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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

A Salmonfly Hatch to Remember

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We are two days into the Salmonfly Hatch and the big bugs can be found from Glen to Lower Maiden Rock.  Eric gave me a report this afternoon while he was guiding that willlows were bending over because there were so many salmonflies on them.  Dry fly fishing was great from the morning hours till about 2:30 today on Salmonflies.  The hatch should slowly work it's way up the river this week.  With cooler day time temperatures the hatch should slowly progress, which is a perfect scenario.  Dropping and clearing water has made for perfect conditions for a great Big Hole Salmonfly Hatch this year. We will get some photos up here soon.    

Overlooked Nocturnal Stone flies

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Many people come to Southwest Montana to fish the famed Salmonfly hatch in June on the Big Hole River and the Madison River.    Besides the Salmon Fly hatch, the rivers of Southwest Montana have other great Stonefly hatches.  One in particular that is worth the trip to Montana is the Nocturnal Stonefly hatch.

Nocturnal Stoneflies are found on most freestone river is Southwest Montana.  In mid July after most of the Golden Stoneflies are gone the Big Hole River has a fabulous nocturnal Stonefly hatch.  As with most stoneflies, the males are much smaller than the females, and in this case the male Nocturnal Stone does not have the ability to fly.  This is part of the reason why you rarely see these flies buzzing around during the day like you will with a Golden Stone or Salmon Fly.  Similar to other stoneflies the nocturnal stonefly crawls onto dry rocks to sheds their exoskeleton and become an adult fly.  The best way to know if these flies are hatching is to look at dry rocks along the banks of the river to see if there are any stonefly shucks stuck to the rocks. 

 

 

The Best Time to Fish The Nocturnal Stoneyfly Hatch on the Big Hole River
 

The best time to fish the nocturnal stonefly hatch is in the early morning hours, or in the late evenings.  I believe the best dry fly fishing is in the early morning hours before the sun hits the water.  One section of river in Southwest Montana that has a wonderful nocturnal stonefly hatch is the Dewey canyon of the Big Hole River.  Mid July is the time period that the hatch seems to be the best.

4th of July Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, July 04, 2011

 
Doug Barba With a nice Big Hole River Grayling!

It has been a wild June in Southwest Montana, record high water, and huge trout due to the amount of earth worms in the water system.  We are looking forward to the best water flows we have seen in many years for August and September on all Southwest Montana Rivers.   Happy 4th of July and hope everyone is having a safe weekend.  We kick off the week with a dropping Big Hole River.  The river is finally below 6000cfs at Melrose.  We have Salmonflies still around, Golden Stone, Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes and Caddis.  You will find the best dry fly fishing on the Big Hole River from Mudd Creek to Divide.  Below Divide it has been a subsurface deal until we get some lower water.  I think this week we could see the lower river fishing better on dries as it drops.  Our early morning fishing on dries on the upper river has been stellar right now. 

If you all are on the river please look for a lost rod.  One of our clients lost a rod and reel.  It was last seen on the bank in front of the bright orange looking cabin below the old Dickey Bridge (that was taken down this spring).  Please contact us if found or stop by the shop.  The rod has the owners name printed on it.  We appreciate your help on finding this item. 

Chasing the Salmonfly Hatch: Big Hole River Part II

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Saturday, February 19, 2011

Trout pack on the pounds during the Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch.  It is not uncommon to catch a trout and see Salmonflies crawling out of their gills.  There are three stages of the Salmonfly: egg, nymph, and adult.  These creatures of nature will live for 2 – 4 years as a nymph before they become an adult.   Several factors need to occur before these flies emerge as adults.  The Salmonfly needs a constant water temperature in the 55-degree range for a steady period before they hatch.   When conditions are just right these nymphs swim towards the bank to hatch.   Salmonflies like to crawl onto willows and down trees on the banks to then shed their shucks and become an adult.  You will find these flies most susceptible to trout as wind blows them off willows onto the water, or the females are flying over the water dropping their eggs into the water.  These flies struggling on the surface while the females drop eggs and trout are waiting to slurp them up. 

The Sunrise Fly Shop has many hand-tied Salmonflies that are proven patterns that work on the Big Hole River, and Madison River.  For more information on this incredible hatch, fly patters and booking your next fly fishing vacation contact the Sunrise Fly Shop.  

Chasing The Salmonfly Hatch on The Big Hole River

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Every angler waits, and waits, and waits for hatches to occur.  The most famed hatch in Southwest Montana that is worth the wait is the Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch.  It is every anglers dream to throw#4 dry flies to the bank and watch 5 pound browns rise with a vengeance to eat your fly.  This is truly an exciting time to be on the Big Hole River.  Typically as the river is coming down from runoff you have your best dry fly fishing.  Anglers have to be on their game as your boat is rolling down the river and you are trying to get your dry flies as close to the banks and willows as possible to get an eat from a trout. 

The Big Hole River Salmonfly hatch typically occurs from June 15th-July1st.  What makes this hatch unique to the Big Hole River is the length of the river it takes place on and the abundance of flies hatching.  You can find this hatch first on the lower river near Glen, then it works it’s way up the river to East bank.  This is about 80 miles of floatable river that this hatch is occurring on.  A lot of people refer to “Chasing the hatch” when they talk about Salmonflies.   You will find guides in the early mornings and late evenings looking for shucks on the willows and bridges to see if Salmonflies hatched during the night.      

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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