SUNRISE FLY SHOP406.835.3474 • Melrose, MT • info@sunriseflyshop.comFrom Gear to Guides - Southwest Montana's Finest

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fishing season is almost here. The river-ice on the Big Hole is starting to recede and the river is starting to open up. The majority of the river is still under ice, but sections of the lower river are already starting to flow. It won't be too much longer and we'll be able to start fishing.

The winter snowpack is above 120% of average, and things are looking great as we get ready to start the 2014 season. If you haven't booked your 2014 fly fishing vacation with Sunrise Fly Shop yet, call and reserve your dates soon.

The Sunrise Fly Shop will be opening its doors for the 2014 season on Monday March 31st

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Southwest Montana and the Big Hole Valley continues to be in a favorable weather pattern for snowfall.  The Big Hole and Beaverhead drainage is now reaching 98% snowpack for this date in time.  The snowpack has a snow/water equivalency of 121%, which is excellent for our Southwest Montana rivers.

Great news for Sunrise Fly Shop in the fly fishing industry.  We are now working with the #1 booking agent in the fly fishing world.  Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures has stamped Sunrise Fly Shop as one of their domestic destinations.  You will find our listing with Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures in their 2014 catalog and on the Yellow Dog website.  The Sunrise Fly Shop Yellow Dog all inclusive package includes lodging at the Great Water Inn and your finest fly fishing guides at the Sunrise Fly Shop.

Cabin fever is definitely setting in for us here in Southwest Montana.  Here is a nice photo to get you excited for Spring fishing on the Big Hole River, which is coming soon.  This brown was caught last May on the Big Hole River in the East Bank section of the river. In the month of May you will find excellent streamer fishing for large aggressive brown trout and the famous Mother's Day Caddis hatch.

Photo Credit: Grant Nakamura

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's time to start thinking about the Big Hole River Spring fishing special.  This is our 5th year in a row running this great Spring discount.  The Big Hole River has unmatched dry fly fishing in April and early May.  The Big Hole River Skwala hatch gets the large browns looking up to eat dry flies.  If you are willing to deal with cooler weather and some possible snow showers you can be rewarded with some excellent top water fishing this Spring.  We also have hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the Spring.  You will find solitude in the Spring on the Big Hole River and aggressive fish wanting to shake the winter off and eat some large stoneflies.  The package rate we are offering includes your lodging and guided fishing based on double occupancy.  The lodging is right next to our fly shop at the Sportsman Motel in Melrose.  All of your dining and drinking needs can be satisfied at the HItchin' Post right next to our Big Hole River fly shop.  Don't let the spring pass you by without our Big Hole River guides showing you the best spring trout fishing you have experienced.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

We are in the middle of a severe cold snap here in Southwest Montana.  Today the high was -12 and the windchill factor was in the -30's.  Besides the cold weather we have the latest snowpack reading to give you.  The Big Hole River drainage is sitting at around 90% of normal snowpack.  We still have two months to gain significant snowpack.  Typically our heaviest snow occurs in March.  We are happy with the 90% reading but we can always use more.  Most drainages in Southwest Montana are reading about 90% of normal for this date in time.  One thing you will want to check out in your hometown this winter is the Fly Fishing Film Tour.  Check out the schedule here.  We are inching closer to spring and we will continue to run our Spring Special this season.  Also our website is currently under construction and we are launching an entirely new website hopefully in the next week.  Stay tuned for a new look!   

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. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Below is our Holiday newsletter.  Have a great holiday and our next post will be in 2014.  If you haven't already entered our photo contest.  Post your favorite 2013 fishing picture on our Facebook page for your chance to win some gear!   


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. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Big Hole River snowpack is sitting at about 95% of normal.  It is looking like an average water year but we still have a lot of winter storms that can hit the high country.  In the valley winter has been holding on with single digit lows this last week but more Spring like conditions are ahead of us this week.  Highs in the mid 40's to lower 50's and overnight lows in the 20's is a recipe for much better water temperatures.  By the weekend the Skwala nymph fishing should start to pick up as they will get more active with the warmer water.  We will keep you posted and remember it is not too late to book your Spring Special.

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.


Sunday, June 03, 2012

Welll, the talk over the phone and in the shop these days consist of when are the Salmonflies going to hatch on the Big Hole.  Historically we see the Big  Hole River Salmonfly hatch start around June 10th - 15th.  I think because of a below average runoff we are having the big bugs should pop a little early this year.  Water temperatures are already climbing into the 50's.  We just need some hot days to get the salmonflies to hatch during the night.  The key element for the bugs to start hatching is nighttime temperatures staying above 50 degrees for several nights in a row. 


The Salmonfly hatch starts around Glen and works it's way up river as the water warms.  We have had good stonefly nymph fishing from Melrose to Glen, which is a good indicator that the Salmonfly nymphs are moving closer to the banks getting ready to hatch.  We have very good clarity in the river right now and I don't see any major bump in flows since we have already had peak runoff, unless we get big rain storms.  The Big Hole Salmonfly hatch should be a great one this year!