August terrestrial hatches on the Big Hole are in full swing. We currently have Spruce Moth’s, hoppers, and flying ants. Dry fly fishing doesn’t get better than this, brown’s eating Spruce Moth’s and hoppers in skinny water. We have been fishing the Big Hole from Jerry Creek all the way to Notch bottom. You will find the Spruce Moth’s from Jerry Creek down to Maiden Rock. The Spruce Moth’s are thick and the trout are lined up to eat them. Below Melrose it has been a hopper/nocturnal stone fly game on the surface. August flows are great right now. We are over 600cfs in Melrose right now. Read more about the Spruce Moth Hatch here.
A Ro Skiff was pinned on a rock in the Maiden Rock Canyon. The boat was stollen from the river before the owner could recover it. If you have any information on this boat pleasecontact our shop.
August is living up to our predicted expectations, big fish on dry flies. This 28 inch 9lb. brown was taken on a dry fly on the Big Hole River! This image sums up the kind of fishing right now on the Big Hole. We have been fishing small attractor patterns in the morning and than hoppers and Chernobyl’s in the afternoons. The current weather pattern has been favorable for good fishing. We have had sunny cool mornings with overcast afternoons lately. It is prime time on Southwest Montana Rivers; get out here while the catching is hot.
Many people come to Southwest Montana to fish the famed Salmonfly hatch in June on the Big Hole River and the Madison River. Besides the Salmon Fly hatch, the rivers of Southwest Montana have other great Stonefly hatches. One in particular that is worth the trip to Montana is the Nocturnal Stonefly hatch.
Nocturnal Stoneflies are found on most freestone river is Southwest Montana. In mid July after most of the Golden Stoneflies are gone the Big Hole River has a fabulous nocturnal Stonefly hatch. As with most stoneflies, the males are much smaller than the females, and in this case the male Nocturnal Stone does not have the ability to fly. This is part of the reason why you rarely see these flies buzzing around during the day like you will with a Golden Stone or Salmon Fly. Similar to other stoneflies the nocturnal stonefly crawls onto dry rocks to sheds their exoskeleton and become an adult fly. The best way to know if these flies are hatching is to look at dry rocks along the banks of the river to see if there are any stonefly shucks stuck to the rocks.
The Best Time to Fish The Nocturnal Stoneyfly Hatch on the Big Hole River
The best time to fish the nocturnal stonefly hatch is in the early morning hours, or in the late evenings. I believe the best dry fly fishing is in the early morning hours before the sun hits the water. One section of river in Southwest Montana that has a wonderful nocturnal stonefly hatch is the Dewey canyon of the Big Hole River. Mid July is the time period that the hatch seems to be the best.
A Winston rod was brought into the shop tonight. It was found at the big rock between Melrose and Brownes Bridge that has been sucking boats this year on the Big Hole River. If you have lost a Winston Rod please call the Sunrise Fly Shop to identify it. Another honest angler with a rod that wants to get back to it’s original owner.
Fishing in Southwest Montana has remained great. We have enjoyed the dropping water. The Big Hole is flowing at 2310cfs today. Dry fly fishing has been heating up on the Big Hole River. We have done well with various chubby patterns in the mornings and evenings for the nocturnal stones hatching. The mid day fishing has varied with the weather. If it is overcast keep the large dries on, if you have bright sun stick with the dry dropper set up. Copper John’s, lightning bugs, and prince nymphs have been doing well in the shallow riffle water. The caddis hatches in the evenings have been stellar. we have been catching some great trout in the past few weeks here.
Doug Barba With a nice Big Hole River Grayling!
It has been a wild June in Southwest Montana, record high water, and huge trout due to the amount of earth worms in the water system. We are looking forward to the best water flows we have seen in many years for August and September on all Southwest Montana Rivers. Happy 4th of July and hope everyone is having a safe weekend. We kick off the week with a dropping Big Hole River. The river is finally below 6000cfs at Melrose. We have Salmonflies still around, Golden Stone, Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes and Caddis. You will find the best dry fly fishing on the Big Hole River from Mudd Creek to Divide. Below Divide it has been a subsurface deal until we get some lower water. I think this week we could see the lower river fishing better on dries as it drops. Our early morning fishing on dries on the upper river has been stellar right now.
If you all are on the river please look for a lost rod. One of our clients lost a rod and reel. It was last seen on the bank in front of the bright orange looking cabin below the old Dickey Bridge (that was taken down this spring). Please contact us if found or stop by the shop. The rod has the owners name printed on it. We appreciate your help on finding this item.
Our Clients Winston BIIX was recovered yesterday. A good hearted angler hooked something and it turned out to be our clients lost rod. What are the chances of that! Thanks, our client will be greatly appreciative of your honest efforts. Big fish have been on the bite recently. Recently we had a bump in flows due to rains. The Big Hole is dropping and clearing today 4180cfs in Melrose and dropping. I just got a report from the river and during the cloudy weather today the fish have been taking dries very well. Golden stone attractor patterns along the fast banks have been producing nice fish. We have been fishing the entire Big Hole recently. If you are going to float the lower Big Hole please make sure you have experienced people rowing. Good stuff over here and it is going to keep getting better as the river drops this week.
The Big Hole River has been fishing well. This fish was caught on the upper Big Hole River. 26 inch 8lb. brown. This was a fish of a lifetime. Way to go Steve Gilb. It will be an interesting week. Will the Big Hole River remain at a steady flow or will it spike from snowmelt. I have been thinking I can predict mother nature but we all know that is difficult to do. Traffic here has remained very light and the fishing has been great. Some caddis still around in the Maiden Rock Canyon, mainly streamer fishing and nymphing everywhere else. Salmon Flies soon??
Mother’s day Caddis arrives on June 1st. After the last couple of years of having a late spring, we should call it the June 1st Caddis Hatch. I did an evening float from Maiden Rock to Melrose and we did well on caddis dries through the entire canyon. You had to be in backwater channels and back eddies for the dry fly fishing. Get over here fast before the next push of water. We also threw streamers late in the evening and moved several fish on J.J’s and muddy buddies. The river has moved some trees below the Meriwether Ranch. The one large cottonwood that has been pointing downstream right above the slough channel is now gone. The power of water this time of year makes you realize that you need to be on your toes while rowing.
The Big Hole is back in shape once again. There is 3 feet of visibility on the upper river and 2 feet of visibility around Melrose. We will have a good week of fishing while the Big Hole is on the drop. This will be a good opportunity to fish before the next warm up and push of water. Everyone is wondering and thinking that we will be blown out the next three weeks, this is not true. We will get higher water again once the upper elevation snow melts but this will not last for weeks. Stay in touch and get the most up to date information. Caddis should pop this week, let’s hope it is fishable when they hatch. Streamers and worms have been the ticket in the slow water and inside seams.