9/1/19 Big Hole River Fishing Report – It is September!

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September 1st Big Hole River Fishing Report – Happy September, folks! Bringing in trico pods, picky hopper eaters, and ants.

We have been fielding a bunch of calls regarding the various closures on the upper and lower Big Hole, however in the stretches that are prime during this time of year, all is well. The upper Big Hole River section has a low flow closure on it which is set in place to protect the fish at the lowest of flows. It is not an uncommon closure. Likewise for the lower river closure below Notch Bottom. While those stretches are prime for spring and early summer conditions, they also see lower activity later in the summer and many of the fish move around the river system to find more suitable habitat. Its what they do!

From Jerry Creek down to Glen, we are seeing river conditions best suited for the raft. We are recommending that hard boats float Browns to Glen or Glen to the Notch.  We are seeing a million hoppers all over, and anglers looking to get into hopper eaters will want to fish ahead of the boat with small tan or pink hopper of a longer than usual leader. An ant or a small trico off the back is not a bad idea at all. When using this technique, it can more important to cover plenty of ground as after the first nice trout is caught in a spot, it is uncommon others will come to the surface after all the commotion.

The “best” reports we are getting are those of small pods of trout wolfing trios in the river above maiden rock up to around Dickie Bridge. There are odd reports of spruce moths so it isn’t a bad idea to use one a first fly in a double dry setup. An ant, or mid size parachute such as the Purple Craze would be a good choice. The midday doldrums see fish wanting, if anything at all, a small mayfly nymph or a variegated girdle bug. We are sticking with the dry dropper most of the time on our guided trips, with both choices seeing action.

It can be tough to run a deeper nymph rig right now, however we are having great success with a properly present sculpin or minnow imitation, with a smaller dropper streamer or large nymph. Running these through the speedy tail outs and riffles can pay dividends with the big healthy browns that are typically tough this time of year.


We have guides available, shuttles daily, and the latest word. Give us a shout anytime, 406-835-3474.


-Dan Soltau


#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Lil Kim Tan
#8 Lil Kim Silver
#12 Bloom’s Spruce Moth
#10 Chubby Chernobyl Olive
#18 Hamburgler Beetle

#12 Purple Craze
#12 CDC Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail
#20 C-UM Trico
#20 Double Wing Trico
#20 Trico Spinner
#12 Purple PMX
#16 Sparkle Flag Ant

#12 CDC Prince

#10 Morrish Hopper

#10 Girdle Bug Olive/Brown


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