Well, she was right! After eating a sandwich and cooling off with a Montana microbrew, we fished the other side in faster water. One of the positive aspects of not finding rising fish is the opportunity to look around and enjoy the scenery, bald eagles, and bugs along the edge of the river. The Big Hole River is right out the front door, but we also frequently fish the Beaverhead, Jefferson, Madison, Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers. Current fly fishing report for the Big Hole located in Montana. I waded further upstream trying seams close to the bank and farther out in the river. I landed some beautiful Rainbow and Brown Trout. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact. “Hoot owl” is a term used to restrict the hours a person can fish. That wasn’t necessarily bad, we just had to find the holding water where the fish were. Big Hole River History in Brief. Your email address will not be published. Nadda! Oh yea, we found a few Whitefish rising to dry flies as well! Our comprehensive fishing trip package price includes: Five full days of guided fishing on the best rivers in Southwest Montana including but not limited to the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Bitterroot, Private Leases, Rock Creek, Clark Fork, Jefferson. Best sinking fly line: Bank Shot Sink Tip Fly Line Big Hole River Description From its headwaters near Jackson, the Big Hole meanders 150 miles to its confluence with the Ruby and Beaverhead which form the Jefferson River. Floating isn't a good option unless your ok with having to hit a number of rocks at a low winter flow. We found out the Beaverhead river was fishing really well. Fish have been found in past years along the shore…very close to the shore. A true freestone river, The Big Hole and its diverse water will distract even the most ardent angler from his fly now and then. Thousands in the United States. It could have been because we mostly used dry flies. By the time we were ready to cast a fly, it was late afternoon and Brown’s Bridge was the closest for us to try. It was getting dark and I rose a couple of fish, feeling one but no hook-ups. The Big Hole is a classic free-stone river, known for its varying landscapes of high mountain valleys, quick canyons and big, cottonwood bottoms. Day one of your fishing week will likely begin with a full day float on the legendary Big Hole River, known for its beauty and world-class wild trout fishing. Sure, there was a mosquito or two in the other locations, but they didn’t bother us much. The road into the canyon is very rough, full of deep holes and large rocks in several places. Karen rose and landed a big Rainbow Trout. We arrived on the Summer Solstice, June 20, 2019, in a thunder-snow and rainstorm. So it begins high in the Beaverhead Mountains, the Big Hole River flows for 153 miles through a fly fishing wonderland filled with Brook, Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout. Friday after Dillon, we tried the canyon. Required fields are marked *, By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. In addition, he showed us a caddis imitation he used to catch some nice trout. By submitting this form, you are granting: Stonefly Outfitters, Po Box 428, Twin Bridges, Montana, 59754, United States, http://www.thestoneflyinn.com permission to email you. Learn how your comment data is processed. I thought it might be a harbinger of things to come, but it wasn’t. We drove down I15 at the 80 mph speed limit to Clark Canyon Dam. The Lewis and Clark Expeditions traversed through the Big Hole Valley in 1805 enroute to the Pacific Northwest. Our last full day fishing the Big Hole river found us back at Maiden Rock, about an hour earlier than the previous day…nothing. There are approximately six different floats the lodge utilizes on the Big Hole and each one has a different look and feel to it. Caddis hatches that can require dust masks. Read about the other rivers on our 2017 fly fishing road trip: Your email address will not be published. In spring, fishing from a drift boat or raft is preferred. Equally as diverse as the water on the Big Hole is … Below are the latest write-ups on the action we're seeing, and you can always get more information on fishing the Big Hole River and fishing the Beaverhead River on our site or by calling the shop at 406.683.5276. The Big Hole River is the very definition of a Southwest Montana fly fishing trout stream. After not catching any fish in the normal spots, we walked further upstream. This 17″ Brown Trout came to my net as darkness approached. The Big Hole Valley is notoriously cold at times but this was crazy. Tom Smith's Backcountry Angler Fly Shop offers guided tours down the Big Hole River, one of the most scenic wild trout streams in the country. An access road follows the river. We returned to the bridge with a little moisture from a thunderstorm falling on us. But we did find some access points and walked along the river, ending up at an eddy just below a chute. Below the Wise River, the Big Hole runs through a section of canyon water known for some of the best salmon fly fishing in the world during mid-June. Dry fly fishing for smaller fish in the 10”-14” range can be exceptional in the upper reaches. There are hundreds of great fly fishing rivers in the state of Montana alone. I landed a nice fish with the Parachute Chernobyl and moved a few others. We can usually find fish. We’ve been staying at the Sportsman Motel in Melrose, MT during our previous Big Hole River fishing trips. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. The Big Hole Valley is a beautiful place. We offer guided fly fishing float trips as well as walk and wade trips on the Big Hole River, Beaverhead River, Jefferson River, and Madison River. The next stop on our 2017 road trip was in southwest Montana. Side channels, dry fly slicks, and nymphing riffles. We gave it a try, but didn’t find any fish. Other than that, the Big Hole remains one of the less crowded rivers in the state, partially because the state of Montana has placed regulations on commercial outfitting. We gave up there and thought about our next fishing spot. Whitefish and trout moved to our flies, hooking up or just hitting the fly and missing. Back to the cabin and some dinner before heading out and fishing until dark. From his guide crew to his office staff you can count on a professional, courteous, entertaining and hard working team that will make you feel at home during your stay. While nondescript from the outside, I enjoy the rustic feel of the old bar…”rest your weary ass”. I purchased four caddis flies along with this streamer for the Big Hole. We walked downstream to the spot where we caught fish the previous day. At least that was our hope. Fly Fishing Accommodations on the Big Hole River When fly fishers come to Southwest Montana, they are usually focused on the rivers to fish and the fishing experience. Call 406-683-3462 for more information. Our location allows for fast and easy access to some of the best trout fishing in Southwest Montana. The Big Hole is a mid-size river for Montana standards with classic pools and riffles. If “hoot owl” is in effect, a person must stop fishing between 2 pm and midnight. Brown Trout were rising about 10 feet from me under the brush along the river’s edge. This river forms lots of ice when temps drop the way they did last weekend. Since Brown’s Bridge wasn’t looking so good to catch fish, we decided to drive up to the Divide Bridge, about 14 miles upstream. Well, that wasn’t going to deter us. Read about the other rivers on our 2017 fly fishing road trip: Missouri River Fly Fishing; Fly Fishing the St. Joe River, ID; Upper Columbia River Fly Fishing We’ve never fished the Beaverhead before. Bighorn, Big Hole, Stillwater and Missouri River trips available for an additional $45 to cover travel costs. 6 months of changing conditions - great early and late season opportunities. Ten miles per hour seems like flying 80 down the freeway. The first picture of this post captures the moment, thanks to my wife. We stayed in the Twins Cabin this trip. Side channels, dry fly slicks, and nymphing riffles. River description by David Archer. I’ve always been able to catch fish upstream of Brown’s Bridge and this year was no exception. Combine Big Hole’s unparalleled vistas with more than 3,000 trout per mile and hundreds of imagination-defying hatches, and it is no wonder the Big Hole River is nicknamed Montana’s Last Best River. Here is the water above the bridge. Here is another shot. I’m glad I did. We had heard about the high snow pack in southwest Montana last winter. The Big Hole River and the Complete Fly Fisher are a combination for fly fisherman that few destinations can match. Recommended Fly Fishing Lodge for the Big Hole River: Healing Waters Lodge. Our new fly shop friend told us we could easily access the river a short distance downstream from the dam. Captain Lewis had originally named this river the Wisdom River, but through the years, the river became known as the Big Hole. The Big Hole Valley is a beautiful place. *. I’m still trying to decide if catching those fish were worth those mosquito bites…. The next day might find you wading a private ranch on the Beaverhead River, one of the finest tail-water fisheries in the country. Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Big Hole River. All of these qualities provide for healthy populations of trout and arctic grayling. To our surprise, we could definitely tell because the water was higher than we had fished it before. They were very helpful. Enjoy…go fish! Big Hole River - Highway 43. The Big Hole Lodge is truly one of the classic fly … Finally, we arrived at a spot we’ve fished in prior years. These are chunky, thick fish! Even with all these midges were on the water, not a fish rose to them. Just over an hour's drive from Chicago, through the cornfields of Illinois, runs a particularly scenic and well-preserved stretch of the Kankakee River. No fish. They have rooms as well as a few cabins to choose from. Fly Fishing Guide to Big Hole River: As mentioned above, fly fishing the Big Hole River is largely dependant on where you fish the river, water levels and seasons. Toggle navigation Call us (406) 542-7411 View your cart Cold weather has dropped the flow as water is turning into hard stuff. The Big Hole is a productive river, and is typically only crowded for the middle weeks of June during the salmonfly hatch. Whatever the reason, if we go back, it most likely will be a different time of year. A Fly Fishing Lodge on the Big Hole River. All the while you will be our guests staying right on the banks of the Big Hole River, your headquarters for the best producing waters of Southwest Montana. I cast a few times because I couldn’t help myself and finally gave up…all within 5 minutes. The Big Hole River in Montana, one of the best fly fishing rivers in Southwest Montana. From canyon walls to meandering farmlands the Big Hole River changes its face around every corner. I HATE MOSQUITOES!!!!! We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. I don’t really know. And perhaps the interesting posters on the walls. Fly Fishing the Big Hole River Posted on July 16, 2019 The next stop on our first fly fishing road trip this year was fly fishing the Big Hole River. Or we were between hatches. I think I landed 7 fish, all over 17″. Oh my gosh, the wind was howling coming down the canyon. Fishing was slow after that first fish. In summer is the river is very wade-able. What flies were most effective? Stonefly hatches that bring even the largest of trout to the surface. Several of these came to hand. The car thermometer read 38 degrees. The Big Hole is a river rich not only in historical importance but also in its ability to produce wild trout — and large ones at that. In fact, I react to them in a very negative way…as in swell up something fierce, so I try to stay away from them at all cost. I thought it might be the beginning of a good night of fishing…but it wasn’t to be. This is Montana…what’s another 40 mile one-way trip to search for more fish? It wasn’t the first or last time we would hear those words during out fly fishing road trip! Here is what we found. One of the few Simms endorsed outfitters in the United States, your outfitter and lodge owner Dan "Rooster" Leavens knows what it takes to get the job done right, the first time. In spots, you crawl down the road. We pulled up our buffs, applied repellent and walked to the river. We’ve fished at the boat ramp as well as a little further downstream to the top of where the campground begins. The fish stopped rising and we headed back to the cabin and ended up with an early dinner at the Hitchin’ Post. Perhaps fish were there because of increased oxygen levels. Perhaps that’s the main function and trout come second. The Big Hole River may be reached via Highway 93 from Salmon, Idaho or from Interstate 15 from Idaho Falls to Butte or at the junction with Interstate 90 and Interstate 15 west of Butte. We left the Bitterroot River on our way to the Big Hole by driving south on Highway 93 from Hamilton, MT and turned onto Highway 43 right at the Idaho/ Montana border. We took a guided trip back in 2011 where we floated from the put-in above Maiden Rock through the canyon and ended our trip at the Melrose take-out. The Big Hole is the last remaining habitat for fluvial Arctic Grayling in … We found several midge clusters close to the edge. We’ve found four main areas where we’ve previously caught fish using walk/wade – Divide Bridge (which has a boat launch and campground), Maiden Rock above the canyon, the canyon, and Brown’s Bridge. Granted, Melrose Montana only has a population of around 200 and there isn’t another choice of where to stay, but we really like to stay at the Sportsman Motel. Boasting 8 bedrooms, there is room enough for the entire family or corporate retreat. This river is also world renowned for its salmon fly hatch and attracts fishermen from around the world. The water we hoped to fish was not restricted by “hoot owl”, but we also heard a familiar phrase…”you’re between hatches”. We are having solid reports of hopper fishing in the afternoon heat on the lower Big Hole River and around the Melrose area. In certain sections of the river, there are approximately 3,500 trout per mile with a substantial percentage in the 18-20" class. Upper Big Hole - North Fork to Dewey I found a rainbow about 17″. I enjoy the walk and wade experience. Big mistake! It’s always interesting to find new water. This year, “hoot owl” restrictions were in effect for the upper and lower Big Hole River, but not the areas we planned to fish. With more than 3000 fish per mile, the river is an angler’s dream. From the headwaters to the North Fork the Big Hole offers small stream fishing for rainbows, brook trout, and the native grayling and cutthroat. A favorite guest of mine, Bob Chadwell once said, “We just fished the Big Hole for 5 days, and each day it seemed we were on a different river”. Except the roughly 100 mosquito bites on my back! Keith is a patient teacher and loves to share his passion for fly fishing with others. Trip itineraries will be tailored to ensure the best fishing options available in a given week. Stop into our fly shop in Dillon to get the most up-to-date information from the people out there fishing the area rivers every day. We learned a lot from our guide, both how to fish the Big Hole as well as access points were we could fish from shore. The Beaverhead River isn’t very wide. A few mosquitoes began flying around as we opened the back of the Tahoe and slipped on our waders. I decided to fish a run using the Cone Head Bow River Bugger streamer I purchased from Frontier Anglers. We double-checked the “hoot owl” locations. The mosquitoes won! Besides our new favorite Parachute Chernobyl, we caught fish on Beetle Bailey and a Purple Haze. I got out and saw some standing water from the overflow ditch (not a good sign). Full Day Float Trips Include: Transportation to and from Montana Troutfitters and your fishing destination, rentals, lunch and beverages, flies and terminal tackle, … Then finding the right fly fishing guide service and fly shop that offers guided float trips, gear, clothing, flies, etc. I HATE mosquitoes! Maybe it was time of day, so we tried it again very early the next morning. I thought it was only accessible by boat because it flowed through quite a bit of private property. I caught my first fish around 8 pm and continued catching them till the mosquitoes carried me off at dark. No more fish…so we decided to move back upstream and try around the Divide bridge. It looks like an irrigation ditch to me. Mark Tobin and Kevin Kurz are hosted by fly fishing guide and drift-boat captain Jason Newmack of Five Rivers Lodge via Dillon, Montana. Mika Keleti – A Montana native, Mika has been fly fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod. Here is my first fish from the Big Hole River using my 6 1/2 foot 3 weight bamboo fly rod my friend Skip Hosfield made me. Having said that, we had a great time fly fishing the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers. I wonder if the Mule had anything to do with our answer? Having guided on the Big Horn, Missouri, Madison, Big Hole, and Beaverhead Rivers, Lee brings his vast knowledge of fly fishing and Montana trout to the river every day. The brook trout can become very large in this section, often exceeding sixteen inches. The cabin has a full kitchen, which we like to have during our trip. I really had a hard time finding my fly becuase it was dark, but I certainly could see the ring from the fish eating my fly! 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