Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 10th ’19 – Bugs are popping and fishing has been great on the Beav!

After a great start to the summer on the Beaverhead, the great fishing continues. PMDs are hatching and the fish are gorging on the nymphs, and looking for the dry in many places. With flows just over 500, the drop shot nymph setup has been very productive.

We are starting to see more bugs towards the dam, however the best surface activity has been below Henneberry… for now. Fishing is good and traffic has not been too thick, that being said please give other anglers space in the oft congested stretches.

We have boats on the Beaverhead on a daily basis, so don’t hesitate to holler in the morning for yesterdays hot word. 406-845-3474

-Dan Soltau

#18 Sunkist
#18 Split Case PMD
#16 MacGruber
#8 Pats Stone Tan
#16 Trigger Nymph PMD

#18 Film Critic PMD

#18 Compara Dun PMD
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#16 Missing Link

#16 Mayhem

 Robert with a 20 inch brown taken on a #20 PMD dry fly

Robert with a 20 inch brown taken on a #20 PMD dry fly

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 10th ’19 Big Hole River Fishing Report – Excellent dry fly fishing with low traffic!

The river has held right about 1k cfs for over a week now, and the fishing has been exceptional. Trout are keying on the caddis on a daily basis, with some very nice fish looking for golden stones. PMDs are still hatching, however the fish seem to prefer the caddis style these day. That could be related to the high amount of yellow, dark, and lime sallies that are crawling around.

Streamers have continued to produce our finest trout on a daily basis, with olive tones seeming to be the most productive. They have been in a chasing mood lately so make sure to fish the fly back to the boat otherwise you are going to leave some nice fish behind.

The flows have been kind for those using hard boats, provided you stay below Divide or Maiden Rock. Anyone looking to float above Divide will want to get a raft going, otherwise it is going to be a long day on the old fiberglass drift boat.

We have been experiencing excellent whitefish activity when nymphing, so get a lightning bug in the water and hold on. Any water with more that 2′ of depth is going to be loaded with our friendly natives.

Keep a smallish stonefly dry rigged with a caddis emerger in tow and that should have you in business.

Holler at us at 406-835-3474 for the latest updates.

-Dan Soltau

#4 Little Kim Copper
#6-8 Pat’s Stone
#8 Jumping Jack Flash
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#12 Chubby Olive

#14 X Caddis
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#16 Missing Link
#16 Para Wulff Purple

Thursday, June 27, 2019

June 27th ’19 – Intermittent weather has the hatches rolling full tilt!

After a week of stoneflies hatching, ole Mother Nature brought in a great week of cooler weather to the region that started with snow and has had daily rain showers including the one that is cleaning the shop roof now. This did put a hamper on the stonefly dry fly bite, however the PMD mayflies and the summer caddis went off. Which resulted in a very consistent dry bite that has continued on and offered darned good fishing. Purple Haze + Caddis = Great Success.

Flows have dropped, and folks fishing the canyon stretches have seen great fishing on top. The upper river is getting skinny, so it might be time to get the rubber ducky ready if you are fishing above East Bank. The fishing has been great all the way to the Notch Bottom and down. The typical pattern has seen the PMD hatch begin around 11, with the caddis picking up around 2 PM and going to dark.

Water temperatures are just now about to return to the magical 60 degree number that summer stoneflies love, so we are anticipating a great wave of Golden stones to start again any day. Folks looking to pry the depths with nymphs have been rotating between girdle bugs, sally nymphs, PMD style nymphs, and caddis larvae. The fish seem to be more selective towards the nymphs, so be patient and keep at it.

The minnow bite has been very good for the streamer guys and gals. Olive seems to be a hot color as of late, with silver, white, and yellow being hot during darker parts of the day. Crawdads are still the main fare on the lower river below Browne’s Bridge, and you can’t go wrong with a sculpin either.

Holler at us for the latest update, 406-835-3474 – thanks for checking out the report!

Dan Soltau

#4 Mini Dungeon Olive
#4 Mini Dungeon White
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#14 Kyles BH Yellow Sally
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)

#16 Purple Rooster
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#14 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Sparkle Dun PMD
#14 Lafontaine’s Sparkle Pupa

 Melrose local, Naomi, doing some heavy lifting with a recent lower river streamer eater.

Melrose local, Naomi, doing some heavy lifting with a recent lower river streamer eater.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June 19th ’19 – Big Hole River Fishing Report and big bug update

Salmonfly Fest ’19 was a hit, thank you to everyone who participated and we raised buckets of money! Congrats to all the big winners in our raffle and competitions!

We are a week into our summer stone hatches, and there is a plethora of bugs coming down the river at the moment. Salmonflies have been hatching all the way up through Jerry Creek, and golden stones are hatching river wide. Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and PMDS are coming off through out the day, along with a few green drakes. A single or double dry fly setup is paying dividends, along with a dropper nymph. A smaller dry fly in a #14-16 trailing a large stonefly will be seeing plenty of action. Our guides have been employing this spread from East Bank all the way down through to the Notch.

Flows have stabilized and are sitting at an ideal flow for just about every technique, and the streamer anglers have taken note. Many large trout have been fooled by minnows and sculpins lately, with a crawdad working well down river. Look for the lower river to continue to fish really well for the next few weeks, along with the canyon stretches.

Popular floats include the stretch from East Bank to Jerry Creek, Divide to Melrose, and Melrose to Glen. Try varying it up to get out of any possible floatilla, or just an early start. Holler at us for guides, shuttles, and the latest report off the river at 406-835-3474!

Cheers,

Dan Soltau

 

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#4 Smoke & Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Fluttering Stone
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#6 Flutter Bug

#12 Chubby Royal
#14 Chubby Tan
#14 Chubby Purple
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Comparadun Purple
#12-18 Rocky Mountain Mint

 Big browns moving on baitfish patterns.

Big browns moving on baitfish patterns.

 Yellows streamer eater.

Yellows streamer eater.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

They are Here! We have Salmonflies from Glen up to lower Maiden Rock. Several people had fantastic dry fly fishing today from Lower Maiden Rock down to Glen on the Salmonfly dry fly. Today was the first day that adults were flying around and smacking the water while trout voraciously attacked the dry fly. River conditions are perfect for the hatch. Clarity is over 4 feet and the river is currently at a stable flow. As water temperatures rise in the canyon the hatch will take off from Maiden rock upstream through divide and Jerry Creek. It is time to throw the #4 dry fly under the willows and hold on while possibly the largest trout of the season eats your fly on the surface.

Salmonfly Fest starts tomorrow evening. Details here or give us a call. It will be a great weekend! 

#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#6 Flutter Bug

#6 Rogue Stone Salmonfly

#6 Cat Puke #12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze

Friday, June 7, 2019

June 7th ’19 – Solid flows and happy trout on the Beaverhead River!

The reports from our guides and associates on the Beaverhead continue to impress. Fish are taking small mayfly nymphs and sowbugs well, with the PMD hatch just a little ways off. Flows are just under 700 CFS out of Clark Canyon Reservoir, which makes for great floating conditions and still very wadable in most spots.

Anglers using deep nymph rigs and a decent amount split shot are getting it done and catching great fish. The streamer fishing has also been very good, and with the inclement weather moving through the streamer fishing can be excellent. Crawdads and minnows are typical fare.

Dry fly anglers are still seeing a couple fish up here and there, with outcroppings of BWO’s and caddis, and a few PMDS poking around down lower. We will be looking forward to the summer hatches getting going soon, but it has been much more consistent subsurface.

Holler at us anytime for the latest at 406-835-3474!

Salmonfly Fest Click Here for More Information 

Tight lines and wet nets,

Dan Soltau

#18 Split Case PMD
#18 Split Case BWO
#16 Soft Hackle Sowbug
#6 Mini Dungeon Yellow or Olive
#18 Shop Vac
#18 Film Critic PMD
#20 Barrs Emerger

#14 San Juan Worm Brown
#3/0 Lead Split Shot
6-8′ 3x Rio Flourocarbon
1” Thingamabobber or Air Lock
-Helmet
#10 Rubber Legged Crystal Bugger Olive
#6 Clouser Crawfish

 Beaverhead rainbows are not scared to be over served at the bug buffet.

Beaverhead rainbows are not scared to be over served at the bug buffet.

Friday, June 7, 2019

June 7th ’19 – River is in great shape and the big bugs are coming!

After a bushel of warm days, a few cooler ones have set in southwest Montana. Reports from today indicate remarkable fishing. The Big Hole has begun dropping, and the entire river is fishing well. Stonefly nymphs have been highly effective on the river below and around Melrose, which means we are very close to seeing the magic of salmonflies take place. Caddis are around and hatching daily, along with a variety of sparse mayfly hatches. Good trout have been up in the right places at the right times, and fishing a dry fly in the blind has also been worth while.

With the hatch building in the lower river, streamer fishing has been top notch in the faster stretches of the upper river, and all through out the river below. Sculpin and minnow imitations have been preferred by many of the large trout. On the lower river below Browne’s Bridge, crawfish are in favor and it is making for some excellent streamer fishing.

While the flows on the upper portions are relatively benign, the flows from Jerry Creek down are rolling pretty good so make sure to be sharp on the oars. The river looks amazing and is fishing well, so don’t let that get your oarsman too distracted! We are finding fish on the faster banks upriver, and as the flows increase, fish are being caught in the soft buckets and inside riffle drops.

Salmonfly Fest is one week out, and we are extremely excited and hope everyone can make it out for the festivities! Our raffle has an AMAZING line up of goods, so check out the official page here. Live music, fun contests, and a raffle to help our aquatic insect population! What a party! Call us at the shop with any questions!

We have your shuttle plans covered, the bugs you need, and up to date reports on the Big Hole, Beaverhead, and Jefferson Rivers right now. Holler at us for booking a guide this summer, or any other questions you may have about what’s going on.

Thanks for reading and tight lines!

Dan Soltau

406-835-3474

#4 Smoke & Mirrors Cream
#4 JJ Special
#4 Girdle Bug – Black
#6 Yuk Bug Pep Stick
#6 Jewel Thief Minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#6 Mini Dungeon – Olive, White, or Black

#6 Cat Puke Black
#6 Water Walker Purple
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#16 Film Critic PMD
#6 Black Out Stone
#4 Girdle Bug – Black

 Sunrise Guide, Chris ″Romo″ Romankiewicz hoisting a quality brown that took a crawfish pattern on the Big Hole River.

Sunrise Guide, Chris ″Romo″ Romankiewicz hoisting a quality brown that took a crawfish pattern on the Big Hole River.

 Few things rival empty rivers and sunny day streamer eaters! Yours truly holding a Big Hole River brown trout that wolfed a crawdad imitation.

Few things rival empty rivers and sunny day streamer eaters! Yours truly holding a Big Hole River brown trout that wolfed a crawdad imitation.

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#4 Smokin’ Mirrors
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#6 Pat’s Stone
#6 Flash minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#12 Mahogany Dun

#12 Purple Rooster
#12 Red Copper John
#12 Silver Lightning Bug
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Purple Haze
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

Saturday, June 1, 2019

June 1st ’19 – Somehow June is here, and the river is alive!

River levels are ideal from top to bottom, and clarity is perfect with at least 3 feet everywhere. We are seeing enough caddis and early summer mayfly activity to get the fish looking up. Double dry fly setups with a caddis trailing a small stonefly have been working well, and fish have been up rising in the foam pockets. Trailing a nymph, worm, or small streamer has also been highly effective.

If you are looking for the tug, then look no further. Anglers using streamers have been producing with black, copper, and olive streamers on the brighter days, with lighter tones cleaning up with clouds. Get the sink tip out and start stripping!

Traffic has been thickest in the East Bank to Jerry Creek section, with increasing traffic in the canyon sections. The river has a strong flow, so keep that in mind when floating and keep your eyes ahead when rowing and fishing. Most of the water is heading down the Glen back channel, so either be diligent about finding the river right channel or be prepared to do a short boat drag back up to the boat ramp if you are taking out at Glen.

Salmonfly Fest ’19 is approaching fast, and we have an incredible line up of awesome raffle items, contests, and festivities planned for Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of June. link to Salmonfly Fest Click Here 

Holler at us anytime for the last report, to schedule a shuttle, or hire a guide at 406-835-3474!

-Dan Soltau

#4 Smoke & Mirrors Silver & Blue
#6 Peanut Envy Black
#6 Kreelex
#6 Pat’s Stone Black
#6 Jewel Theif Olive
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#16 Mercers Missing Link

#16 Purple Craze
#10 Jumping Jack Flash
#6 Zonker Natural over Copper
#12 Bloom’s Caddis
#14 Elk Hair Caddis
#16 Compara Dun PMD
#18 Film Critic PMD

Recent streamer eater from inside city limits, Melrose, Montana.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May 28th ’19 – Slowly dropping flows making for great fishing and excellent wading

The powers that be within Clark Canyon Dam have dropped the flows to just over 300 CFS for the moment, making for an excellent opportunity to get after some of the quality trout within the Beaverhead. Blue wing olives are hatching daily, and trout are in position rising to them in certain spots by about 11 am. The lower flows can make things a little tight with folks in drift boats and the bank rat crowd, so please be courteous when enjoying the festivities.

Small mayfly nymphs have continued to produce, as have sow bug and scud imitations. In the deeper runs and holes, try a nymph rig with your heavier bug on the bottom along with a split shot for the most sensitivity. It requires more of a flip upstream than a traditional fly cast, but it sure works! Once you have located a few rising trout, a long leader in the 11-12′ range down to 5x will help your chances. A blue winged olive emerger pattern in a #18 will do the trick if presented properly.

Keep an eye out for the flows to change, and look forward to the fish liking a worm pattern once that takes place. Streamer fishing is a time honored technique on the Beaverhead, and now is nice flow to do it both out of the boat or on foot. The big trout in the Beaverhead love a crawdad, along with small minnows and sculpin. A slightly longer leader off of your sink tip will help get down through the hydraulics and into the zone the fish like. Give it a couple twitches and hold on!

Give us a shout anytime for the latest reports, we have had guides on the Beaverhead quite a bit lately and our clients have been nothing short of thrilled of the quality of trout so far this year. Please let us know if we can help your next trip down this awesome tailwater!

-Dan

Link to Information on Salmonfly Fest 2019

#4 JJ Special
#6 Sparkle Minnow
#4 Little Kim Copper
#8 Crane Fly Larvae
#18 Split Case BWO Nymph
#18 Film Critic BWO Emerger

#18 BWO Cripple
#16 Soft Hackle Sow Bug
#20 Barrs Emerger
#18 Rocky Mountain Mint Olive
#18 Purple Craze
#16 Split Winged BWO

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May 28th ’19 – A-May-Zing time to be out on the Big Hole River

We had a wonderful Memorial Weekend in southwest Montana with the typical wet weather pattern we see this time of the year. Thank you to all the families and those whose gave their life so that we can all go fishing and enjoy the great outdoors. Many of the rivers in the state are in wonderful condition, and that made for a slightly more calm and less crowded weekend on the Big Hole. The fishing is great from top to bottom and we should see that continue with the nice weather headed our way, finally.  Not too long and we will be hearing the murmurs that precede the legendary salmonfly hatch and the excitement of Salmonfly Fest 2019 which is going to be Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of June. Stay tuned for all the details!

Anglers have been doing very well running a large dry fly with a worm or nymph dropper, taking fish on both ends.  As our flows start to increase, many sections will also favor a deeper nymph rig. The grannom caddis came through and have given a number of people a great time on the caddis dry fly, with a few fish looking up regardless of bug activity. We have seen the trout transition into the faster zones and out of the slower inside seams and pools. Our guides have had excellent results rowing their tails off and putting our guests into quality trout on the outside banks and faster riffle drops. What a hoot!

Those with larger quarry in mind using larger meals have been enjoying a very good streamer bite, with fish upriver keying on small minnows/sculpin and the fish downriver going ham for crawdad imitations coming off the full moon. Pressure has been spread out, and it has been nice to have the river to yourself. Rising flows will keep the streamer bite moving, and we are on the lookout for the bigger browns with the current flows.

Holler at us for the latest word from the river, to reserve a guide, or book a shuttle. We have three more days before the regulations set in on the Big Hole, so if you want to fish with one of our expert guides on the Big Hole River, act fast! Folks book a year out to fish in June and July, so sneak in ahead and reap the benefits!

Tight lines and wet nets,

-Dan

Link to Salmonfly Fest June 14th, 15th 2019

#6 Mini Dungeon White
#6 Mini Dungeon Olive
#2 Wedgehead Black
#6 Pat’s Stone – Black
#4 Sparkle Minnow
#8 Chubby Chernobyl (UV) (Gold) (Purple)
#16 Bloom’s Caddis

#14 Corn Fed Caddis
#10 Jumpin Jack Flash
#14 Silver Lightning Bug
#6 JJ Special
#4 Smoke & Mirrors Silver & Blue
#16 Split Winged BWO
#16 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun

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