Big Hole River Skwala Hatch

The Big Hole River Skwala Hatch has started this week. We have seen the adult stoneflies from Melrose down to the lower end of the river. Some afternoons have been better than others on the dry fly bite. In the morning we have been getting fish on the stonefly nymph and then switching to the dry fly in the afternoons. Water clarity remains at around 3 feet and the river remains stable. Look for the slow grassy banks for the Skwala dry flies.

The weather looks quite pleasant for the next several days. A good Spring fishing window is upon us, time to get out and fish! We still have some availability for our Spring Special.

Recommended Flies:

  • #8 Bullet Head Skwala
  • #10 Chubby Chernobyl Olive/Tan
  • #10 Double Stack Chubby Black/Olive
  • #10 Pat’s Rubber Legs Olive/Brown
  • #8 San Juan Worm Red
  • #14 Jig Spanish Bullet
  • #6 J.J. Special

Big Hole is Back In Shape

The Big Hole is back in shape after the ice off event on the upper river. Flows are around 1,300 cfs and stable. The river is very cold at the moment. Looks like day time water temperatures are only hitting 42 degrees today. The river clarity is good. I was seeing 3 feet down off the banks today. We are going to fish it tomorrow and it should be good. You will want to fish the inside corners tomorrow with nymphs. Slow, deep water on the inside corners will be the ticket since the water temperature is in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. Air temperatures are increasing throughout the week so we should get better water temperatures by Wednesday or Thursday. It is time to get your Spring Big Hole fishing on!

Spring Sprung on The Big Hole River

The Big Hole River had good fishing earlier this week before Spring sprung on the upper Big Hole and the winter ice broke off the river. This is an event that happens every year and starting last Wednesday the ice broke and continued throughout the week. Needless to say the entire river is not fishable right now due to muddy water. We think sometime this coming week the river will be back in shape for fishing. We will let you know as soon as conditions get better on the river. For now I would suggest heading to tailwaters such as the Beaverhead below Pipe Organ or the Missouri River.

These high flows you see on the hydrograph is not high elevation runoff. This event is just the upper Big Hole valley floor and river ice coming down. It will clear up soon and we will be back to good Spring fishing.

Big Hole River Fly Shop

Our Big Hole River Fly Shop opens for the 2024 season tomorrow! The doors opened in 2006 and it is with great honor to serve anglers from all over the country for another year and many more to come. The entire Big Hole River is open April 1st. We will be fishing from Divide down to the lower stretches. The upper Big Hole is still frozen above Dickie Bridge. Guide trips are out all week and we will have an updated report once we get on the water. the river is flowing around 520cfs in Melrose, it is running clear and should fish well. It will be subsurface activity and slow moving streamers in the afternoons. Looks like nice spring weather this week. We look forward to another fantastic season and seeing all the familiar and faces in the shop.

Spring Special trips are still available Click here for more information.

Join The Sunrise Fly Shop Staff

  • Sunrise Fly Shop is hiring for the 2024 fishing season. Below are there positions that are available. We would like to hear from you and welcome enthusiastic employees who are passionate about fishing. 
  • 2024 JOB OPENINGS :
    To inquire about or to apply for any of the open positions, please give us a call 406-835-3474 or email [email protected]
  • Shop Staff
  • Sunrise Fly Shop is seeking a dynamic individual to join our Fly Shop Team. As a key member of our passionate and knowledgeable staff, you will be responsible for various tasks, including sales, providing exceptional customer service, answering phones, operating the register, running shuttles, fulfilling online orders, and crafting engaging fishing reports. We require someone with a genuine passion for fly fishing, a willingness to learn about the rivers of Southwest Montana, the ability to thrive in a fast – paced work environment, and, most importantly, a positive attitude. If you are enthusiastic about sharing your love for fly fishing and providing top-notch service, we invite you to apply and be a part of our Sunrise Fly Shop staff.
  • Shuttle Driver
  • Looking for a fun Summer job? We are looking for hard working individuals to fill 3 open positions as a shuttle driver. You will need to be at least 18 years of age, good driving record and have a great attention to detail and safety. You will not need to use your own vehicle. A Company vehicle is provided for you.

Spring Special On The Big Hole River

It is time to book your Spring Special on the Big Hole River. We are gearing up for Spring fishing soon and you can be the first anglers to have banner days fishing for hungry trout on the Big Hole River. Our Southwest Montana rivers are prime as April 1st approaches. You will find Skwalas hatching in April on the Big Hole and the opportunity at catching one of your largest trout of the season. Our rivers are uncrowded and fish are eager to be fooled by your fly.

The Spring Special package included lodging with us and guided fishing. Meals are not included but the Hitchin’ Post Restaurant is right next to our shop for your breakfast and dinner. Flies, and lunch are included in the cost of the package deal. Contact us today to book your trip.

  • Big Hole River Spring Hatches
  • Skwala Stoneflies
  • Mother’s Day Caddis
  • Blue Winged Olives
  • Streamers

Big Hole River Late September Fishing Report

Fall officially starts Saturday according to the calendar but we are in fall mode already on the Big Hole River. We woke up to snow in the high country and rain in the valley today and more is in the forecast tonight. The next several days looks like perfect fishing weather for September. We are going to have overcast damp weather, which means streamers, Blue Winged Olives and Mahogany Duns are on the menu. We have been fishing from Divide all the way down to Notch Bottom. The Berma Road has re-opened so you can do all of the lower river floats from Glen to Notch.

We have through September 30th to fish the Big Hole River this year. FWP is closing the Big Hole River from Dickie Bridge down to the mouth of the Jefferson From October 1st – March 31st this upcoming season to try and protect spawning brown trout. Fall is one of our favorite seasons on the Big Hole and this is a huge disappointment for many anglers. If you have plans to fish the Big Hole this fall you better get over here the next 9 days. We have some guides and lodging open next week if you are interested. For up to date fishing reports give us as call 406-835-3474.

Check out our online store sale page. Orvis Helios IIIF are 20% off. Lots of closeout sun-shirts and apparel 20-30% off.

Fall Fishing On The Big Hole River

Fall is here and the fishing on the Big Hole has been very good. We are enjoying the above average river flows and cool water temperatures to start September. The willows and some of the cottonwoods are starting to turn into autumn splendor. We have some trico’s hatching in the late morning hours on the Big Hole. On moist days you will find Blue Winged Olives, and some Mahogany Dun’s on the water. Hopper activity is still in play on the Lower Big Hole River.

The Burma Road near Notch Bottom had a washout due to a rainstorm. The section of the Burma road from the Glen Bridge down to Pennington Bridge is closed to thru traffic until they fix the washout. You can float fish to Glen but you will not be able to fish below Glen due to the road being closed. We will keep you posted when the road re-opens.

20% off Orvis Helios Fly Rods: Shop our sale

Recommended Flies:

  • #14 Purple Craze
  • #10 Chubby Chernobyl Pink
  • #18 Trico Comparadun
  • #18 Trico Spinner
  • #14 Spanish Bullet Olive/black
  • #16 Psycho Mayfly
  • #4 J.J. Special
  • #6 Mini Loop Sculpin

Fantastic Big Hole River Flows

The Big Hole River has had fantastic flows this August due to above average rainfall. Fishing has been good lately and should continue to be consistent. We have seen fish really put on the pounds this summer. Water temperatures have remained good and the hatches have consisted of Trico’s, PMD’s, and some Blue Winged Olive’s on the moist cool days we have had lately. Look for hoppers to really heat up this coming week in the nice weather and dry conditions in the forecast. We have some openings for this coming week with our lodging and guides. Give us a call for the most up to date information 406-835-3474.

Recommended Flies:

  • #8 Plan B
  • #10 Chubby Chernobyl Olive
  • #18 Trico Spinner
  • #18 Trico Comparadun
  • #16 Jig Duracell
  • #14 Spanish Bullet Olive
  • #16 Purple Craze
  • #8 Morrish Hopper

Big Hole River Fishing In August

The Big Hole River has been quite pleasant for fishing lately. We are enjoying the above average flows for this time of the year and “no” fishing restrictions on any of the sections of the Big Hole River. Currently our best fishing has been from Jerry Creek Bridge all the way down to Brownes Bridge. These sections of the Big Hole have had good trico hatches, some nocturnal stoneflies and flying ant’s. We have been fishing hopper dropper rigs with great success. You will find fish sipping on trico spinners in the morning and then we are prospecting with with hopper dropper rigs in the late morning and into the afternoon hours with great success. We have been finding some superb brown trout lately eating our flies. Don’t miss out on the action and book your trip today!

Recommended Flies:

  • #18 Hi Vis trico spinner
  • #18 Trico Comparadun
  • #8 Chubby Chernobyl Olive/tan
  • #8 Plan B
  • #8 Chernobyl Ant
  • #16 Jig Inferno Black
  • #16 Jig Napoleon
  • #10 Pat’s rubber Leg Olive/brown
  • #16 Jig Spanish Bullett Black