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

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

Beaverhead Fishing Heat Wave

The upper Beaverhead is is still holding strong with good fishing. We have been doing the best from the dam down to Pipe Organ Bridge. Flows out of Clark Canyon Reservoir are currently up to 804 cfs. Wade fishing spots are tough right now but drift boat fishing is ideal at these flows. The river clarity is a bit off right now but that can be a day to day affair from outflows out of Clark Canyon Reservoir. We have had some PMD dry fly fishing the morning in the slick. Nymphing has been consistent in the upper Beaverhead. We have done well with various PMD Nymphs.

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

Hoot Owl Fishing Restriction from the mouth of the river (Near twin Bridges to Selway Park in Dillon

From the mouth to Selway Park FAS at Dillon

The hoot-owl fishing restriction, which prohibits fishing each day between 2 p.m. and midnight, will go into effect at 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 29 for the Beaverhead River from the mouth to Selway Park FAS at Dillon. Maximum daily water temperatures on the Beaverhead River at USGS gauge 06023100 Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges exceeded 73 degrees for three consecutive days, satisfying angling restriction and fishing closure criteria. This restriction will remain in effect until lifted by FWP administrative action in consultation with the Big Hole Watershed Committee, or until September 15.

Beaverhead River Fishing Well

The Beaverhead River has been fishing fantastic this last week. We have been fishing from the Dam down to Barretts and the fishing has been consistent. You will find fish rising to PMD’s in the mornings, especially in the slick. We have yellow sallies and summer stones from High Bridge down to Barretts. Clark Canyon Reservoir outflows are 510 cfs this morning. You will have good wade fishing at these flows and excellent float fishing on the Beaverhead River.

Recommended Flies:

  • Split back PMD #18
  • Crack Back PMD #18
  • Hunchback PMD #18
  • Barr’s Emerger #18
  • Captive Dunn PMD #18
  • Ray Charles Pink #18
  • McGrubber PMD #16
  • Comparadun PMD #16
  • Parachute Adams PMD #18
  • Chubby Chernobyl #12 (Gold)
  • Plan B #8

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 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

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.

Walk Wading The Beaverhead River

The Beaverhead has been fishing well for us the past few days. Flows out of Clark Canyon Reservoir are only 65cfs right now. You will not get a boat down the river at these flows. It is the perfect walk wade river right now. We have done well wading below Pipe Organ Bridge and around grasshopper creek. You will find blue wings on some days and caddis hatching. Our best fishing has been sub surface with scuds, sow bugs and mop flies.

Remember: FISHING IS CLOSED FROM THE DAM DOWN TO PIPE ORGAN BRIDGE UNTIL MAY 21st. This closure is in place to protect the rainbow trout spawn.

Winter Update and Job Posting

Winter is finally in full swing in Southwest Montana. our freestone rivers are locked up and frozen and some of the tailwaters have fishing opportunity. Snowpack is hovering around 110% for the Big Hole and Beaverhead drainages. We still have a lot of winter left and it is way to early to predict river flows for Spring 2022.

Job Posting:

Sunrise Fly Shop in Melrose, MT is looking to hire experienced fly fishing guides for the upcoming season. Sunrise Fly Shop is a unique kind of fly shop. We are energetic, enthusiastic, and provide exceptional customer service. We are passionate about the sport and are in the fishing industry because we love it. The staff at Sunrise Fly Shop loves to fish. Even though we guide hundreds of days a year, we can’t wait to fish ourselves. We are looking for individuals with a similar mindset.

We need professional, hard-working, team-oriented people with a passion for fly fishing, the outdoors, and hospitality. Guides can expect to work 100 to 130 days during the guide season. Proficiency rowing a boat is required.

  • Provide fun, professional, safe, and entertaining fishing trips on the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Jefferson, and Upper Clark Fork Rivers.
  • Own their own gear, including drift boater raft, rods, reels, and terminal tackle.
  • First-Aid certification
  • Montana Guide License
  • Keep accurate logs of all trips and have a willingness to learn and follow the Big Hole and Beaverhead Special Use Rules and Regulations
  • Willingness to work a demanding schedule with long hours for our entire season (usually April through October)

If interested please email your resume and cover letter to: [email protected]

Beaverhead River Fishing Report

Clarity has diminished on the Beaverhead River due to Clark Canyon Reservoir being only 30% full and the reservoir has turned over. Flows this morning out of the reservoir are 350cfs and dropping. The only luck we have had lately is on hoppers on the Beaverhead. You might also have some luck on Trico’s near the dam. Fishing has been tough and hopefully improves for us. The clarity needs to improve out of the reservoir before things get better.

No fishing restrictions above Tash Bridge to the Dam

Fishing Restrictions on the Beaverhead:

From the mouth to Hwy 91 S (Tash) downstream Hoot Owl fishing Restrictions

The hoot-owl fishing restriction, which prohibits fishing each day between 2 p.m. and midnight, will be in effect on portions of the Beaverhead River from the mouth to Hwy 91 S (Tash).