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.

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Big Hole River Spring Fishing Special

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - 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.

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. 

Spring Big Hole Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - 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.

Big Hole River Spring Fishing Packages: The Cabin Fever Cure

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, January 14, 2013

Here is a deal you can't pass up.  Come fish the Big Hole River Skwala hatch this April.  The Skwala hacth is the first hatch of the year and fish are looking up to eat dry flies.   

3 nights lodging / 2 days guided fishing for only $525   

4 nights lodging / 3 days fishing for only $775

 

 

read more about the Big Hole River Skwala hatch here

Big Hole River & Beaverhead River Spring Fishing update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Big Hole has bounced back from the last recent bump in flows.  We have 2 feet of visibility, dropping water and the fish are looking up for Skwalas.  Our best dry fly fishing has been from Maiden Rock all the way to Notch Bottom.   Look for your best dry fly action to be from 1:00 to 6:00pm.  This week will be prime time for the Big Hole Skwala hatch.  Slow moving streamers have also been getting it done for us.  The best streamers of choice have been Coffee buggers, Natural Slap and tickles and Yellow/black beldars.     

Image of a Big Hole River Skwala

The Beaverhead River has been fishing ok as of lately.  Remember the river is closed from the Dam to Pipe Organ until the 3rd Saturday in May.   We have had some dry fly fishing on the overcast days with Blue winged Olives.  Sow bugs under an indicator with a blue wing nymph has been keeping our rods bent.  Below Grasshopper we have been able to move some nice fish on streamers. 

Client Alan Elm with a nice 20 inch brown on the Beaverhead. 

 

The Water is Fishable Again

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Over the weekend, we had our fist push of water.  On Monday the Big Hole climbed to a little over 2000 cfs, but the weather cooled off again and the river is back down to 1400cfs and the river is continuing to drop.  The water clarity has improved greatly in the last 48 hours, and we are back to about 2 feet of visibility.


Fish have still been coming up for Skwalla dries, but greater numbers of fish have been caught using nymphs.  Baetis nymphs, Stone Fly nymphs, and San Juan worms have still been the best nymphs. 


Remember, our spring special ends May 15th.  $500.00 per person for three nights lodging and two days of guided fishing!

Spring Fishing Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Friday, April 15, 2011

Everything here on the Big Hole seems to be staying about the same.  The weather pattern seems to be holding steady with daily highs in the high 40’s and lows in the mid 20’s.  The mountains have been getting moisture almost every day, but the river valley has been staying relatively dry.

For fishing this means that we have been seeing, and will probably continue to see about the same conditions.  The river flows are getting a nightly bump, but dropping during the daytime hours and averaging around 1200 cfs.  The river temps are ranging between 37 degrees and 45 degrees.  We’ve still been getting fish to come up and eat Skwallas with good frequency, while the nymphing with Stone Fly Nymphs, San Juan Worms, and small Mayfly Nymphs has been very consistent.  We’ve also noticed that the fish have been chasing streamers a little more aggressively in the last few days.

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

The Elusive Skwala

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, January 06, 2011

Everyone knows the feeling, the itch to experience the first dry fly fishing of the year on Southwest Montana freestone rivers.  The first spring hatch, a.k.a. some of the best dry fly fishing of the year is the Big Hole River Skwala hatch. 

 

The Skwala stonefly makes it’s appearance as spring and the end of winter collide.  On the Big Hole River this is around mid-April.  As the ice breaks free from the freestone rivers and water warms between 45-48 degrees for a consistent period of time, skwalas start to migrate to the banks of the Big Hole River to hatch.  The Skwala is a size #8-#10 stonefly with an olive colored body.  Like most stoneflies, Skwalas crawl onto rocky and brushy banks to hatch.  Unlike most stoneflies though Skwalas rarely fly in the air.  These stoneflies tend to crawl across the water when they lay their eggs.  Skwalas are hard to see in the water as they skitter with there wings closed on the surface.  Trout in the 16 - 22 inch range are taken on the dry fly during this hatch.

Since this is the first hatch of the year with a sizable meal, trout tend to key into Skwalas pretty quickly.  These stoneflies are not in the same abundance on the Big Hole as Golden Stones or Salmonflies on the Big Hole, but there are enough of them to make for some great dry fly fishing.  This is a great time to experience trout feeding with fury, as they eat their first stoneflies of the season.     



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