Prime Fishing On the Big Hole

Summer dry fly fishing on the Big Hole River has been good lately. We have hatches of Golden Stones, PMD’s, Caddis, drakes and summer stones. Pick your dry fly hatch and run with it. The evenings or early morning dry fly action on golden stones has been fantastic this week. The nymph fisherman have been hanging fish all day in the fast shallow riffles and are having opportunities in deeper seems. We have had good reports with the streamer anglers with J.J. Sparkle minnows, Lil’ Kim’s in olive and Mini Loop Sculpins in natural. Water flows are hovering just under 2,000 cfs here in Melrose. Our best fishing stretches have been from Jerry Creek down to Notch Bottom.

Recommend Flies:

  • Chubby Chernobyl #8 (Gold) (Purple) (UV Tan)
  • PMD Comparadun #16
  • Purple Craze #12, #14
  • Comparadun Purple #16
  • Brindle Chute #12
  • CDC Caddis #12
  • Bloom’s Caddis #14
  • Copper John Red #14
  • Lightning Bug Pearl #14
  • Pat’s Rubber Legs #8
  • Mini Loop Sculpin
  • J.J. Sparkle Minnow #4
  • Lil Kim #4 Olive/tan
  • Barely Legal Olive

Beaverhead River In Prime Shape

The Beaverhead river is in perfect summer shape heading into the holiday week. Clark Canyon outflows are 580cfs today. We have been seeing the first of the PMD hatch on the upper Beaverhead and clouds of Yellow Sallies around Henneberry access site. You will also find handfuls of Golden Stone’s around grasshopper access area. The flows right now are excellent for the floater and good for the wade angler. From the Dam down to Henneberry fishing access has been our best fishing.

Recommended Flies:

  • Split Back PMD #18
  • Crack back PMD #18
  • Mayhem PMD #18
  • Comparadun PMD #18
  • Micro Mayfly #16
  • Psycho Prince #18
  • McGrubber PMD #16
  • Thread Frenchie #18

Hatches Galore on The Big Hole

Fishing has come into great shape on the Big Hole River. Salmonflies are still hatching about 5 miles above Jerry Creek and you will find them down to about Divide Bridge. The Golden Stones are pretty thick in the Jerry Creek to Maiden Rock Canyon stretch. Along with the stoneflies you will find yellow sallies, PMD’s and caddis hatching on the river. Prospecting with a double dry has been working well for us. We have been throwing a salmonfly or golden stone and then a yellow sally dry fly behind it. The streamer anglers have had good reports as well, J.J. Sparkle Minnows, and brown/yellow Barely Legals have kept fish chasing to the boat. The Big Hole will just continue to be in prime shape this week as the river drops in flows and stabilizes.

Suggested Flies:

  • Cat Puke #4
  • Chubby Chernobyl (Orange) (Yellow) (Purple) #6
  • Flutter Bug Golden #6
  • Water Walker (Black) (Brown) #4
  • Water Walker Golden #6
  • Head Light Sally #12
  • Purple Haze #12
  • Barely Legal #6
  • Sparkle Minnows J.J. #4
  • Sparring Partner Brown trout #4

Salmonflies On The Big Hole River

The Big Hole River is quickly coming into prime shape. Our peak runoff is behind us and that means……Salmonflies! Yes, Salmonflies are here! Currently, we are seeing the big bugs in the Maiden Rock Canyon. River flows are quickly dropping and fishing was excellent today and the next several days we will have Salmonfly dry fly fishing. We have also seen PMD’s, golden stones and some yellow sallies on the water. Streamer anglers have done well lately with yellow/brown streamers. It is time for the best hatch of the year. The Big Hole has 4 feet of visibility and with the flows dropping this could be an amazing hatch.

Recommended Flies:

  • Flutter Bug (Salmonfly) #4
  • Cat Puke #4
  • Half Down Salmonfly #4
  • Chubby Chernobyl #6 (Purple) (Orange) (Golden)
  • Chubby Norman #6, #8
  • Water Walker #6 (Black) (Brown)

Hatches Are Coming Soon

The Beaverhead River has been fishing well some days and rather tough other days. We have seen no lack of crowds on the Beaverhead due to most of the freestone rivers running high. The Clark Canyon Reservoir outflow today is 318 cfs. Wade fisherman are happy with these low flows. We have had our best fishing from the Dam down to Grasshopper Creek. You will find Grasshopper Creek running muddy, so fishing is tough below there. Pretty soon we will see the first of the PMD hatch. Currently, we are doing best nymphing with PMD’s, Blue Winged Olives and sow bugs.

Recommended Flies:

Soft Hackle Sow Bug #16

Scud (Orange) #16

Splitback PMD #18

Micro Mayfly (Olive) #16

Barr’s Emerger (PMD) #18

The Big Hole Has Bumped Again

Last week we started seeing a handful of adult Salmonflies, and we were having great fishing with salmonfly nymphs thrown tight to the banks. But since then we have had a significant bump in flows and now the river is near 6000cfs at the Melrose gauge. This increase in flows combined with the drop in water temperature has stalled the salmonfly hatch. It looks like the river has started to drop a little at all of the gauges, and we are expecting to see that drop continue over the next few days. With warmer weather in the forecast for later this week, you should start to see the river temps rebound and hopefully when the river temps get back up near 60 degrees we will start to see salmonflies again. Until then, streamers, stonefly nymphs, and pink and red San Juan Worms will be your best bet. For the latest information feel free to give us a call. 406-835-3474.

The Start of The Big Hole Salmonfly Hatch

Lynn Harp with a fabulous trout caught yesterday on the Big Hole River

The long awaited hatch is here. The Salmonflies have started to crawl below Melrose. We are seeing the adult salmonflies around Brownes bridge. Our fishing yesterday from Maiden Rock to Glen was fantastic. We did not get them on dries yesterday but the salmonfly nymph tight to the banks was putting massive brown trout in the net all day long. This morning our guides saw adult salmonflies around brownes bridge. It is game today for dry fly fishing below Melrose on adult Salmonflies. Look for the hatch to stay below the Maiden Rock Canyon for several days and then work up into the canyon. The river currently has 3 feet of visibility and the flows are dropping nicely. For the latest information feel free to give us a call. 406-835-3474.

Recommended Flies:

  • Pat’s Rubber Legs #4 (Black) (Orange/Brown)
  • Half Down Salmonfly #4
  • Chubby Chernobyl (Orange) (Purple) #6
  • Flutter Bug Salmonfly #4
  • Jig Bugger Black #4
  • Yuk Bug #6
  • Cat Puke #4

The Big Hole Is Back In Shape

After a week of dirty water, the Big Hole has stabilize, cleared, and it is fishing well. Now that we are getting close to the start of the Salmonfly hatch, the fish are really keying in on stonefly nymphs and guides have reported having really good fishing throwing larger Pat’s Rubber Legs. The forecast for the next week is showing rain and warmer temps, so the river conditions might change if we get a ton of precipitation, but we are anticipating that the Big Hole will continue to fish well all week.

Runoff On The Big Hole River

The Big Hole River is currently rising and muddy due to high elevation snow runoff. We also have some serious rain in the forecast, which will add to the volume of water coming down the system. We recommend fishing a tailwater fishery right now, like the Beaverhead. Once the Big Hole peaks and starts to drop in flows the upper Big Hole will start to fish. We recommend heading to tailwater fisheries this week until the Big Hole drops in flows from peak runoff. Snowpack in the Big Hole valley is still showing 130% of snow water equivalency for this date in time. Always feel free to give us a call for the most up to date water conditions. 406-835-3474.

  • Recommended flies:
  • Pat’s Stone #10 (Black)
  • Duracell (Copper) #12
  • Hot Spot Jig #14
  • San Juan Worm (Red/Pink)
  • Caddis Pupa (Olive/Tan) #14
  • High Rise Caddis #14 
  • Translucent Emerger Caddis #14
  • March Brown #14 
  • #6 J.J. Special
  • #6 Yellow Zonker

Opening Week On The Beaverhead

The Beaverhead River has been fishing well lately. The flows out of Clark Canyon Reservoir are only 297cfs right now. The wade anglers have the pleasure of tromping anywhere they want to right now. We have had good fishing around the dam and all the way to Grasshopper Creek. Currently, the creek is dumping muddy water into the Beaverhead. We recommend staying above Grasshopper Creek for better water clarity. We have been doing well with Sow Bugs, Scuds, and olive midge nymphs. The water is still very cold coming out of the reservoir so hatches are sparse. This is a great place to be right now while the freestone rivers are blown out with runoff.