SUNRISE FLY SHOP406.835.3474 • Melrose, MT • info@sunriseflyshop.comFrom Gear to Guides - Southwest Montana's Finest
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The Sunrise Fly Shop guide service is among the best in Montana. Guided Fly Fishing float trips on the Big Hole River, Beaverhead River, Jefferson and Madison River is our specialty. The fly fishing guides at the Sunrise Fly Shop are not only focused on helping you catch trout, but they are genuinely concerned with making your Montana fly fishing vacation the fishing trip of a lifetime.

MELROSE WEATHER

Big Hole River Spring Fishing

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, January 06, 2014

With just three months away until the fishing season kicks off for us on the Big Hole River and Beaverhead River we thought we would give you all some insight on Spring fishing in Southwest Montana on the Big Hole River. 

What is Spring really like in Southwest Montana?  this is a question that we get a lot during the summer.  The bulk of our fisherman are in Southwest Montana from June - September.  With the best weather, great dry fly fishing and 15 hours of daylight why would you not come during the prime months?  The reason why you need to come in the Spring is that you are missing some of the best dry fly fishing of the year during the Skwala hatch on the Big Hole River.

The shelf ice and floating ice is typically off the lower Big Hole in mid March.  Water temperatures are still frigid till about the first week of April.  We will start to have water temperatures in the upper 30's to lower 40's in early April. Throughout the entire winter trout only have the occasional midge on the surface to eat.  The Skwala Stonefly is the first substantial hatch that the trout key into on the Big Hole River.   

In April we experience some of the best dry fly fishing of the season on the Big Hole River.  The Skwala stonefly will hatch once the water temperatures rise to about 42 degrees for a sustained period of time.  The Skwala stonefly is a size #10 dry fly.  typically the hatch lasts for about 3 - 4 weeks and the time period is April - mid May.  Anglers must be willing to deal with various forms of weather.   Day time highs can be in the lower 40's or in the upper 50's.  You can expect precipitation in the form of rain, snow, or a mix of both.  Trout eat the Skwala stoneflies veraciously since they have not had a meal this big on the surface for quite some time.  With uncrowded waters and trout eating on the surface, Spring fishing on the Big Hole River is a great way to get some early season fishing before the summer angler traffic.  Click here to read more about Skwala fishing. 

Big Hole / Beaverhead: The end of the fall fishing season

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our season officially wrapped up October 26th.  We had one of the best fall fishing seasons on the Big Hole that we can remember in many years.  Increased flows due to some big snow storms in the mountains at the end of September set us up for an excellent fall.  We had great streamer fishing with the rising flow from the snow storms.  Here are some of the highlight photos from the fall on the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers.  We will be in touch with more to come this off season. 

23 inch brown from this past October on the Big Hole River

 

 

 

 Monster Beaverhead Rainbow from this past October

Big Hole River Fly Shop Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, August 05, 2013

As we move into August we have cooler water temperatures and feisty trout on the Big Hole River.  Flows are below average for this time of year but we are enjoying great dry fly fishing.  Trico's in the morning, with hopper and ant fishing in the afternoons.  This is the time of year that we hunt large browns in skinny water on the Big Hole River.  The Beaverhead River has been fishing well.  We are starting to do well with hoppers and the PMD fishing continues to produce nice fish on the upper Beaverhead. 

 

Client Frank Szewczyk caught these two great Big Hole Browns while he fished with us recently. 

Heating up on the Big Hole and Beaverhead

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer is officially here.  It is time to take the waders off, put on the the sunshirt and fish dry flies.  We have Yellow Sallies, PMD's, Caddis, Green Drakes,  and Golden Stones Hatching on our Southwest Montana Rivers. 

 

The Big Hole River has leveled off and is consistently producing PMD hatches in the morning, caddis throughout the day and Golden Stones.  Below is a nice brown caught on a golden stone dry fly pattern a few days ago on the Upper Big Hole. 

 

Currently the Beaverhead River is fishing very well on Nymphs.  We have hatches of Yellow Sallies and PMD's.  Flows are currently wader friendly up near the Dam.  Our fishing has been the best below High Bridge.  As the PMD and Sally hatch thickens the dry fly fishing will be very good on the Beaverhead.  Below is a Rainbow caught on the Beaverhead on a PMD nymph a few days ago.  Large rainbows are being found throughout the lower stretches of the Beaverhead, which is very exciting.

 

Understanding Weather and Big Hole River flows to Plan Your Montana Fishing Vacation part II

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, March 05, 2012

Visiting Montana in the spring and summer for a fly fishing trip is something that many fly fishers only do a few times in their life. They want to make sure that their visit to the Big Hole River, Beaverhead River or Jefferson River enables them to not only enjoy the scenery but to also catch fish. Timing their trip to coincide with good weather and river flows is key to helping ensure a phenomenal fly fishing vacation. 

But all fly fishers should understand that every time we predict what the weather is going to be like, or what the flows will be, or how much water we will have in the Big Hole River come August, we are making little more than a guess. But with these tools and a basic knowledge of hydrology and meteorology, our guess is definitely an educated one. 


With all this said here is our 2012 prediction.  We are currently at about 90% snowpack in the Big Hole Watershed.  We have had a rather warm winter so our low elevation snowpack is very thin.  We predict that our spring fishing will be outstanding since we will not have huge river flow fluctuations in the spring due to low elevation snowmelt.  


Our high elevation runoff typically occurs around May 20th - June 5th.  We should see about an average runoff this year since our snowpack is at 90% of normal.  So this is an excellent year to hit the Salmonflies in June, which typically hatch around June 10th and last till June 25th.  The Big Hole Salmonfly hatch is one that all anglers need to hit in their lifetime and this year should be a good one!  We should have average summer flows due to our 90% snowpack going into spring.  2012 is shaping up to be a great season, especially after coming off of the last 2 above average water flow years, which have our trout healthy and big.      

April 1st we will start our  Big Hole River fishing reports, Beaverhead River fishing reports, and Jefferson River flow and fishing reports, Stay in touch and get out and fish in Southwest Montana in 2012.  


Mid Winter Big Hole Snowpack

Ryan Sunrise Fly Shop - Sunday, February 05, 2012

The days are finally getting longer and air temperatures are getting a bit warmer.  It has been a rather strange winter here in Southwest Montana.  We have not been pounded by the -20 degree nights and single digit day time highs, which I am not complaining about.  We all know that winter is far from over.  With all the lack of moisture around the country everyone has been asking me how the snowpack is doing in the Big Hole Valley.  Here is the current data that we have on the Montana snowpack.  

Currently the Big Hole snowpack is sitting at 88% of normal.  With three more months to gain more snowpack before runoff we are sitting rather well for good water flows this summer.  The Beaverhead River has had excellent water flows this winter to keep the trout habitat healthy for wintering fish.  The Clark Canyon Reservoir, which feeds the Beaverhead River is sitting at 93% full.  It is shaping up to be another banner year on the Big Hole and Beaverhead River.  The above photo is at Salmon Fly fishing Access and the below photo is at Brownes Bridge on the Big Hole River.    

It's time to start thinking about your next Montana fly fishing vacation this spring.  We are running our spring special again!  

3 nights lodging 2 days of guided fishing starting at only $500.00 per person from April 1st - May 15th.  Come on out and fish the first dry fly hatch of the year.   

Southwest Montana Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, August 29, 2011

It is hard to believe that August is coming to an end soon.  Southwest Montana fishing has been heating up.  We have had hot and dry weather, which has really gotten the hopper fishing on track.  We are looking forward to a September filled with exciting hopper fishing on the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Jefferson River.  I have been on all three rivers this week.  We still have Spruce Moth’s on the Big Hole River; the upper Beaverhead has been fishing excellent on PMD nymphs with hopper and Crane Fly fishing on the surface.  The Jefferson River has been streaky on the hopper bite.  Some days they have been crushing the hopper and other days the Jefferson River can be humbling.  Fall fishing is right around the corner.  Start planning your Fall fishing trip now! 

Beaverhead River Opening Weekend Special

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The upper Beaverhead River opens this Saturday.  I was on the river yesterday and we floated Pipe Organ to Barretts.  The river fished very well sub surface with Micro Mayflies and San Juan Worms.  The Caddis are out but fish were not keying into the dry fly very well.  Grasshopper Creek is running muddy but should clear up due to the cool down we are having.  Check with us for up to date information on the clarity.  Opening weekend should be stellar fishing up by the dam.  Let our Beaverhead River Guides show you the best fishing in Southwest Montana.   

Opening Day Special 3nights lodging and 2 days of guided fishing for just $500.00 per person May 21st - June 10th. 

Fishing on the Lower Big Hole River Winter on the Upper River

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good Weather today.  Should be a nice Spring day to be on the Big Hole.  We are still sticking to the stretches below Melrose right now.  It is just to darn cold up the river.  I went for a drive last night to check it out up there and it seems like February on the upper Big hole.  With a Montana snowpack of 120% we are going to have excellent water this year on the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.  We are floating in our drift boats on every stretch below Melrose with good Skwala dry fly action and the nymphing and streamer fishing has been solid.  Look for the Skwala hatch heating up this week as water temperatures reach 45-47 degrees.  2 -3 feet of visability right now.  

Remember our spring special ends May 15th.  $500.00 for 3nights lodging and 2 days of guided fishing!   

No April Foolin'

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Friday, March 25, 2011
Sunrise Fly Shop is opening it's doors for the 2011 fishing season On Friday April 1st.  We are looking forward to a great season in Southwest Montana.  Snowpack in the Big Hole River and Beaverhead River drainage are well over 115% of normal.  Currently, Clark Canyon reservoir is over 90% full.  The season starts with the Skwala hatch on the Big Hole River.  We will keep you up to date throughout the spring to the progress of the hatch.  Look for an updated Big Hole River fishing report starting April 1st. 

We have already had some good fishing on the Big Hole below Melrose, it has just been darn cold still.  The river is ice free below Melrose and once we get a few more day time highs in the upper 40's to lower 50's fishing will improve.  Get that gear ready, and start to think  about booking your trip with our Big Hole River guides and Southwest Montana River Guides at the Sunrise Fly Shop.    


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