Big Hole Spring Fishing Report

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.

Big Hole Fishing Report

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.

Big Hole River Spring Special

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.

Welcoming October Fishing on The Big Hole River

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.

Recommended Flies:

  • Spanish Bullet (Olive) (Black) #16
  • Psycho May (Olive) (Brown) #16
  • Jig Blowtorch (Black) #16
  • San Juan Worm #8
  • J.J. Special #6
  • Barely Legal #6
  • Split Wing Blue Winged Olive #16
  • Hot Spot Para Wulff #16 #14

Big Hole Closure Uplifted on Section 4 of River

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

Recommended Flies:

  • Spanish Bullet (Black) (Olive) #16 
  • Lucent Tag Perdigon – Olive #16
  • Jig Iron Lotus #16
  • Green Machine #16
  • Micro Mayfly #16
  • Psycho Mayfly (Olive) #16
  • Split Wing BWO #16
  • Purple Haze #16
  • Mahogany Dun #14
  • J.J. Special #6
  • Lil Kim #6
  • Mini Loop Sculpin #6

Big Hole River Fall Fishing Report

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.

Recommended Flies:

  • Spanish Bullet (Black) (Olive) #16
  • Jig Iron Lotus #16
  • Green Machine #16
  • Micro Mayfly #16
  • Psycho Mayfly (Olive) #16
  • Split Wing BWO #16
  • Purple Haze #16
  • Mahogany Dun #14
  • J.J. Special #6
  • Lil Kim #6
  • Mini Loop Sculpin #6

Beaverhead River Fall Fishing Update

The Beaverhead has been fishing pretty tough lately. Clark Canyon outflows are set to winter flows already due to the reservoir being only 26% full. The Winter Clark Canyon Reservoir outflows are down to 25 cfs. In response to these low flows Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has closed the Beaverhead from the Dam down to Pipe Organ Bridge. This closure will remain into affect all fall.

The Beaverhead River is open to fishing from Pipe Organ Bridge down to the Mouth (Confluence to Big Hole). Flows are low in these sections and are better for the wade angler. Floating any of the stretches below Pipe Organ is not recommended due to low flows. You will find Blue Winged Olives hatching and a few hopper opportunities in the afternoons.

Recommended Flies:

  • Split Back BWO #18
  • Micro Mayfly #16
  • Bubble Back BWO #18
  • Spanish Bullet Olive #16
  • Jig Frenchie Blue #18
  • Green machine #18
  • J.J. Special #6
  • Sparkle Minnow J.J. #6
  • Lil Kim’ #6

Searching for Rising Fish

The Big Hole has been tough some days for our guides and fishing well on other days. We are still seeing good Trico hatches in the mornings. You can hunt sipping trout on the surface during the spinner fall. After the trico hatch we have been prospecting the riffles with a spruce moth, hopper or ant pattern with a paragon dropper nymph off the back. We are seeing a tremendous amount of hoppers in the valley this August. Flows remain low and well below average for this time of the year. We have some hoot owl closures on sections and some full fishing closures on some sections of the Big Hole. Below is all the information on fishing restrictions. Section 3 remains open all day. This section is from Dickey Bridge down to Maiden Rock FWP (Lower Maiden Rock).

Recommended Flies:

  • Spruce Moth #12
  • YFG Spruce Moth #12
  • Bloom’s Spruce Moth #12
  • Comparadun Trico #18
  • Trico Spinner #18
  • Chernobyl Ant #8
  • Morrish Hopper #8
  • Fat Albert #8
  • Pat’s Rubber Leg #10 (Black)
  • Spanish Bullet #16 (Black)
  • Thread Frenchie #16 (Black/Olive)

Fishing Restrictions/Closures:

  • Section 1 Closed – Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to North Fork Big Hole River mouth
  • Section 4 Closed – From FWP’s Maiden Rock FAS (Lower Maiden Rock) to Tony Shoonen FAS (Notch)
  • Section 5 Closed – Tony Schoonen FAS (Notch) to confluence with Jefferson River

Hoot Owl restrictions prohibit fishing each day between 2 p.m. and midnight in the following sections of the Big Hole River:

  • Section 2 Hoot Owl – From the North Fork of the Big Hole to Dickie Bridge FAS

Section 3 Dickie Bridge down to FWP’s Maidenrock FAS (Lower Maiden Rock) is open to fishing all day. Even though this section is open all day please take water temperature readings and if the water temperature exceeds 68 degrees please stop fishing for the day. If these restrictions confuse you, please give us a call and we can clarify the locations. 406-835-3474.

Clark Canyon Reservoir Update

The Beaverhead River has been fishing very tough lately. Outflows from Clark Canyon Reservoir are 450cfs and dropping daily. The difficult fishing is due to how low Clark Canyon Reservoir has been. Currently the reservoir is 29% full. The outflow into the Beaverhead River is dirty and extremely mossy. The outflow from Clark Canyon is also warm water since the reservoir has turned over. Between the extremely poor clarity and the moss mats on the surface, fishing has been very difficult. Hopefully conditions improve soon and we have a better report next week.

Fly Recommendations:

  • Hunchback Infrequence PMD #18
  • Split Back PMD #18
  • Barr’s Emerger #18
  • Tungsten Sunkist #18
  • Bubble Back PMD #18
  • Micro Mayfly #16
  • Comparadun PMD #18
  • Split Wing PMD #18