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.      


Big Hole River Fly Shop: New Product Shark Wave

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Montana snowpack remains above average and the Big Hole snowpack continues to climb.  Currently the Big Hole snowpack has a snow/water content of 132% and a total precipitation of 106% of normal for this date in time.  With these numbers it is shaping up to be an excellent July and August on the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.  Our Big Hole River guides are tying flies and gearing up for the Spring Skwala hatch, which hits the Big Hole in early April.

Our Big Hole river fly shop is carrying many new products this year.  We have new gear from Patagonia, Simms, Scott Fly Rods and Scientific Anglers.  One of the products that we are excited about is the new SharkWave Fly line from Scientific Anglers.  This product has not hit the market yet so we have not reviewed it.  We will be receiving the Shark Wave fly line on April 1st in our Big Hole River fly shop.

The SharkWave fly line combines the best elements of Scientific Anglers textured line technologies and the traditional smooth fly lines.  The textured Sharkskin fly lines came out in 2007 and brought fly line technology to the industry that we had never seen before.  The Sharkskin fly line has increased surface area to allow the line to sit higher in the water, and with less drag.  The micro-textured surface traps air, which allows increased shootability and flotation while decreasing friction.  After the Sharksin fly line Scientific Anglers came out with the Mastery Textured series fly lines.  These lines took the great qualities of the Sharkskin line and combined it with a more easy feel of traditional, smooth fly lines, which results in a textured line that is smoother to the touch than Sharkskin.

Scientific Anglers now has taken the Textured Series fly lines and combined the qualities of the Sharkskin fly line to come up with the first triple textured fly lines called the SharkWave fly line.  The SharkWave is also the first triple colored fly line in the industry.  This fly line should have a friction free feel with unparalleled floatation.  We will have feed back in April on this fly line when our Big Hole River guides test it out.  It sounds like the ultimate trout line for Southwest Montana.

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

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 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.  

Montana Snowpack update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, January 03, 2013
The Big Hole River drainage is currently at 102% of normal snowpack and the Jefferson drainage is currently at 106%.  It is a great start to our snowpack and we hope it continues to pile up.  Last year at this date in time we were only at 79% of normal snowpack.  We are happy with the improving start to winter this year.  Updates will come later this month.  It is still too early to tell what kind of a water year 2013 will bring but we are pleased with the current winter snowpack. The 2013 booking season has begun.  Time to start looking at the calendar and plan your next fishing vacation.  Give us a call or send an email to discuss the upcoming season.   

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.   

The Big Hole River Mother's Day Caddis Hatch Part II

Ryan Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, January 23, 2012

Here is what to look for to hit the Mother's Day Caddis hatch on the famed Big Hole River.  Typically if you have had a lighter snowpack at low elevations you will have a much better chance at having a good Mother’s Day Caddis hatch.  Freestone Rivers like the Big Hole and Yellowstone are influenced dramatically by snowmelt.  If you have a small runoff from the low elevation snowpack, it will take longer for the rivers to dirty and swell from melting snow.  Another variable you will want to monitor is the actual flow of the river.  If water flows are over 2000c.f.s. at the Melrose gauge, trout will be less likely to rise to caddis on the lower and middle sections than they would at lower flows.  Mother’s Day Caddis will be fishable at high flows when you get above the Wise River on the Big Hole.  A great float for the Mother’s day Caddis is from East bank to Jerry Creek.  This section has low gradient and long slicks and undercut banks to fish caddis.  You will also find swirling back eddies where fish are feeding on the foam lines.  When flows are below 2000c.f.s. at the Melrose gauge the most prolific section with Caddis is the Divide to Melrose section.  In the tail-outs of runs and slow moving willow strewn banks you will find trout eating caddis on the surface. Flies of choice for this hatch on the Big Hole River are #12 tan slick water caddis, #12 tan Caddis Pupa, #12 peacock X Caddis.

On the Big Hole River the caddis can hatch from around May 10th -25th.  Stay in touch with Sunrise Fly Shop 406-835-3474 or sunriseflyshop.com to get your latest conditions on the Big Hole River’s Mother’s Day Caddis hatch or tips on planning your next Montana fly fishing vacation.   

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!   

January Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Saturday, January 22, 2011

It is late January and the Montana snowpack is looking good.  Right now the Big Hole River snowpack and Beaverhead River snowpack is sitting at 116% of normal for this date in time.  We have had three years in a row of excellent water conditions throughout the summer.  It is looking like we are going to have another great water year on Southwest Montana Rivers.  Right now the Clark Canyon Reservoir is sitting at 91% full.  Winter flows on the Beaverhead River have remained above average which helps keep the fishery healthy.  Last year we saw a great age class of 17-19 inch rainbows in the Beaverhead that were about 3 to 4 pounds.  Look for this age class of trout to be in the 18-20 inch range and up to 5 pounds.  It is going to be a banner year on the Beaverhead and high flows will make for a great late summer hopper season in the Big Hole River.  

I am off to the Western Canadian Fly Fishing Exposition in Calgary, Alberta. We will have a booth at the show.  If you are attending the show stop by to check us out.  The Event is January 28th-30th.   



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