Thompson River Report: Salmonfly Hatch 2016
The infamous Montana Salmon fly hatch is out on the Thompson and the water is running clear. The river was raging with Brown Trout last weekend and it was not to miss.
The Thompson River originates in Upper Thompson Lake and flows generally south to join Clark Fork near the cute town of Thompson Falls. A beautiful two-hour drive along the CDA River and then over the Thompson Pass is one of our favorites if you are spring fishing. As soon as the pass opens, we’re there.
The water levels are low right now and Jared and I packed along a chainsaw just in case we needed it and we certainly did after navigating two barely passable logs. We were able to chainsaw the third and enjoy the second half of our trek down this gorgeous river, Salmon Flies abound. This big 3″ bug hatches right after the river runoff ends and clear water emerges…along with the Forsythe’s.
One thing in particular that Jared and I love about this river is its ease of access. Navigating this river can only be done for a two week period and it has beautiful pull offs to throw a rod a for a little while and then hop back in the truck all while wearing flip flops. No waders necessary on this little gem. It’s so clear they’d see you standing there – best to either go by boat or stand on the edge and sneak your attack by combing the river while eating some chips!
We had our fill and I personally caught a magnificent 15″ Brown Bubba on my fancy four weight.
Here is a tip: Lewis the humongous Moose lives about half way upriver. A sighting is usually daily. Stay at Clark Memorial Campground which is above the Copper King Campground where the rest of the herd that is addicted to the Thompson stays. Clark Memorial has only three sites and you can sleep to the sound of the river and not a generator.
As of this report, the Clark Fork is still running muddy and the hatch will soon emerge there for perhaps the first time in 8 years for fishermen and women. The hatch is usually clouded by the runoff, but this year there may just be a chance due to timing and to water levels to fuel an amazing situation there in the next week or so for clear water fishing with the salmonfly.
The Thompson will always remain my favorite river. It just feels like home and always will. Perhaps it’s where a love story started on both levels. We all have those moments. This place just happened to be mine.