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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Spring is finally in the air and so are the Mother’s Day Caddis. The hatch has made its way all the way up into the Maiden Rock Canyon. The warm weather we have had the last few days has brought the flows up. We should have a continued rise in water flows the next few days. Clarity this morning was around 2 feet in Melrose. Conditions and clarity can change daily right now due to rising water. We have had good fishing lately, but we are heading into runoff time so it will be a day to day scenario. The old sayin’ holds true, “you don’t know unless you go.” We have done best the last few days with caddis pupa, and caddis dries at the right time of the hatch. Streamers have also been working well in the Afternoons in the shallow riffles and undercut banks.
We have had a bit of a bump in flows due to some warm weather that melted some mid elevation snow. It looks like the bump is over and the river will be coming back into good fishable shape starting tomorrow. The upper Big Hole gauge has crested and the entire river is dropping in flow. We are starting to see some clearing on the edges this afternoon. Clarity will continue to improve as the river drops. We should get another good window of fishing before the next bump in flows. It’s that time to get out and get some spring fishing in before peak runoff hits. We are not predicting when and how much peak runoff we will have here since the weather has been cool and wet for much of the Spring. Upper elevation snowpack in the Big Hole watershed is currently reading 116% of snow/water equivalent for this date in time. At some point we will see a large flush of water coming down the Big Hole River system. We have had a much improved upper elevation snowpack due to Spring moisture.
We have all enjoyed the latest rounds of precipitation in Southwest Montana. Our high elevation snowpack has seen a great boost in Snow/water equivalency. Currently our high elevation snowpack is 105% of normal. We currently have a very dry mid elevation and low elevation in the Big Hole valley. You can see our flows are well below average due to the cool weather we have had and the lack of mid elevation snowpack and low elevation snowpack. So, once it heats up into the 70’s during the day and overnight lows are around 40-45 degrees we will start to get a push of runoff from the high elevation snowpack.
Currently, the Big Hole River is clear, low and fishing well. We are doing the best from Divide all the way down to Notch Bottom. We have Skwalas hatching, March Brown’s and Blue Winged Olives. We have done well with the single skwala dry fly in the afternoons. In the mornings we are throwing a jig head soft hackle under the skwala dry or a pat’s stone nymph and staying hooked up. Some guys are doing well with black and olive streamers throughout the day. It is time to enjoy spring fishing before the high elevation runoff hits our freestone rivers.
Conditions are ripe for fabulous Spring fishing on the Big Hole River. In the mornings we are getting fish on droppers off of dry flies or a double nymph rig. In the afternoon we are doing well on skwala dry flies. You will find these fish feeding tight to the grassy banks in the tail-out of the runs. We are doing best on bullet head skwala patterns, size #10 and #12’s. Flows on the Big Hole remain stable and the river is running clear. Streamers are doing ok, moving them slow and deep in the runs has worked the best. Colors of choice for streamers are black and olive. Our best fishing has been from Melrose – Notch Bottom. The lower river has had warmer water temperatures, which has the fish more active.