The Big Hole River fishing in May can be rewarding and humbling due to the environmental factors of runoff. We are having days right now that fishing has been good and some days have been darn tough. Flows around Melrose are over 4,000cfs and fishing has been difficult with these high flows. Fishing above the Wise River has been good some days and fair on other days. The Caddis on the lower Big Hole have started to hatch. On the upper Big Hole we have March Brown’s and Blue Winged Olives hatching. Our best success on the upper Big Hole has been with streamers and San Juan Worms. Visibility has remained around 3 feet on the banks, which is excellent. Flows and clarity can change daily due to the May runoff. The upper Big Hole is dropping in flows, which should bring good fishing conditions. High water means get your streamer box out and find some large brown trout.
Saturday, May 20th is the upper Beaverhead River season opener. Flows out of Clark Canyon Reservoir are currently 211cfs. The River is low and wade fishing will be able to be done on the entire upper stretch. This is always a crowded weekends to hit the Beaverhead, but it is very productive. Nymphing will be the name of the game. You will find fish eating sow bugs, scuds and midges. Since the river is low please be considerate to other anglers on the water. The river is running clear all the way down to Grasshopper Creek. The Beaverhead below Grasshopper Creek will be off color due to runoff.
The Big Hole River flow is a result of a fierce freestone stream. We had some tough conditions last week but we are seeing the river drop and clear. We had good fishing yesterday river wide and it should be getting better as the river drops during this cool weather period. We have gotten rid of the low to mid elevation snowpack from the warm weather last week. The spring fishing will remain good until the high elevation snowpack melts. With daytime highs in the 50’s to 60’s the river will continue to drop unless rain makes it rise. Upper elevation snowpack is currently at 100%. So we should have a normal runoff at the end of the month unless Mother Nature changes the outcome. May is always an exciting time because of how the flows can be unpredictable.
We have seen hatches of March Brown’s, Skwala’s and Blue Winged Olives. Our next big hatch will be the Mother’s Day Caddis. Our best flies lately have been San Juan worms, Skwala nymphs and streamers. Inside corners of the runs and tail-outs of the runs have produced the hookups on fish lately.
A friendly reminder for all angler that the Jerry Creek Fishing Access site and the Divide Fishing Access Site are closed due to a new boat ramp construction project. We will let you know as soon as these re-open.
Spring fishing on the Big Hole River has been good lately. The very upper Big Hole River above Wise River is still frozen. We are fishing from Maiden Rock down to Notch Bottom. The Divide and Jerry Creek boat ramps are currently getting improvements and are not usable. We will update you when these ramps open back up.
Fishing has been good subsurface with Skwala nymphs and squirmy worms. We have had some midge activity as well. Any day now we will have Skwala dry fly activity on the surface. Water clarity is around 18 to 24 inches. Conditions can change very quickly this time of the year so feel free to call us for a report 406-835-3474.
The first half of this week has more winter conditions on the Big Hole River, but towards the end of the week we will have some Spring fishing weather. Look for the day time high temperatures reaching 40-48 degrees later this week. The Big Hole still has a fair amount of shelf ice on the banks but the lower river is floatable and fishing. We do not advise floating above Melrose. The upper Maiden Rock boat ramp and lower Maiden Rock boat ramp is snow covered and access is about impossible as of today. Sections below Melrose are floatable but you will encounter shelf ice on the banks. Sub surface nymphing is the name of the game right now until water temperatures warm up. Look for the slow deep buckets to spend your time fishing.
New inventory is coming into the shop daily and we are looking forward to opening our doors for the spring season on April 3rd! Feel free to give us a call for up to date information 406-835-3474. We are running shuttles daily and open 7 days a week.
According to the calendar spring is officially here but the weather has not been cooperating for fishing on the Big Hole. We are under a winter storm warning and the forecast this week has winter like conditions daily. The lower Big Hole still has lots of shelf ice and is not yet floatable due to the amount of ice on the banks and in the river. Feel free to give us a call for up to date conditions and we will update this report as soon as we get on the water. We are looking forward to a great 2023 fishing season.
Spring trips start for us the first week of April. We still have openings for our Spring special. Book your trip today! You can expect Skwala stoneflies, Blue Winged Olives and March Brown’s hatching during April. Some of our first hatches can be the most prolific and fishing can be very rewarding in the spring months.
October fishing on the Big Hole River is here and we are excited for the month of fall foliage and active trout. Fishing has been very good lately on the lower stretches of the Big Hole River. We have had guide boats out from Brownes to Glen and Glen to Notch Bottom and the fishing has been excellent. You will find blue winged olives and mahogany duns hatching during the day. Dropper fishing with a blue winged olive nymph has bee very good. The streamer fisherman have been pleased with the activity from large brown’s chasing the sculpins and minnow imitations.
Reminder: Maiden Rock (BLM) to Brown’s Bridge is closed from October 1st through March 31st. You can fish above Maiden rock BLM and below Brownes Bridge. Please call us if you need any clarification (406) 835-3474.
The Big Hole River Fall fishing has remained good this week. Flows have come up on the Big Hole and section 4 of the river is now open to fishing. Section 4 is from Maiden Rock (FWP) down to Notch Bottom (Tony Shoonen access). We have seen good hatches of Blue Winged Olives and Mahogany Duns lately. Streamers have also been working in the tail outs of the runs. Nymphing has remained consistent in the slow tail outs of the runs and near the riffles.
Open Section of the Big Hole:
Currently from Dickie Bridge down to Notch Bottom (Tony Shoonen access) is open to fishing. Please call us if you need any clarifications. (406) 835-3474
Fall fishing on the Big Hole River is in full swing right now. As you can see above a few large brown trout are being caught as we move into the falls season. We currently have cooler water temperatures and flows have slightly bumped due to some rain. We are still well below historical average flows for September. Hopefully we continue to receive some moisture to get the river flows up. We are starting to see some of the Fall hatches on the Big Hole River. You will find Blue Winged Olives and Mahogany Dun’s hatching. Small flying ant’s are also taking fish on dry flies in the afternoons. Streamers in the shallow rifles and pools are working. We have done best on darker colored streamers. Keep your streamer moving slow and deep for the best results.
From Dickie Bridge down to Lower Maiden Rock FWP is open to fishing the entire day. All other sections of the Big Hole are currently closed to fishing due to low flows. Please give us a call for any clarification or the most up to date information. 406-835-3474.