We have had a nice bump in flows due to rain in the upper Big Hole Valley. Dry fly fishing has picked back up on the Big Hole. We have Trico’s hatching in the morning. In fact we have blizzard amounts of Tricos’s hatching in the morning. The Spinner falls have been amazing with plenty of pods of fish up and eating. In the afternoons we have been moving to hopper/dropper rigs and it has been pretty good. Water temperatures have been staying in great shape with the cooler weather we have had. Fish have been moving to eat streamers in the shallow riffles and a Pat’s stone with a dropper has been working well in the afternoons. We have not had any Spruce Moth sightings yet but if they are going to happen we should see them in the next 15 days. Fishing Hoot Owl closures have changed so please follow this link to check them out. Hoot Owl restrictions have been lifted on the upper Big Hole.
Cool and wet weather has helped the fishing dramatically lately. The cloud cover has also helped the dry fly fishing and streamer fishing on the Big Hole. You will find some PMD’s in the morning in specific locations, other than that the hatches are bleak right now. Streamer fishing has been fantastic. We have been doing well with a mini loop sculpin in Olive or Tan. In the canyon a small Pat’s stone dropper has been doing well in the shallow riffles. Enjoy the cold water and hard fighting trout right now. Air temperatures are supposed to remain in the 70’s and afternoon showers are expected daily. You still need to follow the Hoot Owl closures in the specific locations. Here is the news on the Hoot Owl closures in Montana.
It will be a hot 4th of July, but a nice cool down is in the forecast for Sunday and into next week. Hoot Owl closures are in effect today on many Southwest Montana and Western Montana Rivers and the Big Hole is no exception. Starting today the entire Big Hole River except from Dickey Bridge to Maiden Rock FAS is closed from 2:00pm to midnight daily. So realistically you are able to fish from dawn till 2:00pm.
Fishing has been very good for our Big Hole River guides. We have been leaving the shop early and the dry fly fishing at dawn is fantastic. You will have a good PMD hatch around 8:00 am. After the PMD hatch we have been nymphing the riffles with small #16 Red Copper John’s, #16 Shimmer nymphs, and #16 Pheasant tail’s. Hopper fishing is not long off as we are seeing some good adult hoppers in the grass banks. Set the alarm clock early and hit the water before the warm up.
Fishing has been very good on the Big Hole. We have had plenty of hatches to work with lately. You will find PMD’s, caddis, Yellow Sallies and Golden Stones hatching daily. #14 PMD cripples, and comparaduns have been working very well during the PMD hatch. Some of our favorite bugs to prospect with have been #12 Purple Craze’s and #12 snowshoe Sallies. You will find nice brown’s laying up in the shallow riffles. We have also had success with streamers in the riffles. Natural color streamers have worked the best lately. You will find the nocturnal stoneflies hatching on the lower Big Hole. The partly cloudy weather we have had has made for nice dry fly activity the entire day.
Robert Harp With a nice brown caught on a dry fly
Flies: #8 Rogue Stone #6 Chubby, #12 Purple Haze #4Pat’s Stone Orange/Brown #8 San Juan Worm, #12 Pearl Lightning Bug #12 Red Copper John Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow, #4 Yellow/Black Beldar; #4 Smoke N’ Mirrors #6 Yellow Zonker #10 #6 Bad Boy
It’s been a busy weekend on the Big Hole. We are experiencing the most Salmonflies we have seen in about 10 years on the Big Hole. Currently the hatch is on the entire River. Some of our best dry fly fishing has been from Jerry Creek down to Melrose. Our best dry fly fishing has been in the morning and late afternoon. You will find Salmonflies, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies and Caddis hatching right now. Flows have been dropping and water conditions are ideal right now for dry fly fishing. During the middle of the week you will find the river traffic to be much more pleasant. It is time to throw the big bugs and hold on tight. Our Big Hole River guides have been catching clients some very nice fish lately.
The moist wet weather continues in Southwest Montana. We are receiving some much needed rain to saturate the ground. Our Big Hole River guides have had fantastic fishing lately. This is the Big Hole River fishing report you have been waiting for. The large brown trout have been eating well during this wet cycle. You will find caddis hatching on the Big Hole from Jerry creek down stream. We have had March Brown hatches above the Wise River in the afternoons. Streamers have been working well for large brown’s on the upper Big Hole. The river is on the rise but don’t let that fool you. The large brown trout have moved to the banks as they are snacking on worms, and sculpins with the increase of flow. The river has 2 feet of visibility and now is the time to search for the large brown trout the Big Hole is famous for.
Brant with a nice Big Hole Brown
Flies: #10 Chubby, #12 Purple Haze #10 Pat’s Stone Brown/Green #8 San Juan Worm, Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow, #4 Yellow/Black Beldar; #4 Smoke N’ Mirrors #6 Yellow Zonker #10 #6 Bad Boy
Fishing has been pretty good the last couple days and it should be pretty nice this weekend. The cooler cloudy weather has had the larger brown trout willing to eat streamers and some dry flies. We have caddis on the lower river below Melrose. Above Melrose you will find March Brown’s still around and some blue winged olives. The flows have remained stable and the visibility is excellent. We have 2 feet of visibility here in Melrose. Our guides have had good fishing on the upper Big Hole above the Wise River and also around Melrose.
Happy Clients below Divide yesterday
Flies: #10 Bullet Head Skwala, #12 Purple Haze #10 Pat’s Stone Brown/Green #8 San Juan Worm, Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow, #4 Yellow/Black Beldar; #4 Smoke N’ Mirrors #6 Yellow Zonker #10 Prince Nymph: #12 Flashback pheasant Tail
Here come the clouds that we have been waiting for. Fishing has been ok lately, but inconsistent at times. The change is weather this week should get the fishing back on track. We still have Skwala stoneflies and March browns hatching but on the bright sunny days the fish have not been willing to stay on the surface feeding all day. Our best dropper in the morning and afternoons has been a size #10 olive/brown pat’s stone. For dry flies a #10 bullet head skwalla and #10 Mr. Beam has been our best pattern. Don’t let the rising water on the hydrograph fool you. The clarity is around 2 1/2 feet and the increase of flows will get the fish on the banks, which is a good thing right now for dry fly fishing.
Flies: #8 Mr. beam Skwala, #10 Bullet Head Skwala, #10 Pat’s Stone Brown/Green #8 San Juan Worm, Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow, #4 Yellow/Black Beldar
Warm weather on tap today. It is supposed to hit 70 degrees this afternoon. After the cold week and the warm weather for the next few days the Skwala nymphs should start moving towards the banks. We have gotten some dumb fish on top with Skwalas but it is still early. We have been fishing dry dropper rigs all week and we have done very well on the Pat’s stone dropper and worm as a dropper. Occasionally we have had eats on top but we are still not in full swing on the Big Hole River skwala hatch. Your best window of opportunity right now is from about 11:00 am till 5:00 pm. Streamers have also been working for our Big Hole River guides. You will need to dead drift the streamers for your best results since the water is in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. Flows are stable at the moment and the visibility is around 2 1/2 feet.