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

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.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

We have a bunch of good things happening in the Southwest Montana fly fishing community this week.  You don’t here that often when it is mid February in Montana.   Besides the good news that snow is forecasted to fall all week check out these three great things.

This Friday in Bozeman, the Fly Fishing Film Tour will be at the Emerson Cultural Center.   The show starts at 7:00 pm.  Check out there site to find a show near you.

Before the Fly Fishing Film Tour show we will be checking out the unleashing of the RO Nomad.  This is the new line of drift boats by RO.  We are excited to see the latest and greatest from the finest drift boats and skiffs in the Industry.   

Be sure to check out the new redesign of Anglers Tonic.  This is a great site by Greg Thomas that has all the latest fishing stories, drinks of the week, news in the industry and fishing destinations you can’t resist.

Don’t wait too late to plan your Big Hole River spring fishing  Special.  3nights & 2days of fishing for only $500 per person. 


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Since we all have cabin fever come mid January in Southwest Montana.  Here is some dreaming to think about for the spring.  

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch gets so thick on rivers like the Big Hole, and Yellowstone that you better keep your mouth closed because caddis will be flying down your throat.  When the caddis come off, it looks like another spring snowstorm during your Montana fly fishing vacation.  The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is the last hatch before runoff clouds our rivers and we wait for Salmonflies. 

Spring fishing in Southwest Montana is filled with unpredictable weather that consists of snow, sun, clouds and rain.  The payoff for dealing with the potentially nasty weather is having days when trout eat voraciously on the surface.  As the ice leaves the rivers of Southwest Montana, Skwallas begin to emerge and anglers hit the Big Hole River for this exciting hatch.  After the explosive eats to Skwallas on the surface anglers wait patiently for the rewarding but yet finicky Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. 

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is a bonus hatch for anglers to hit in their lifetime.  This is because the elements that need to be in place for the hatch to occur while the trout are interested to eat on the surface depend on many factors.   These factors include water temperature between 52-55 degrees for an extended period of time, water with at least 2 feet of visibility so the trout can see the caddis on the surface, and consistent water flow. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sloughs have started to freeze over and you can feel your pulse in your hands. You strip your fly line from your reel as you barely can feel your fingertips but can’t give up the urge to find the next trout taking a streamer.  Fall has slipped into winter in Southwest Montana.  My last day on the Big Hole for the season was November 4th.  Slow stripping and dead drifting streamers was the name of the game to get about 10 browns to eat all day, not bad for November.  With the shop closed for the season, it is now time to think about winter trips, tying flies, elk hunting, and flushing birds before it is time to gear up for 2012.  If you are going to brave the elements and fish in Southwest Montana during our frigid months; here are some tips I have received and am going to try to help prevent guides from freezing. 

One of our last clients for the season, Christine Warren heard that spraying Pam oil on your guides prevents icing from occurring.  I have yet to try it but will let you know how it works.  For some great reading from a passionate angler, check out Christine’s blog: and her new book Paddlefish.  

Loon Outdoors has come up with a new product to prevent ice from collecting on your guides.  The product is called Stanley’s Ice Off Paste . I am going to compare spray on Pam to Loon’s Ice Off Paste and will report back to you how these products work.  All anglers need to fill their winter trout fix or cabin fever, these products can make the difference in an enjoyable winter fishing experience.    

Monday, August 29, 2011

It is hard to believe that August is coming to an end soon.  Southwest Montana fishing has been heating up.  We have had hot and dry weather, which has really gotten the hopper fishing on track.  We are looking forward to a September filled with exciting hopper fishing on the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Jefferson River.  I have been on all three rivers this week.  We still have Spruce Moth’s on the Big Hole River; the upper Beaverhead has been fishing excellent on PMD nymphs with hopper and Crane Fly fishing on the surface.  The Jefferson River has been streaky on the hopper bite.  Some days they have been crushing the hopper and other days the Jefferson River can be humbling.  Fall fishing is right around the corner.  Start planning your Fall fishing trip now! 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

August is living up to our predicted expectations, big fish on dry flies.  This 28 inch 9lb. brown was taken on a dry fly on the Big Hole River!  This image sums up the kind of fishing right now on the Big Hole.  We have been fishing small attractor patterns in the morning and than hoppers and Chernobyl’s in the afternoons.  The current weather pattern has been favorable for good fishing.  We have had sunny cool mornings with overcast afternoons lately.  It is prime time on Southwest Montana Rivers; get out here while the catching is hot.  

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Big Hole River has been fishing well.  This fish was caught on the upper Big Hole River.  26 inch 8lb. brown.  This was a fish of a lifetime.  Way to go Steve Gilb.  It will be an interesting week.  Will the Big Hole River remain at a steady flow or will it spike from snowmelt.  I have been thinking I can predict mother nature but we all know that is difficult to do.  Traffic here has remained very light and the fishing has been great.  Some caddis still around in the Maiden Rock Canyon, mainly streamer fishing and nymphing everywhere else.  Salmon Flies soon?? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The upper Beaverhead River opens this Saturday.  I was on the river yesterday and we floated Pipe Organ to Barretts.  The river fished very well sub surface with Micro Mayflies and San Juan Worms.  The Caddis are out but fish were not keying into the dry fly very well.  Grasshopper Creek is running muddy but should clear up due to the cool down we are having.  Check with us for up to date information on the clarity.  Opening weekend should be stellar fishing up by the dam.  Let our Beaverhead River Guides show you the best fishing in Southwest Montana.   

Opening Day Special 3nights lodging and 2 days of guided fishing for just $500.00 per person May 21st - June 10th. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More of the great Spring fishing right now on the Big Hole.  The overcast days have produced some tremendous dry fly fishing with Skwallas right now.  We have been sticking from Divide all the way to Notch Bottom right now.  Water flows are staying consistent and the clarity is about 3 feet.  In the mornings we have been nymphing Skwallas and pulling streamers.  Around noon time we have been switching to a Skwalla dry for the rest of the day.  Look for your best dry fly fishing in the slow tail outs of the runs.  Fishing is red hot right now on the Big Hole.  Get your southwest Montana Fly Fishing in before runoff hits.       

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!