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

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 Valley Temperatures Finally Warm

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Saturday, March 08, 2014

Southwest Montana is starting to feel like winter is turning the corner.  Our valley temperatures have been above freezing this week and man does it feel good.  Don't let this fool you that the fishing is picking up and we are out there fishing the Big Hole.  The Melrose guage remains reading ICE and all guages for that matter are not reading flow on the river except the Maiden Rock guage.  The above freezing day time highs has started to break the ice from the lower reaches of the Big Hole.  It will remain mild through tomorrow and then it looks like we will get blasted with another winter storm on Monday and Tuesday.  Our Montana snowpack and the Big Hole snowpack is still increasing from the past week storms.  We are currently at 115% of normal snowfall and the snowpack has a snow/water content of 140% of normal.  It's almost time to dust off your waders and get your drift boat ready for the Spring fishing season on the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers.  Our Big Hole River fishing guides will keep you posted as conditions improve and we start to get on our home waters.      


Stamped with Approval

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - 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

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.

Bitter Cold and Snowpack update: Big Hole River

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - 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!   

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 Snowpack Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, December 16, 2013

We just finished up a bitter cold snap here in Southwest Montana.  We had ten days of sub zero temperatures, some of the lowest reading we had were -30 degrees.  Right now we are back on average temperatures and it is currently snowing in the high country.  We have a great start to the Montana Snowpack and the Big Hole River snowpack.  The mountains in the Big Hole watershed and Beaverhead watershed are reading about 130% of normal for this date in time.   We are pleased with good start to our snowpack as the first day of the official winter season isn't until December 21st. 

It looks like we are going to have a cold winter with above average snowpack according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Here is a link to an informative article on the winter outlook.    2013 will be wrapping up here shortly and we are looking forward to great Big Hole River spring fishing come April.  

Spring Streamer Bite on the Big Hole River

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Saturday, May 18, 2013

We are currently having some of the best streamer fishing we have seen in years for huge browns on the upper Big Hole.  It has been flat out amazing streamer fishing this week.  Large yellow streamers stripped fast off the banks has been getting the large Big Hole Browns attention.  We have been floating anywhere from Fishtrap all the way to Jerry Creek.  I had a solid report from Divide to Melrose yesterday on streamers.  Some Mother's Day Caddis are around and once we get a warm sunny day the caddis will pop hard.  These overcast cloudy days are keeping the fish interested in streamers.  With 2 feet of visibility the river is in great shape for mid May.    

One of the Many large browns caught this week on the Big Hole River fishing in Southwest Montana

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. 

 



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