Call 406-683-3462 for more information. We had heard about the high snow pack in southwest Montana last winter. The Big Hole Valley is a beautiful place. It looks like an irrigation ditch to me. *. 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. Oh my gosh, the wind was howling coming down the canyon. In this video we will be water wading in Montana doing some trout fishing with a great guide. Well, I did catch a Whitefish, but was hoping for more trout. Back to the cabin and some dinner before heading out and fishing until dark. I landed a nice fish with the Parachute Chernobyl and moved a few others. I landed some beautiful Rainbow and Brown Trout. I thought it might be a harbinger of things to come, but it wasn’t. The cabin has a full kitchen, which we like to have during our trip. The Big Hole River is right out the front door, but we also frequently fish the Beaverhead, Jefferson, Madison, Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers. We arrived on the Summer Solstice, June 20, 2019, in a thunder-snow and rainstorm. Upper Big Hole - North Fork to Dewey The Big Hole River is likely in the top 3 … From the headwaters to the North Fork the Big Hole offers small stream fishing for rainbows, brook trout, and the native grayling and cutthroat. I enjoy the walk and wade experience. There are hundreds of great fly fishing rivers in the state of Montana alone. A typical week of fishing at Big Hole Lodge may start with a float on the Big Hole River. Fish have been found in past years along the shore…very close to the shore. We’ve fished at the boat ramp as well as a little further downstream to the top of where the campground begins. Friday after Dillon, we tried the canyon. Floating isn't a good option unless your ok with having to hit a number of rocks at a low winter flow. It could have been because we mostly used dry flies. If you need somewhere to stay in the Big Hole Valley, I highly recommend the Sportsman Motel. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The Big Hole Lodge is truly one of the classic fly … I caught my first fish around 8 pm and continued catching them till the mosquitoes carried me off at dark. The Big Hole Valley is a beautiful place. The brook trout can become very large in this section, often exceeding sixteen inches. An access road follows the river. Well, she was right! We drove down I15 at the 80 mph speed limit to Clark Canyon Dam. Your email address will not be published. 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 The first picture of this post captures the moment, thanks to my wife. I waded further upstream trying seams close to the bank and farther out in the river. Actually, the original plan didn’t include the Beaverhead River, it was a “plan B” activity. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. Recommended Fly Fishing Lodge for the Big Hole River: Healing Waters Lodge. Our last full day fishing the Big Hole river found us back at Maiden Rock, about an hour earlier than the previous day…nothing. You will find some trico's in spot specific areas in the morning and Blue Winged Olives. I thought it might be the beginning of a good night of fishing…but it wasn’t to be. 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. Still nothing. Big Hole River History in Brief. If “hoot owl” is in effect, a person must stop fishing between 2 pm and midnight. 6 months of changing conditions - great early and late season opportunities. Learn how your comment data is processed. After eating a sandwich and cooling off with a Montana microbrew, we fished the other side in faster water. Thousands in the United States. During previous trips, we were able to catch fish in all those locations…some more than others. Perhaps fish were there because of increased oxygen levels. We gave it a try, but didn’t find any fish. Stonefly hatches that bring even the largest of trout to the surface. They were very helpful. The Big Hole River is the very definition of a Southwest Montana fly fishing trout stream. It wasn’t the first or last time we would hear those words during out fly fishing road trip! Gear reviews, Shop Specials, Trip Reports and more. 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. Karen rose and landed a big Rainbow Trout. 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. We gave up there and thought about our next fishing spot. Here is another shot. I decided to fish a run using the Cone Head Bow River Bugger streamer I purchased from Frontier Anglers. 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. 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. Will Winans of Big River Fly Fishing specializes in drift boat trips through this productive smallmouth bass fishery. It is a river rich not only in historical importance, but also in its ability to produce wild trout- and large ones at that. 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”. The Big Hole is the last remaining habitat for fluvial Arctic Grayling in … Keith is a patient teacher and loves to share his passion for fly fishing with others. The road into the canyon is very rough, full of deep holes and large rocks in several places. We found several midge clusters close to the edge. I thought it was only accessible by boat because it flowed through quite a bit of private property. In addition, he showed us a caddis imitation he used to catch some nice trout. Required fields are marked *, By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. I’m still trying to decide if catching those fish were worth those mosquito bites…. We walked downstream to the spot where we caught fish the previous day. 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. I cast farther out and was able to rise a couple of fish to that red Parachute Chernobyl I highlighted a couple of weeks ago in a TBT post. Mika Keleti – A Montana native, Mika has been fly fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod. I HATE mosquitoes! A Fly Fishing Lodge on the Big Hole River. The fish stopped rising and we headed back to the cabin and ended up with an early dinner at the Hitchin’ Post. Whatever the reason, if we go back, it most likely will be a different time of year. Even with all these midges were on the water, not a fish rose to them. In summer is the river is very wade-able. 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 Big Hole is a productive river, and is typically only crowded for the middle weeks of June during the salmonfly hatch. Sure, there was a mosquito or two in the other locations, but they didn’t bother us much. 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. As the river leaves the canyon it becomes a valley river lined with cottonwood trees. Full Day Float Trips Include: Transportation to and from Montana Troutfitters and your fishing destination, rentals, lunch and beverages, flies and terminal tackle, … To our surprise, we could definitely tell because the water was higher than we had fished it before. While nondescript from the outside, I enjoy the rustic feel of the old bar…”rest your weary ass”. Big Hole River Fly Fishing Trip A Cold Front Arrives. This river forms lots of ice when temps drop the way they did last weekend. In certain sections of the river, there are approximately 3,500 trout per mile with a substantial percentage in the 18-20" class. Nadda! I HATE MOSQUITOES!!!!! It was getting dark and I rose a couple of fish, feeling one but no hook-ups. 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. 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. We focus on every detail of your guided fishing trip, ensuring that your fly fishing vacation is the best it can be. Another “plan B” was hatched! These are chunky, thick fish! We decided to walk back to the bridge and try upstream where we hooked and landed a few fish. We found out the Beaverhead river was fishing really well. Besides our new favorite Parachute Chernobyl, we caught fish on Beetle Bailey and a Purple Haze. Perhaps that’s the main function and trout come second. Enjoy…go fish! Emails are serviced by Constant Contact. I’ve always liked the Big Hole River because of it’s size. 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. Links to Free Old Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books, Fly Fishing the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers. Well, that wasn’t going to deter us. This is Montana…what’s another 40 mile one-way trip to search for more fish? It’s always interesting to find new water. Boasting 8 bedrooms, there is room enough for the entire family or corporate retreat. Fishing ended about noon and we drove to Dillon that afternoon for supplies and stopped at the Frontier Anglers fly shop. Whitefish and trout moved to our flies, hooking up or just hitting the fly and missing. (See our Email Privacy Policy for details.) But we did find some access points and walked along the river, ending up at an eddy just below a chute. Equally as diverse as the water on the Big Hole is … 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. 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. Maybe it was time of day, so we tried it again very early the next morning. 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. We’ve been staying at the Sportsman Motel in Melrose, MT during our previous Big Hole River fishing trips. In spots, you crawl down the road. This 17″ Brown Trout came to my net as darkness approached. 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. The car thermometer read 38 degrees. They have rooms as well as a few cabins to choose from. 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. We discussed our fishing on the Big Hole and thought about the Beaverhead River tip. The Beaverhead River isn’t very wide. What flies were most effective? Here is what we found. We stayed in the Twins Cabin this trip. We can usually find fish. The fly fishing on this stretch of the Big Hole River is primarily for brook trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and the native grayling (all grayling must be released). It looks really fishy, but not fish. Side channels, dry fly slicks, and nymphing riffles. Oh yea, we found a few Whitefish rising to dry flies as well! 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’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. I purchased four caddis flies along with this streamer for the Big Hole. Tributaries . Having said that, we had a great time fly fishing the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers. I’ve always been able to catch fish upstream of Brown’s Bridge and this year was no exception. The mosquitoes won! Fishing was slow after that first fish. All of these qualities provide for healthy populations of trout and arctic grayling. The Big Hole is a mid-size river for Montana standards with classic pools and riffles. I’ll tell you about it below. 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. As dusk settled in, my wife told me to turn around and cast back to shore, aiming at a little riffle in the water. 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. Captain Lewis had originally named this river the Wisdom River, but through the years, the river became known as the Big Hole. No fish. 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. Several of these came to hand. A true freestone river, The Big Hole and its diverse water will distract even the most ardent angler from his fly now and then. A quick call or email, and we will be happy to visit and help you plan your Montana fly fishing vacation. The Big Hole River and the Complete Fly Fisher are a combination for fly fisherman that few destinations can match. Brown Trout were rising about 10 feet from me under the brush along the river’s edge. We returned to the bridge with a little moisture from a thunderstorm falling on us. The first stop after checking in to the Twins cabin was at Sunrise Fly Shop, which is right next door. We drove back to Brown’s Bridge expecting a different experience. Or we were between hatches. “Hoot owl” is a term used to restrict the hours a person can fish. Here is the water above the bridge. I’m glad I did. I cast a few times because I couldn’t help myself and finally gave up…all within 5 minutes. I think I landed 7 fish, all over 17″. Current fly fishing report for the Big Hole located in Montana. We pulled up our buffs, applied repellent and walked to the river. A small RV park is available as well if you plan to bring your own bed. The Lewis and Clark Expeditions traversed through the Big Hole Valley in 1805 enroute to the Pacific Northwest. Bighorn, Big Hole, Stillwater and Missouri River trips available for an additional $45 to cover travel costs. 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! Our location allows for fast and easy access to some of the best trout fishing in Southwest Montana. Read about the other rivers on our 2017 fly fishing road trip: Your email address will not be published. Caddis hatches that can require dust masks. ... His passion for fly fishing has driven him to explore many of the great rivers throughout Montana. Cold weather has dropped the flow as water is turning into hard stuff. Established in 1984 by long-time angler Craig Fellin, the Big Hole Lodge continues to offer world-renowned wild trout fishing, remarkable cuisine, and comfortable accommodations in a secluded mountain setting. And perhaps the interesting posters on the walls. 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