The Perfect Day of Fly Fishing in Southwest Montana
Spending a day on the water with an expert who really knows the river and who is there to help you with your casting, water reading, fly selection, and overall fishing technique can be one of the best ways to enjoy the sport of fly fishing.
Imagine that it’s your first day in Melrose. You sip on your hot cup of coffee as you sit on the porch of the Sunrise Fly Shop, with the sun peaking over the Highland Mountains, and a chill in the air. Fishing has been your passion for as long as you can remember, but you’ve never had the opportunity to fish the famous trout rivers of Montana.
Starting out on Your Big Hole River Fly Fishing Adventure
Bubbling with excitement, you open the front door of the Sunrise Fly Shop and are greeted by Eric and Ryan, the owners of the fly shop. We brief you on the day’s river conditions, ask you about your experience level, favorite fishing techniques, and expectations for the day. After meeting with the owners, you are introduced to your guide. You will be impressed with their energy and excitement as they discusses the day’s options with you. After the two of you agree on a plan for the day, you transfer your gear to his rig and hop in.
On the way to the fishing access for the stretch of the Big Hole that has been performing the best, you and your guide chat about where you are from and all of the places you have fished. As you are telling your guide about your home waters you realize your head is on a swivel, unable to stop admiring the magnificence of the scenery. Shades of brown and green are interwoven between the shadows of the morning sun. You remember something you once heard and realize that it’s true. Trout don’t live in ugly places.
The Excitement Builds as You Prepare at the Boat Launch
As you pull into the Maiden Rock fishing access you can’t help but stare at the river out your window. Without question, this is exactly what you thought Montana would look like. You hop out of the passenger’s seat and round the truck to the tailgate where your guide is getting your gear ready. As you pull on your waders you watch you guide start to rig your rod for you. You can’t believe the size of the dry fly he is trying on. In astonishment you ask him what that ugly purple thing he is tying on is called. He tells you that it’s a Purple Chubby and that it’s his favorite Stonefly pattern. Knowing better than to question your guide, you smile and nod, although inside, you’re shaking your head and thinking, “I’ll believe it when I see it”.
Finally, in the Water and On Your Way
Once the boat has been launched and you are settled into your seat, all of the nervous energy that you have felt building up all morning disappears. As the anchor is pulled you slide into the leg locks and begin to pull line off of your reel. With just a couple of smooth strokes of the oars your guide has you gently sliding into the main current of the river. After a couple simple instructions from your guide, you lift your rod and begin your first cast of the day. You miss your mark on the first couple casts, but you shake off the rust, and after a couple pointers and a little encouragement your cast starts to come together.Just a couple hundred yards down the river your guide instructs you to switch over to the left side of the boat. Your guide asks you to put your fly about six inches from the bank, give it a subtle mend, and be ready. You raise your rod, feel it load behind you, and lay a perfect cast within just a few inches of the bank. Before you even have time to make your mend, it happens. The first brown trout of the day explodes on that purple fly and instinctively you set the hook.
A Delicious Lunch to Get You Ready for the Afternoon Excitement
Before you know it, your guide is asking you if you are starting to get hungry. You have been so caught-up in the fishing that you have completely lost all track of time. After glancing at your watch and realizing that you have been fishing for nearly five hours, you concede to put the rod down for a minute and grab a quick bite of lunch. While eating your lunch you try and recall how many fish you’ve caught. You start your count and quickly realize that you have landed far too many fish to keep track of. Your grin grows as your lean back in your chair and take it all in.
It’s Time for Round 2
The afternoon picks up right where the morning had left off. Another great cast underneath an overhanging willow followed by a picture-perfect take from another trout. This continues for another few hours until you begin to realize that every inch of your casting arm is starting to ache. Never before in your life has muscle pain been so enjoyable. And just as you’re ready to lay the rod down and take a break, your guide informs you that you will be at the takeout in just a few minutes. You suck up the pain, make another cast, and try to get one more trout before the boat ramp.
You’ve had great days of fishing in the past, but nothing has ever come close to the day you just had on the Big Hole River. This is the kind of day you will relive in your mind for years to come.
We have days like these everyday on our guided float trips on the Big Hole River. Let us show you a great day of fishing that you will not soon forget!