Re: Thoughts on Trout/Salmonfly Interaction?
They get gorged and the fishing pressure can really put them off as well.
I can't count the number of times I've fished the Upper Madison for the hatch and had a gazillion looks and bumps but only hooked a few. All while being surrounded by a gazillion boats.
These days I tend to avoid the upper during the hatch. It helps if you are one of the first boats down a stretch or if you are wading you can head upstream from an access early (crack of dawn) in the morning.
It really is a crapshoot with the hatch, sometimes it's spotty all over the river. Sometimes it's a real tight 5 mile stretch of lots of bugs that move up river consistently over a week or so. That usually happens when the weather is consistently warm and sunny.
Sometimes they are so stuffed on nymphs they aren't all that interested in dries even though they might be thick on the river.
If you've had some 20 fish days on the upper consider yourself lucky. It's not an easy thing to hit perfectly.
If you get good salmonfly fishing on the Stone below Carbella consider yourself lucky, like this year, it's rare to get clear enough water to fish it in the valley.
The Big Hole is, IMO, the most consistent salmon fly dry fishing in southwest Montana.
There are other less well known places that fish well pretty consistently but you have to work to get into them.
If you want some guaranteed good dry fly during the hatch hike into Black Canyon on the Yellowstone in the park.