Fall in Montana!

I was on the Beaverhead just a few days ago and the fishing was very good.  There were some very good fish on the surface sipping tiny mayflies.  I like fishing rubber leg bugs this time of year and the big fish didn't let me down.   Tossing 2 big ole' fashion Girdle Bugs did the job and this was during mid-day.  I had a really big fellow grab but I was a little behind the 8 ball - nothing new. The hopper fishing has also been top-notch, but remember that there are not a lot of grassing banks on the Beav. so look for those areas to produce best.

The Craneflies are still on the move and anglers fishing the right bugs are taking their share of quality fish.   Early and late is best, but again fishing certain rubber leg wets can take fish pretty much all day long and it's a fun way to fish.

Don't forget the Beaverhead is a tailwater fishery so there is going to be some weed.   I like to think of it as a positive thing, but I know from 40 years experience that some anglers do not like the stuff.  Fish below High Bridge or Hennebery if this is a problem as these areas are much cleaner.


The Big Hole is low but fishing extremely well.  The Trico fishing in the mornings can be epic.  The reason is that at this time of year there are 3 other mayflies also hatching, with the BWO's starting to take center stage.  It's time to be on the Big Hole as the big October Caddis are popping too and the dry fly fisherman can have the time of their life.  And did I mention streamer fishing!!!

Looks like we are getting a taste of fall this afternoon as the wind is blowing and the smoke is almost gone.  

August The best fishing of the year!

The Beaverhead couldn't be better.  I've fished it for 40 years and you would be hard pressed to find a better year.  The fish are Big, Fat, and eating like crazy.  We have clear water and cool water temps. and the fish are happy.  The PMD's are still going and the fish are on them., and the Caddis action is off the charts.  Try using a size 14 Elk Hair and drop a size 18 PT off the back.  The Trico's are there too and you'll find more and more fish on them as the season progresses.  And the big news is that our Craneflies are back!  Try tossing a size 6 Brown Bear Brown with a Craneman for a true dropper.  A deadly combination.   If you like fishing rubber legs now's the time as the fish are munching a well presented Yuk Bug up tight to the bank.  

August and the Big Hole, can it get any better.  Trico's, Blue Wing Olives, Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, and tons of nice fish.  The dry fly fishing doesn't get any better.   Watch the slippery rocks though.  Felt bottoms and a wading staff is needed.  Try using size 14-16 Royal Wulff's, size 14 & 16 black and cinnamon ants, size 12-16 Purple Haze, size 8-14 Dave's Hoppers, sz. 12 & 14 chart. PMX, and Black Magic's in sz. 10 & 12.  Nymphs will take a share of good fish too, but the dry fly stuff is excellent.

Clark Canyon is slowing a bit but still well worth fishing.  Anglers are still seeing good action with fish in the 3-5 pound range and on good mornings you should see some good action using midges, Yuk Bugs (yes Yuk Bugs) leeches, T's Favorite's, Prince Nymphs, and Bigg's Specials.

Poindexter has been fishing very well using grasshopper patterns, and the Trico's are starting to bring up a few good fish here and there.  I would suggest using a size 6 Craneman too with the set-up the same as for the Beaverhead.

The Ruby is worth a visit.  The Cranefly action is hot during morning and evening hours with some strong hopper action during mid-day.  Try dropping a size 16 PT or emerging Caddis pattern off a Dave's Hopper.  A deadly combination.  We have been fishing the new mop Cranefly with some amazing results.  These things should be illegal....deadly as heck!

Best Fishing in the State!

The Big Hole is as good as it gets right now.  I was on yesterday and caught fish on Hoppers, Spruce Moths, Trico's, Green Drakes, and Brown Drake Spinners.  All dry flies!  The water is in fantastic shape and will remain so through the season.  Look for the Trico and hopper fishing to only get better.  We're seeing some very nice fish this year.  A friend took a beautiful, big male brown the other day on a Spruce Moth.  He taped 24".  

We can't say enough about the fishing on the Beaverhead.  It is as good as it's been for 15-20 years!  The hatches are heavy with Caddisflies as thick as they have ever been.  Look for the fish to be eating PMD's, Sallies, Caddis, and the Craneflies are starting!!!!  Yesterday though we had some very good fishing on hoppers.  Big fish this year.  Lots of quality rainbows and browns with some tipping the scales over 5 pounds.  The water is clear - time to hit the Beav!!!

Clark Canyon is fishing very well.  Nice fish, both browns and rainbows are being taken on midges, damsels, and leeches.  Catch rates are high this year.  If you haven't seen your backing lately you should head to Clark Canyon.  

Poindexter Slough is kicking out some huge fish.  The Trico's are there but look for most fish to be on hoppers and Cranelfies.  A good friend of ours had a brown recently that went over 7 pounds.  Yes you read that right.  

All small streams in the area are fishing excellent with great reports of some brookies and some big cutthroats.


Warm Temps, Hot Fishing

Attention Anglers: now is the time to come visit and fish our local rivers, lakes, and streams! Throughout July both the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers have and continue to surpass our expectations for fantastic fishing-with the Beaverhead River yielding particularly great days and burly, beautiful trout. 

We recommend using a variety of patterns for the Beaverhead with some choice nymphs being: The Yellow Suzie P.T. Cruiser in size 16 or 18, the brown or olive Psycho Mayfly nymph in size 16 or 18 and the MVP nymph in size 16 amber color. That isn't to say the dry fly game on the Beaverhead isn't there though! Periodically throughout the day under brush and undercut banks an angler can entice resting trout with a variety of caddis and PMD patterns. However, it's late evening and early morning when one really starts to see pods of fish eating both in the film and on the surface. Some good dry fly patterns for these fish are going to be: both the tan Troth Elk Hair Caddis in size 18-14 and any CDC caddis in size 16 either brown or white. Also Purple Haze Flies in size 16, the Stenerson's CFO Ant in Copper/Black size 16 and lime green foam hoppers in size 16-14. 

The Big Hole, however, is no pushover! In addition to the great caddis, PMD and Chernobyl fishing we've been experiencing, many anglers are reporting seeing Spruce Moths working along the banks and the fish are definitely keying in on them. We recommend using the Parachute Madam X fly in size 12-8 to imitate these flying insects as well as the Stenerson's CFO Ant in Copper/Black size 16, the Get-R-Dun fly in PMD size 16 and rubber leg stone fly nymphs in size 10-6 numerous colors. 

However, that isn't to say these rivers are an angler's only option. As we enter the final, warm days of July one can expect to find a great abundance of fishing options here in Southwest Montana around the area of Dillon. Clark Canyon Reservoir has been reported to be fishing well, as well as the Red Rock River, Jefferson river and Missouri River. In the near future we are also expecting the hopper season to be fantastic this year so now is the time to come over and experience these waters for yourself!

Tight Lines  

Big Hole fishing report: Big flies, Big Trout!

The Big Hole River is currently on track for some fantastic fishing this week; and, after the crummy weather we just experienced which bumped up the flows to the mid 8,000's, we couldn't be happier! 

As of the time of this writing, all sections of the Big Hole are currently running at less than 5,000 cfs; and with the warm days we have forecasted, we expect both Salmon Flies and Golden Stones to be taking flight and lining the banks in good numbers all along the river. In addition to this we are expecting to see a lot of hatching caddis flies and PMDs so get your gear ready for spectacular dry fly fishing this week!

The nymph patterns we recommend are: green Holy Grail flies in sizes 14 & 16, lime, amber and pink MVPs in sizes 16 & 18 and brown and olive Rubber Legs in sizes 4 or 6. 

The dry flies we recommend are the Extended Body PMD in sizes 14-16, PMDungs in sizes 14-16, the Troth Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 12, 14 and 16 and of course our large variety of Salmonflies and Golden Stones (including our Stimulator w/ Dropper Loop flies in sizes 8 and 10 in an assortment of colors). 

We foresee some stellar action on the Big Hole in the days to come so now's the time to make sure you're loaded up on all of your gear and flies to chase those large trout that we know make the Big Hole their home.

Give us a call or come in and visit us at the shop for more fly information, fishing techniques or even just a new hat! 

Tight Lines

PMD's on the Beav

Our guides were in a good PMD hatch yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours.  They were between Henneberry and Grasshopper.  (Extended Body PMD #16-18, PMDung #16-18).  (Barr's Emerger 16-18, Splitback PMD 16-18, Lawson's halfback 16-18, Bubbleback emerger 16-18).  

We have also found a super caddis pupae called the Holy Grail in 14,16.  This bug is HOT.

Up top the nymphing is dominated by PMD's, scuds and sowbugs.  (Splitbacks, MVP-Amber, Ray Charles, Soft hackle sow bugs).  Don't forget to pack some smaller San Juan Worms.  The hatch is on schedule and be looking for some hardcore dry fly fishing this week.  

The Beav is rocking and rolling.  Grasshopper creek is clearing....the water in town is green.  Low visibility, but green.  It's time to get 'em on the Beav.

Big Bugs, Big Water

Salmonflies are being spotted along the Big Hole River.  They are right on time, coming just as the river crests and now we look for the sweet convergence of fishable water and the biggest bugs of the summer.  We are fully stocked with salmonfly patterns and we are also ready to book your trip to chase them on the Big Hole!  It's still early so now is the time to book a guided trip!!  Call us in the shop right away and we'll get you booked.

Full on summer fishing

The Beaverhead continues to bump up slowly with the growing call for water downstream.  We're up to almost 400cfs so now boats can freely get around the High Bridge corner and the entire stream is good to float.  The last of the spring BWO's are about in size 20-22 and a few fish have been on them.  Midges have been super important up near the dam and best success has been on red and dark olive.  Splitbacks are also taking plenty of fish and we are fishing the PMD colors now.  In fact we've seen adults of both PMD's and Yellow Sallies in the air above town.  We're just a couple weeks away from some serious dry fly fishing.  Nymphing has been excellent through Henneberry.  The river is very clear and fishing great!

Opener look ahead

The big trout opener is on Saturday and once again the Beaverhead will be a tremendous place to fish. This tailwater fishery should have conditions that we'd rate an 8 out of 10!  With absolutely clear water down to High Bridge and good visibility from there to Grasshopper Creek,  that's over ten miles of highly productive tailwater!

Flows out of the dam are under 200cfs which will give the wade angler good chances. The river from the Dam to High Bridge is in fantastic shape. Be ready up here with sow bugs (Ray Charles, Big Horn Soft Hackle). Also midges (Zebras). Worms(SJ, Hot bead, wire). BWO's (Splitback, PT Cruzer--Extended Bodies, Snowshoe Baetis). Caddis are also trying to come back after the rise in water (Shop Vac, Holy Grail) The mega rainbows are waiting after not being fished for months!

Although the top is perfect, below High Bridge the water is turbid tonight, Thursday. Clarity was a little over a foot and fish were rising tonight to BWO's. This should clear rapidly and by Saturday expect good but not perfect visibility from there down to Grasshopper Creek.   Below Grasshopper creek and down through town the visibility will be worse. Poindexter Slough is a good option down there. 

Stop by for bugs and to look at a map. We are ready to help with anything you need to have a successful day of fishing. Have fun this weekend!