Big Hole River Report 4-24-17

Our Big Hole guides have started spotting March Browns and Gray Drakes.  They have also noted trout moving into slightly swifter water, but still hanging to softer spots.  Some straggler skwalas are emerging and the dry fly bite is times(Chubby #8-12-olive, royal, purple).  Nymphing or droppers with skwala and other stonefly imitations is good (Pat's Rubberlegs #10-Black, Dark Variegated, Olive)

For the mayflies dries in #14 and #16 start to become important (Parachute Adams, Purple Haze).  Generalist droppers are working well too. (Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail-#14).

The best nymph...still the San Juan worm............. 

Junk food

The Beaverhead is just right for those looking to toss streamers and PIG OUT.

4PM is the peak and these fish are torpedos.  When you find a player he may squirt out six feet to hammer your gentlemanly stripped bugger.  We are finding them working good ambush lies and in the deep.  Big flies, small flies, yellow, all has it's time and place.  Do not miss out on this spring feeding.

BWO hatches keep happening on cloudy days. Fish emergers or nymphs just below the surface if you're having trouble getting takes on adults. They're also eating midges. 


But don't tell anybody

The Beav is fishing excellent!  Look for risers in the afternoons to BWO's. Streamer fishing is excellent at times. The river is hot!!  Pipe to grass is probably most popular, but there is more water down low. It's all fishing great. 


On the Big Hole we are having periods of very good fishing. It's still mostly streamers and nymphs but the skwalas are turning the dry fly bite on. Best bet is probably from Divide downstream. 

Good lookin up

The skwalas are now popped and we are on the brink of the Big Hole dry fly season.  Fish are starting to populate prime lies as they move out of winter holding water.  Dry dropper or nymphing with SJ worms, eggs, BWO patterns (PT Cruzer) Pat's stones, are good.  Streamer fishing is bringing more chases and some days it's been really good.  This is a fantastic time to fish....we have lots of clear fishable water, hatches are a real possibility now, and each day these fish see more stoneflies and other foods on the surface which really has the Big Hole lookin up.

The Beav abides...

BWO's are dominating the conversation here on the Beaverhead.  The baetis have been consistent this year with a hatch most afternoons.  These gray BWO's are  size 18 and are peaking mid afternoon and tapering heavily after six.  There are also some really great localized midge hatches happening right through dark.  Still and deeper parts of the Beav remind you of an aquarium so be smart when floating or wading near these fish or you can spook the whole area.  The Beav has  come down around Dillon and there is very good fishing to be had in the lesser utilized stretches.  Down lower the Beav is known for particularly good streamer fishing.

Parachute Extended Body BWO - 18

Split Back BWO - 18

PT Cruzer - Dk Olive - 18

Ray Charles - Pink - 18

Zebra Midge - Tan, Red, Black - 20

Annelids ;)  in Red or Pink





Dry flies and big chases

The Beaverhead has been totally lit the last week by strong surface feeding and reckless streamer chases.  We are seeing fish on top from noon till dark.  The weather has been cooperating with steady overcast skies that have helped the streamer fishing and the BWO's.  Grasshopper Creek is still dumping color but the clarity is there for excellent fishing.  Above Grasshopper the water is perfect and if you can time the wind the dry fly action has been consistent.  Plainly put the Beaverhead is fishing.  Many of the other area streams are just coming out of their winter laziness while we have big fish eating streamers and dry flies.  Dry fly fisherman should seriously consider heading down to Dillon to experience quality early season tailwater surface action right away.


The Big Hole has hit the sweet zone and is all over the mid 40's this week at the Melrose gauge.  Skwalas have been sighted below Melrose already so the fish will be looking up anytime.  The recent rains put a small pulse of water through the system but looks to be short lived.  Be looking for the Big Hole to really turn on now...

Big Hole comin' round

The Big Hole is in pretty sweet shape right now and should keep getting better as flows drop and water temperatures climb.  Fish are still holding in the slow and deep but they are also feeding well.  When you find them take your time and fish out the area...there can be long droughts between good holding water that is deep enough and walking speed or less.  Nymphing with Pat's Rubberlegs and Worms has given us the most success, but these same fish will eat streamers too. Water temps have remained fairly low but the Melrose gauge shows them above 44 degrees today, which should bring about real bug activity.  Be on the lookout now for Skwalas, March Browns, BWO's and plenty of midges.  

Lake time!

Clark Canyon is about 60% clear of ice.  You'll find a fair amount of mud on the creek ends.  The fishing is good right now.  The Beaverhead is slowly shaping up and remember that from Pipe Organ to Grasshopper the river stays clear and is fishing quite well.  We are seeing BWO's and midges daily and there has been surface action too.  Lots of people are reporting success on streamers clear down through Dillon.  The Big Hole has started to drop but is still pretty darn high and murky.  It should fish on the drop despite the clarity.  

Fishing Report 3/16/17

The Beaverhead is very clear and fishing well from Pipe Organ to Grasshopper Creek despite the strong early runoff.  We've been watching fish feed on top to strong midge hatches and some BWO's (Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge #20) (Griffiths Gnat, Hackle Stacker) Think small...#18 is on the edge of too big.  It's worm time too, along with early spawning so try some eggs.   Streamer fishing has been improving and shop favorite colors are Olive and Yellow.  Sometimes Poindexter Slough will be clear enough to fish well even when the main river is blown out.  

The Big Hole is on the rise and running off color.  With just a foot of visibility there can be good streamer fishing.  Try orange.  You probably will want to let the Big Hole calm down a little before hitting it hard.

Spring inventory is flowing in every day.  Stop by or call us for the latest reports on the Beav and the Big Hole.  We can fully outfit you for all your fly fishing needs.  As area rivers start to blow out we'll be here with some of the best tailwater fishing around.


Won't be long now

It's been a cold, tough winter here in Southwest Montana, but that doesn't mean there aren't fish to be caught. March is here, and that means the blue wings will start making there appearance. Get out on those days when the sun is out and the temps are above freezing and start throwing small bwo nymphs and other standard winter nymphs. It's only gonna get better.

Bugs to try:


Pheasant tail: 16-18
Pandemic may: 16-18
Zebra midge: 16-20
Hot Head Sow Bug: 14-18
Purple Lightning Bug: 16-18
Pink Ray Charles: 16-18


Extendo para BWO: 16-18
Griffith's gnat: 16-20