We have seen peak flows on the Big Hole River this week from runoff. So what does that mean? Salmonflies will be here soon, in fact any day now we will see the big bugs below Melrose. Flows have dropped below 5,000cfs at the Melrose gauge. Once the Melrose gauge gets below 4,000cfs your typical willow lines and banks will be fishable. Water temperatures are right in line for the salmonfly nymphs to be moving near the banks. We have been out the last few days below Melrose and we are picking up fish on salmonfly nymphs. Any day now we will be throwing massive foam flies into the willows and banks expecting explosive eats on the surface. Once the hatch starts we will let you know. Streamers and nymphs are the name of the game right.
2020 Salmonfly Fest has been canceled due to the risk of Covid-19. We are going to be having some great raffle items to help celebrate the annual event. Stay tuned for raffle items coming this week announced on instagram and on our fishing reports page.
COVID-19 Phase 2 Social Distancing and Sanitization Shop Regulations
In accordance with the directives of both the State of Montana and Silver Bow County, below are the rules for entering the fly shop
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#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#4 Pat’s Stone (Orange/Brown) (Black)
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#12 X Caddis
#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#1 Dungeon (Yellow) (Black/Purple)
Salomflies spotted yesterday on the Big Hole River
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 Big Hole River looks like it peaked from runoff. The entire river is on the drop, which is great news! River clarity remains around 4 feet and the flows around Melrose are on a steep decline. We have seen a few early hatching golden stones. Our prediction is that we will be throwing Salmonflies by this weekend. Fish are keyed into the salmonfly nymphs subsurface. Once the flows get to 6,000cfs around Melrose we will be floating the Maiden Rock canyon and south of Melrose. Currently we are still staying above the Wise River due to high flows. This should change in the next few days since the river is dropping in flow by the hour. Stay in touch…..salmonflies soon!
Sunrise Fly Shop lodging is completed: Call for your next Big Hole lodging reservation 406-835-3474
Tracy Range with a Big Hole River brown trout
Recommended Flies: #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)
Salmonflies were here, and the fishing was incredible. We were seeing the Big Bugs from Browne’s Bridge all the way up to Sportsmans and the dry fly was as good as anyone can ask for. Then the temperature plummeted and we were hit with one of the biggest rain storms that we have seen in years. That one rain storm caused the river to go back above flood stage. Now that the river is dropping and coming back into shape, we are expecting to see another round of phenomenal June fishing. The upper river has dropped 3000cfs in the last 36 hours, and the clarity is better than 24 inches. With warmer weather coming, we should see some of the hatches reemerge, which will get the fish eating on the surface once again. Salmon flies, Golden Stones, PMD’s, Green Drakes, and Caddis will be hatching.
If you float below the Wise River, the flows are still very high. Please float with caution.
Below is a nice brown that Ken caught a couple days before the rains hit us.
Recommended Flies: #4 Cat Puke; #12 Rogue Stone; #6 Chubby Chernobyl tan/orange #10 Purple Haze; #12 X Caddis; #6 Pat’s Stone Black; #12 Pheasant Tail; #12 Pearl Lightning Bug; #12 Caddis Pupa; #6 J.J. Special; #4 Smokin’ Mirrors; #4Mr. Creepo
The upper Beaverhead River has been fishing well. We have had our guides on the river this week. A tan S.J. worm, and #18 olive split backs have been working well. River conditions are great right now on the Beaverheread with an outflow @ 680 CFS. Dry fly activity has been limited and nymphing has been pretty good.
Recommended Flies: #18 Olive/brown Split back; #14 tan S.J. Worm; #18 Pheasant Tail #18 tan Scud; #18 Ray Charles; #18 Micro Mayfly #18 Psycho Mayfly
June 1st is the start of the Salmonfly Season here on the Big Hole. The bugs have not hatched yet but they are getting close on the lower river. We have been having stellar fishing on the Salmonfly nymphs lately. #4 Pat’s stones in the shallow fast riffle water has been very good lately. We are also having good luck with streamers. Copper Zonkers; #4 Lil Kim olive/copper. The Salmonflies should hatch soon on the lower Big Hole below Melrose. When we have some first sightings of the bugs we will let you know.
Client Al Range with a beauty Big Hole Brown caught recently
Recommended Flies : #6 San Juan Worm; #12 Pheasant Tail #12 Prince Nymph; #4 Pat’s Stone Brown/Orange; #12 CDC Caddis #14 Caddis Pupa; #14 X Caddis; #4 Smoking’ Mirrors; J.J. Special #10 Sparkle Minnow; #4 Sunrise Sculpzilla #6 Yellow Zonker #6 Copper Zonker