Friday, May 17, 2019

May 17th ’19 – Big Hole River Fishing Report – Big river, big trout. And some rain.

Flows on the Big Hole have been on a gradual climb for the past week, and we are seeing the big brown trout activity increase due to an abundance of worms, bugs, and other fish on the menu. Our guides have been consistently putting quality fish in the boat, with more each day. That includes a few really big brown trout! They, along with most other anglers, have been focusing their efforts on the portion of the river upstream of the Wise River confluence. The Wise is adding color to the water, however visibility is still half-decent even down here in Melrose. Now is great time to hire a guide on the Big Hole river, as it is typically the best shot at hooking a big brown trout and also a slightly more difficult time to fish the river without a guide. 

A big, bushy dry fly with a worm or girdle bug below has been a consistent fish catcher throughout the last week, with around 3’ between the bugs. Streamer fishing has been making an impact as well, with some very nice trout being fooled by sculpin and minnow imitations. Other anglers are using a small streamer to lead their nymph rig under a bobber and having great success. 

Dry fly anglers are being kept honest at the moment, and with that being said, we have had some of the finest trout of the day come up for the dry fly recently. There are a number of skwala stones still crawling around, with the march brown mayflies hatching intermittently. The blue winged olive mayflies will be kicking into gear soon, and with a slight drop in flows we will see fish up in the right spots soon enough.

Flows have passed 5k at Maiden Rock, and we strongly recommend not floating below Jerry Creek unless you have a qualified oarsmen and are looking for more of an experience. We have enough visibility to have solid fishing down on the lower river, however the bite has been tough to put a finger on. Focusing on slower seams and slough edges will be the best bet on the middle and lower portions of the Big Hole. We have rain in the forecast for the near future, and we are expecting the worm and minnow bite to be solid for quite a while throughout the river system.

Cooler nights are on the way, and we are genuinely excited about the next few weeks leading into salmonfly season. The flows are starting to stabilize, and we are hoping to see the middle and lower portions of the Big Hole come back into play during the week. For now, we are offering guides and shuttles on the upper river, so please give us a shout if you are interested in either at 406-835-3474!

-Dan Soltau, Shop Manager

Call 406-835-FISH for the latest word from the river!

#6 Mini Dungeon in Black, Olive, & White
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Girdle Bug in Black & Coffee Variant
#4 Flash Minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#6 Zonker in White & Natural over Copper
#8 Jig Squirmy Wormy
#10 Ninch’s Fish Finder Worm Burgundy
#10 Heavy P Nymph
#6 Danny Boy Sculpin
#2 DWFCo Walter’s Weakness is Black & Olive & Silver & Tan

Co-owner and outfitter Ryan Barba putting Lynn, a favorite client of ours on a true trophy brown trout from just a few days back near Jerry Creek on the Big Hole River.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Flows on the Big Hole are starting to come up daily due to some snowmelt but not enough to put the fishing down. Fishing has been pretty darn good lately even with the slight bump in flows. Clarity remains around 4 feet. We have some skwalas around and March Brown mayflies. Our Big Hole River guides have been fishing on the upper Big Hole, Canyon stretches and the lower Big Hole. All three sections of the Big Hole has been fishing well. Water temperatures are hitting the magic number of 50 degrees lately, which has gotten the streamer junkies excited. We have done well on black, olive, and tan streamers. As we all know, conditions this time of year can change quick. Give us a call for up to date information. 406-835-3474.

Book your Spring Special fishing package today! 

Recommended Flies: #10 Water Walker Olive; #8 Mr. Beam; #12 Parachute Adam’s; #8 T.J. Hooker; #8 Pat’s Stone; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Squirmy Worm; #8 San Juan Worm Pink/Red #6 Smokin’ Mirrors Black; #6 Flash Minnow Yellow; #6 She Deamon;  Sex Dungeon Black/Yellow/White

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

During last week we saw some colder temperatures that stopped some of the spring snowmelt and we saw the river drop back down near historical averages. With the drop in flows the visibility improved and we started having some really good fishing. We started seeing a few skwalas flying around, and as a result  fish were coming up for a dry fly. Our best fishing for the last few days has come while using a dry/dropper with a Skwala dry and a San Juan worm. The forecast for the next week is calling for some warmer daytime temperatures and as a result we might see the river start to bump. Hopefully any increases will be minimal and we will continue to see good fishing on the Big Hole. Give us a call at the shop to get the most up to date report on the river condition.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Big Hole is finally coming into decent fishing shape from the ice flows we had last week. Water clarity here in Melrose is 2 feet and we are starting to have consistent fishing. We have not seen much for dry fly fishing but that should improve towards the end of the week as air temperatures are going to improve. The Big Hole is currently running at 1,610 cfs in Melrose and the water temperatures are reaching the mid 40’s during the heat of the day. The skwalla nymphs are moving around and we are mostly catching fish subsurface on Pat’s stones, and San Juan worms. Currently the river is a nice stable flow. Spring fishing should be heating up!

Book your Spring Special Package Today!

 Eric with a nice Spring trout on the Big Hole

Recommended Flies: #16 Shop Vac; #8 San Juan Worm Pink/red/Wine; #8 Mr. Beam Skwalla; #10 Chubby Tan/Olive; #4 Yellow Yummy; #4 Sparkle Minnow; #6 Flash Minnow; #8 Prince Nymph; #8 Pat’s Stone

Friday, April 12, 2019

It has been a crazy week here on the Big Hole River. Every year we get the spring thaw in the valley and that occurred this week. On Wednesday some major ice jams broke on the upper Big Hole. Currently we are ice free all the way up to Mudd Creek. The Big Hole River had a major flush occur on Wednesday as the ice jams broke, which made a muddy mess on the entire river. When the ice flows broke the river went over 5,000cfs here in Melrose. Currently the river has dropped to a manageable flow of 2,200cfs. A huge improvement has occurred and it will continue to get better. Currently we have around 18 inches of visibility here in Melrose. The river will start to fish this weekend. I don’t think it will be stellar but you will be able to catch a few fish subsurface on nymphs and streamers. Besides low visibility the cold water temperatures will make the fishing tough. We need the temperatures to get into the mid 40’s and currently they are in the upper 30’s. You will find the warmest water conditions around Melrose this weekend for fishing. Accessibility and hazards are too dangerous to float anything above Jerry Creek at the point.

Recommended Flies: #8 San Juan Worm Pink/red/Wine; #4 Yellow Yummy; #4 Sparkle Minnow; #6 Flash Minnow; #8 Prince Nymph; #8 Pat’s Stone

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Time to kick off the 2019 fishing season on the Big Hole River. The shop will officially open April 1st and we are running shuttles tomorrow if you need one just give us a call. We got out and fished and had pretty good success below Melrose during the afternoon heat of the day hours. Mainly subsurface on Skwala nymphs and streamers moving very slow in deep buckets. We have lots of ice on the banks and most of the sections are still not floatable due to ice shelves on the boat ramps and snow in the boat ramps. Currently the only sections we can float are Melrose to Brownes Bridge and Jerry creek to George Grant (Dewey). As the thaw continues we will keep you up to date on when more sections open up to float fishing. Lots of new gear and flies are coming in daily and some remodeling is going on in the fly shop. Our lodging is open and currently taking reservations.

 Some April/May dates are still open for out Spring Special. Details Here. 

Guide trips are heading out tomorrow!

Give us a call for the most up to date information on boat ramps and fishing reports 406-835-3474

Eric caught this nice Brown below Melrose a few days ago

Recommended Flies: #10 Pats Stone Olive/brown, #8 San Juan worm; #16 Shop Vac; #18 Green Machine; #6 J.J. Special; #6 Flash Minnow Olive; #6 Sparkle Minnow

Monday, October 8, 2018

Fall fishing on the Big Hole River has been pretty good for us so far this month. River flows are in excellent shape and the trout have been healthy this season. Our fall hatches are winding down for the year. On the warmer afternoons you will find some Blue Winged Olives and mahogany duns. On the cold days you will need to stay subsurface with nymphs and streamers. Your best window of active fish feeding is around 10:00 am to 4:00pm. Darker streamers have been working the best lately for us. Time to get the last couple floats of the year in before winter is here.

Check out our Sunrise fly Shop Lodging Here. Call for availability 406-835-3474

 SIMMS FREESTONE WADERS 20% OFF and select Simms Boots: CALL THE SHOP FOR ORDERING 406-835-3474

Recommended Flies:

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#12 Mahogany Dun
#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Fall is in full swing on the Big Hole River. This is an amazing time of year. We are currently seeing the peak foliage of the cottonwoods lining the banks. If you are lucky you can see elk along some of the Big Hole River meadows, moose and plenty of water foul. As far as fishing, we have some of our best days this time of year. The brown trout are packing on the pounds before the spawn. Streamers are working in full force. Flash minnows, J.J.’s, Little Kim’s and Home Invaders are all doing well with the streamer fisherman. Some of the warmer overcast days we have had Blue Winged olives and mahogany duns keeping the dry fly enthusiasts happy. Nymphing has been active with Pat’s stones, micro mayflies and psycho mayflies.

Check out our Sunrise fly Shop Lodging Here. Call for availability 406-835-3474

 SIMMS FREESTONE WADERS 20% OFF: CALL THE SHOP FOR ORDERING 406-835-3474

Recommended Flies:

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Little Kim Copper
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#6 Pat’s Stone
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#12 Mahogany Dun
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Red Copper John
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fishing has been a bit all over the board lately. The clear sunny days have been tough, but the overcast damp days have had the larger brown trout on the prowl. You will find some hatches of Blue Winged Olives and Mahogany Duns lately. The streamer fisherman have done well during the low light times. Streamers of choice have been J.J’s, Flash Minnows in olive and black, Little Kim’s and tan Home Invaders. the lower Big Hole below Melrose is seeing a nice bump in flows. Fall fishing is here and it is time to get your streamer box out and enjoy the last six weeks of trout fishing season on the wonderful Big Hole River.

Check out our Sunrise fly Shop Lodging Here. Call for availability 406-835-3474

Recommended Flies:

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#12 Mahogany Dun
#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Looks like tomorrow will be our first blast of fall weather. Cooler weather with some rain should bring the aggressive brown trout back on the feed on the Big Hole. A few of the cottonwoods are turning yellow and the willows along the banks are showing some fall colors. This all means that it’s time to throw streamers and the fall baetis and Mahogany Duns are going to blanket the water. The best fishing hours are moving to the middle of the day while the water warms in to the upper 50’s.

Check out our Sunrise fly Shop Lodging Here. Call for availability 406-835-3474

Recommended Flies:

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#12 Mahogany Dun
#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

Jenny with an awesome trout from the Big Hole

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