We are in a nice spring window of fishing at the moment. With this said, anything can happen to change the fishing since we have a tremendous snowpack this year. Currently we have a foot of visibility on the Big Hole and it is fishing ok. We have done the best sub surface with streamers and nymphs. You might find some fish up eating march brown’s and sqwallas but for the most part the fish have been feeding underneath for us. Nice spring weather on tap for the next few days and currently the river is somewhat stable.
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
We made it back from our hosted trip to Patagonia River guides. We will be getting some photos up here soon to share our amazing moments down south. March is here and with it has come a winter storm. We are having heavy snow in the Big Hole Valley tonight and we will have sub zero weather following the storm. We had a very mild February in Southwest Montana but we are lucky to have a snowpack hovering at 100%. Typically our high country in March and early April receives some of the heaviest snow of the winter season. Eric was up in Wisdom yesterday and the Big Hole is still frozen above Dickey Bridge. Most of the ice is off the river below Dickey Bridge but we are having slush ice daily from the overnight low temperatures. Our Big Hole River guides are dreaming about the days in April when we get to throw Skwala dry flies to eager brown trout. The Spring fishing on the Big Hole is coming soon.
We have had a nice stretch of winter weather here in Southwest Montana. You don’t get to say that too often because the wind is either blowing snow or the temperatures are sub zero. High temperatures have been in the upper 40’s. Don’t let the warm weather fool you though, winter is far from over. If you want to get out and wade fish find the heat of the day in the afternoon and nymph some tail outs with your basic prince nymphs, San Juan’s and Pat’s Stones. I would get out there now before the next cold snap and snow. The Big Hole river snowpack is currently 108% of average. We are sitting well right now but we will not complain if mother nature brings us some healthy snow storms the next three months to boost our snowpack even more. We are gearing up for our hosted trip in February to Patagonia River Guides. Our Big Hole River guides are itching to get back on the water this Spring.
We would like to wish everyone a happy new year and may this 2015 trout season be the best for everyone. We have had a good start to the Big Hole River snowpack. The upper basins in the Big Hole valley are sitting at about 120% of normal snowpack. We still have a lot of winter left but this is a good start to our water supply for the summer. The Big Hole is pretty iced over right now. You will find your best luck nymphing the deeper holes near springs.
We are currently gearing up for our hosted trip to Patagonia River Guides. We will be heading South for the month of February with our clients to fish with PRG. We look forward to keeping everyone posted on the fishing in Southwest Montana in 2015.
The colder weather over the past several days has brought the flows on the Big Hole River down to around 2500cfs and increased the visibility to more than two feet. This lowering of flows and improvement of the clarity has made for some great spring fishing. Even though we still haven’t really seen much sign of the Skwallas, the streamer fishing has been really good. As usual for the Big Hole, yellow has been the hot streamer color, and slow stripping has been the most successful technique. Below are three nice fish that one of our clients caught this past weekend.
The Big Hole River fishing report is improving. The days are getting longer and warmer, which has been clearing the lower Big Hole from ice. The ice is finally off the river in the Melrose area and we have a Big Hole River flow reading above 600 cfs at the Melrose guage station. Don’t let this fool you though we still have large ice shelves on areas of the river. The Glen guage is still reading Ice and the Maiden Rock guage is the only other spot reading a flow at this time. Your best option is currently wade fishing the deeper tail outs of the runs in the afternoons. Nymphing is your best option with an occasional midge hatch in the afternoons. It will be a nice day today and then we are back to winter weather. We have a winter storm warning Monday and Tuesday followed by cold temperatures the rest of the week. The snowpack continues to climb. The Big Hole valley has a snow/water content of 144% and the snowfall amount is 118% of normal. Our Big Hole river guides are eager to get back on the water the first week of April.