Big Hole & Beaverhead River Fishing Report

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The Big Hole River got muddy last week due to warm spring like weather. The upper river ice started to break up and caused the visibility to diminish. This week we are seeing freezing temperatures and some snow. The river has dropped and is clearing. We should have a good window coming up for fishing before the next significant warm up, which might bump the flows and create poor clarity. You will find the Skwalla fishing productive the next few days and leading into the weekend. Streamer fishing will also be good in the afternoons. our preferable color is olive, yellow or natural.

The beaverhead River is fishing well. Remember you can only fish below Pip Organ Bridge until the 3rd Saturday of May. We are seeing Blue Winged Olive hatches, Midge activity and decent streamer fishing.

The store front is closed due to our Governors order during this pandemic, but you can purchase merchandise and flies online. Call us anytime as well. We are here to help and we can arrange flies being picked up when you come to the Big Hole or we can ship them to your house.  Shuttles are also not being run at this time due to the Governor’s order. So when you come to fish you will have to bring a shuttle rig with you.

Check out our Essential Gear Raffles! Purchase your raffle slots for an opportunity win amazing fishing gear and apparel. 10% of the money from every raffle will be donated to the UNICEF Disaster Relief Fund.

On April 7th Governor Steve Bullock extended the directives he issued to protect Montanans from COVID-19 by slowing the spread of the virus in Montana. The directives now go through April 24th

The extension covers the closure of nonessential businesses, the stay at home order, school closures, on-premises dining and beverage operations, eviction and foreclosure suspensions and the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for travelers coming into Montana for non-work-related travel.

You can still give us a call and place an order 406-412-3463 or shop our online store  We will ship orders and also arrange a pickup for merchandise if you are heading to the Big Hole. where you will find a great assortment of Patagonia, Simms, Abel, Ross, Scott, Winston, and so much more. If you don’t see the exact fly you are looking for online, please give us a call. We have over 500 different fly patterns in stock and we can help you find what you are looking for.


Big Hole Flies                                Beaverhead Flies

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#10 Black Magic Skwalla
#4 Little Kim Copper
#10 Pat’s Stone
#6 Mini Dungeon
#10 Chubby Chernobyl Olive
#12 Mr. Beam Skwalla

#18 Midge Cluster
#18 Zebra Midge
#16 Ninch’s Pill Popper
#10 San Juan Worm

#8 J.J. Special
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

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Small Business Saturday

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Shop With us for Small Business Saturday

Winter has set into Southwest Montana. We had the coldest October on record for Montana and now we are experiencing a rather mild November. The freestone rivers are experiencing slush ice and ice shelves so if you get out there wade with caution. We suggest heading to the tailwaters in the state or getting somewhere tropical for your fishing. We have some spots available from February 8th – 15th at Copal Tree Lodge in Punta Gorda, Belize. If interested give us a call 406-835-3474

Get all of your shopping needs done on Small Business Saturday on our new online Store. Shop Now! 

USE CODE “THANKYOUFROMSUNRISE” at checkout for 15% off your online order! 

You will find the New Ross Evolution LTX Limited Edition reel, Abel Vaya Reel and many sale items from the 2019 season!

Free Shipping on all orders over $75.00

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Winer Update: Spring Special

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We just got another blast of winter here in Southwest Montana. We woke this morning to -20 degree air temperatures. Our snowpack for the Big Hole drainage is hovering around 95% for this date in time. We still have plenty of winter left but we are all itching for spring trout fishing. Depending on when the ice gets off the Big Hole our Spring season is about 7 weeks away. We will have hatches of Skwalas and Blue winged olives to start the season. Our spring special packages are available again. We are excited to have our lodging to offer for the spring packages. Click here for more information on spring fishing packages.

February 7, 2019 Sunrise Fly Shop


Holiday Gift Cards Available and Hosted Trip 2019

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Winter has set into the Big Hole and Beaverhead Valleys. The trout are in hibernation mode and so are many anglers. Here are some updates for the holiday/winter season at Sunrise Fly Shop.

Holiday Gift Cards are available. Send your friend or family member a gift card for a guided trip. Give us a call 406-835-3474

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

Winston BIIIX 6 weight rod(s) 1 left at 30% off 


In the Winter of 2019 we will be hosting another trip to Belize. We have 1 spot still available for each week. We are going to be in Punta Gorda, Belize at the Copal Tree Lodge fishing for permit, bone fish and tarpon.

February 23rd – 28th 1 spot available ( 2 anglers)

March 2nd – 8th 1 spot available ( 2 anglers)

Give us a call to book or gather more information on this incredible trip 406-835-3474.

Below are some photos from last years hosted trip to Punta Gorda, Belize


Salmonfly Hatch Update

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Fishing has been excellent on the Big Hole. The Salmonflies are here and the fish are keyed into the dry flies. We Have had good dry fly fishing from above Jerry creek all the way down to the stretches below Melrose. During the heat of the day we have had the best dry fly fishing. In the morning start with a streamer or a stone fly nymph below the Salmonfly dry. You definitely want to get your flies tight to the banks and willows to tempt the fish to come to the surface. Besides the Salmonflies we have hatches of golden stones, caddis and PMD’s.

Sunrise Fly Shop lodging is completed: Call for your next Big Hole lodging reservation 406-835-3474 

Salmonflies on the willows in the Maiden Rock Canyon of the Big Hole today

Recommended Flies: # Cat Puke; #4 Rogue Stone; #10 Gray Drake; #12 X Caddis; #4 Pat’s Stone (Brown/Orange); #8 San Juan Worm; #6 Flash Minnow (Olive); #6 Smokin’ Mirrors (Black); #6 Sparkle Minnow; #4 Little Kim; #6 Screamer (Yellow) (Olive)


The Salmonfly Hatch is Here!

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The hatch that everyone has been waiting for is finally here.  We are seeing the Big Bugs from the Glen Bridge all the way up to East Bank.  A couple of our guides did an exploratory float last night from Maiden Rock to Brownes, and they said that the Salmonflies were thick in the willows throughout the entire float.  If you are looking to get trout to eat dry flies on the surface, try to find the slowest moving water in-between willows, softer inside bends, and slower moving water along grassy banks.

The River is still extremely high for this time of year, so if you decide to float any section below the Wise River, please be very careful.  The river’s flow is very fast and strong, and if you are not an expert at rowing a drift boat or raft we recommend only floating the upper river.


Sunrise Fly Shop

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We have had some nice warm Summer like weather this past week in Southwest Montana. Today feels more like Spring with cool wet weather. The river has been coming up due to snow melt, which is typically for late May. Clarity still remains at 2 1/2 feet on the banks. We have had more good fishing lately subsurface. Lots of Caddis are hatching but the fish are not crazy about rising to them due to the high flows. Our best fishing has been underneath with streamers and nymphs. Around Glen we have been fishing Salmonfly nymphs with some success. As long as the river doesn’t rise too much, the fishing should stay consistent subsurface. If the flows continue to rise around Melrose it will be difficult to find fishable water due to high flows.

Mark that calendar for June 10th. Our 2nd Annual Salmonfly Fest will be from 5pm – 9pm on June 10th.  We have music from Smokestack and the Foothill Furry. We have food from Brunchies, and Rollin Bites brick oven Pizza. Beaverhead Brewery will be here, and Rattlesnake Distillery. We have giveaways and raffle items from Patagonia, Winston Rods, Simms Fishing Products, Dirty Water Fly Company, Bauer Reels, Scientific Anglers and much more.

Sunrise guide Rutger Wilson getting clients into the big ones this week

Recommended Flies: #10 Purple Haze; #12 X Caddis; #10 Mr. Beam; #10 Skwala Stone; #10 Pat’s Stone Olive/Brown; #8 San Juan Worm; #12 Pheasant Tail; #12 Caddis Pupa; #6 J.J. Special; #4 Smokin’ Mirrors; #4Mr. Creepo


The Ice off Event

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Every winter the upper Big Hole River valley freezes over and gets covered by a thick blanket of snow. Some years the ice and snow stacks higher then others. This winter was a cold and snowy winter in the upper Big Hole Valley and we had several days below zero and a healthy above average snowpack at low and high elevations. We experienced the normal spring warm up and the Big Hole valley is in the process of thawing out. This is just the valley snow and ice that is releasing right now. The event every year is involved with ice jams and flooding fields. As you can see from the above hydro graph we have an incredible amount of valley snow and ice to melt off. Some massive ice jams are occurring above East Bank fishing access and Sportsman Fishing access on the upper Big Hole. Once the ice jams release we can start to see a decline in flows and the river will start to clear up. Right now the river is a muddy mess and un-fishable. This is not our peak runoff we experience in late May, this is just the thaw of the valley. We will be reporting soon as things improve. Here are some photos Eric took of the upper Big Hole Valley. Spring fishing on the Big Hole will return once the ice clears and the river drops and gains clarity. April is setting up to be a fantastic month. Here is a link to our Spring Special  

Ice Flows Above East Bank Fishing Access


Spring Fishing Is Here

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It is that time of year again and we are looking forward to a great season. A few big Hole River guides got out last Friday and had a good day fishing. This was our first float of the season and the Big Hole is in good shape for mid March. You will find some shelf ice around some banks but it is not bad below Melrose. We have been floating below Melrose and the midges are about all the top water action you will have right now. Streamers and nymphs got all the fish to the boat for us. Clients are coming in tomorrow so we will be updating our reports now regularly. Don’t forget to check out our Spring Special. We are anticipating a great Skwala hatch if water flows stay favorable this spring. The snowpack in the Big Hole is over 100% and the the prediction is for above average precipitation for the months of April, May and June according to the Climate Prediction Center. It is gearing up to be a fine water year in Southwest Montana.


Cory with a nice Brown caught a few days ago below Melrose