds with Todd Riggs and Ken Schmidt of Glasgow weighing in a total of 77.16 pounds for 10 walleyes to win the $2000 top prize.

Sixty teams competed in the tourney, which headquartered out of Fort Peck Marina this year.

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