September 13th, 2019 – Big Hole River Fishing Report – Flows up, fish happy.
Apologies for the tardiness on a river update, we have been cranking away with lots of activity. After our first blast of fall weather last weekend, we are now back into a more comfortable flow on the Big Hole. Anglers on foot are still getting around easily, and the floaters, especially the raft community are happy as well. Hard boats are best suited Maiden Rock down at the moment.
Blue winged olives are beginning, and reports indicate that in the right spot, at the right time there are good trout looking up. Keep an eye on foamy areas below riffles and runs. Mahoghany duns have also started. The fall weather in the forecast will have those mayflies intensifying river wide. Dry fly anglers will want to check the river out upstream of the canyon for consistency, with sub-surface techniques proving themselves daily on the lower portions of the river.
We have seen fish spread out of the riffles, and into the runs and pools that dot the Big Hole up and down. A stripped streamer still continues to be the best technique for a big brown, and it also allows anglers to cover all the nooks and crannies they like to hide out in. Double dry fly rigs with a modest parachute upfront and little blue wing off the back is going to be a solid rig for the next week or too.
Our fall special offers folks 50% off lodging and $50 off your guide boat when paired together. Minimum two nights, one day guided fishing. October til the season is over. Book now!
Guides, shuttles, and reports. Anytime. 406-835-3474
#4 Mini Boogie Man – Black
#4 Lil Kim Copper
#1 King Rat
#14 Flashy Frank Purple
#12 Gummy Worm Hot Bead
#12 Fish Finder Worm Burgundy
#12 Rocky Mountain Mint Adams
#18 Sparkle Dun BWO
#18 Psycho May BWO
#18 Missing Link
#14 Quigley Cripple
Sunrise Fly Shop Guide Chris “Romo” Getting after it between guide days
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
Client Colleen with a Big Hole beauty this week
Recommended Flies: #16 Split Wing BWO : #16 BWO Cripple #14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom’s Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat’s Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; #18 Silver Lightning Bug #16 Micro Mayfly; 4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #8 Trevors Sculpin
Recommended Flies: #12 Purple Craze; #12 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Copper Cripple; #14 Bloom’s Caddis; #10 Chubby UV; #10 Pat’s Stone; #12 Pearl Lightning Bug; #12 Red Copper John; #14 Psycho May brown; #12 Pheasant Tail; McCunnes Sculpin; Mini Look Sculpin; #6 Sparkle Minnow
Client Rob Ware with a nice Big Hole Brown
Flies: #12 Chubby Chernobyl Yellow/Purple/Black; #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
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