Monday, August 25, 2014

We were hit with another rainstorm this week and it has brought the river up over 800cfs (325cfs  is the historical average at the Melrose gauge) and the surrounding mountains got a good dusting of fresh snow.  Even thought the river has jumped by so much, the river clarity is still very good.

Yesterday as the river was still rising at a rapid rate, the Big Hole fished really well.  Our guides had great success with San Juan Worms, Girdle Bugs, Chubby Chernobyls, and dark colored streamers.  I would expect the same again today and through the rest of the week

With cooler than average temperatures and precipitation in the forecast, you can expect the Big Hole to remain above average flows for quite some time.  If you have been avoiding the Big Hole because of concerns of low flows, grab your boat and get over here!

Friday, August 8, 2014

We have seen a few Spruce Moths over the last few days, but not nearly enough to get the fish keyed in on them yet.  Hopefully they will start to show up in the next few day.

Even without the moths, we have been having good fishing.  The fishing technique and top-producing fly has been changing based on the section you are fishing and the weather, but with a little experimenting we have been able to find some nice fish this week.

Hopper fishing has been good on the lower Big Hole.

Tricos are starting to come off near Jerry Creek giving anglers opportunities to catch fish on small dries.

Streamers have been producing very nice fish on the darker, cloudy days.

Nymphing stoneflies (Pat’s Rubber Legs) and small mayflies (Copper Johns) in the shallow riffles has been the most consistent technique during the past week.

Below are two nice fish that were caught this morning between Melrose and Brownes!

Flies:  #10 Chubby Chernobyl Yellow/Purple/Black; #8 Rogue Stone golden, #10 Purple Haze; #16 PMD Cripple; #16 Rocky Mountain Mint, #18 Trico Spinner, #18 Trico Comparadun, #10 Pat’s Stone #12 Red Copper John #16 Bat Man Nymph orange/brown: #8 RL Stone; #6 J.J. Special #6 Coffey Bugger; #4 Bad Boy #  10 Copper/Pearl Zonker

Friday, July 18, 2014

The morning dry fly fishing on the Big Hole continues to be very good.  The fish are keyed in on Nocturnal Stones in the early morning hours, and then switching to PMDs once the mayfly hatch begins.  Once the morning hatch tapers off, switch to nymphing with an indicator and you should be able to stay consistently hooked up all afternoon.  The fish have been eating Girdle Bugs and PMD nymphs in the afternoons. 

Like most of the other locations in Southwest Montana, we have been dealing with slightly smoky skies for the past few days.  Luckily, because the smoke that is effecting the area is coming from so far away, we are not smelling any smoke in the air, we are just experiencing hazy skies.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Big Hole River fishing report continues to be very good from our guides.  We have hatches of Golden Stones, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies and Caddis.  The best dry fly fishing has been in the morning and tapering off around 2:00 unless you get some cloud cover in the afternoons.  If you need to get down with a nymph dropper in the afternoon the fast riffle water about two feet deep is packed with trout right now.  We have been staying hooked up in the riffles with a size #8 Pat’s Stone and a red copper John or a Batman nymph.  Nocturnal Stone Flies are around and the fish are keyed into them at the right time of day.

Flies:  #10 Chubby Chernobyl Yellow/Purple/Black; #8 Rogue Stone golden, #10 Purple Haze; #16 PMD Cripple; #10 Rocky Mountain Mint, #10 Pat’s Stone #12 Red Copper John #16 Bat Man Nymph orange/brown: #8 RL Stone; #6 J.J. Special #6 Coffey Bugger; #4 Bad Boy #4 Yellow Zonker

Thursday, May 29, 2014

After the last six weeks of spectacular fishing, we have decided to start calling the Upper Big Hole “Jurassic Park”.  We can’t remember ever having a Big Fish year quite like this one.  In the last month, our clients have caught more fish over 23 inches than our clients caught all of last year.

The clarity at Mudd Creek is more than two feet, the water temperature is in the mid 50’s, and the big fish are still tight to the banks.  We are still slow stripping streamers or using a dry dropper with a San Juan Worm and having great success.

The lower Big Hole is still at flood stage, so we are recommending only floating the Upper Big Hole.  Regardless of where you float, please float with caution.

Below are two fish Graham Butler caught yesterday. What a way to wrap up a four day fishing trip on the Big Hole River. Jurassic Park!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Well, it looks like runoff is officially here.  At 9:00 on Memorial Day, the Big Hole in Melrose was at 7800 cfs. But even though the lower river is unfishable, the upper reaches of the river are still looking good.  We fished from Mudd Creek to East Bank yesterday and had a very respectable day.  The visibility at Mudd Creek was more than two feet and the flow was very manageable.  We caught several fish over 20 inches slow stripping a Coffee Bugger with a red San Juan worm trailer.

It is important to note that we do not recommend floating on the Big Hole River below the Wise River.  The river in Melrose is approaching flood stage, and floating the Big Hole at these flows can be very dangerous.  If you choose to fish the Big Hole, please float with caution.

Below are two of the nice Browns the Bob and his son Grahm caught yesterday on their float from Mudd Creek to East Bank

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The upper Big Hole River continues to drop and the fishing yesterday was stellar.  It should be another great day on the upper Big Hole. Clarity is around 2 feet up there and once you get above the Wise River and Deep Creek the volume of water decreases and your prospecting on the banks becomes very manageable at these high flows.  We have caddis hatching in the Melrose section but flows are rather high for any dry fly fishing. Streamers and San Juan worms has been producing the best fishing on the upper Big Hole River.  Flows at the Mudd Creek gauge continue to drop and the fishing will remain good up there until the next bump in flows.  Our Big Hole River guides continue to produce huge brown trout this spring.

Our Client Larry with a wonderful Big Hole Brown caught yesterday

Flies: #12 Elk Hair Caddis #12 CDC Caddis #10 Purple Haze #10 Rocky Mountain Mint #8 Mr. Beam; #10 Bullet Head Skwala; #8 Rogue River Skwala  #8 San Juan Worm; #10 Pat’s Stone Olive/Brown: #8 RL Stone; #6 J.J. Special #4 Coffey Bugger; #4 Bad Boy #4 Yellow Zonker

Monday, May 19, 2014

Up up and away goes the hydrologic graph.  The entire Big Hole River is not going to fish well today.  You are much better off sitting in front of your vise and tying flies than fishing today.  All of the gauges on the river are increasing in flow.  Once the upper river stabilizes the fishing will be good again.  Clarity is not as much of an issue above the Wise River as increasing flows.  Once we get a break from the runoff and rain we will let you know.  Our Big Hole River fishing report changes daily this time of year since we are in runoff.  The Big Hole is a unique river since it does not muddy up as bad as other freestone rivers during runoff.  We will be fishing again once the flows stabilize.  Check back with us as we will let you know once it is time to get the boat back on the Big Hole.

A nice upper Big Hole brown

Flies: #12 Elk Hair Caddis #12 CDC Caddis #10 Purple Haze #10 Rocky Mountain Mint #8 Mr. Beam; #10 Bullet Head Skwala; #8 Rogue River Skwala  #8 San Juan Worm; #10 Pat’s Stone Olive/Brown: #8 RL Stone; #6 J.J. Special #4 Coffey Bugger; #4 Bad Boy #4 Yellow Zonker

Friday, May 16, 2014

The caddis have popped on the lower Big Hole.  We have seen them as far up as Notch bottom.  We also have March Brown mayflies hatching and blue winged olives.  With the clouds out today it should be an excellent day and the fish will be looking up.  It is also a good day to be throwing streamers with the cloud cover.  All around it is going to be a great day out there.  Get some before the blow out comes and believe me it’s coming.

Doubled up Clients

Flies: #12 Elk Hair Caddis #12 CDC Caddis #10 Purple Haze #10 Rocky Mountain Mint #8 Mr. Beam; #10 Bullet Head Skwala; #8 Rogue River Skwala  #8 San Juan Worm; #10 Pat’s Stone Olive/Brown: #8 RL Stone; #6 J.J. Special #4 Coffey Bugger; #4 Bad Boy #4 Yellow Zonker

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