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Big Hole River Fishing Report
Near Melrose, MT
Recent Trip Photos

Monday, April 22, 2019

We had several days with above average day time temperatures, which has kicked out the low to mid elevation snowpack. This is not peak runoff we are experiencing. It looks like the Big Hole River has crested from this push of low elevation snowmelt. We need to remind you all that our low to mid elevation snowpack is 140% of normal. High elevation snowpack is average (100%). We had this massive push of water since it got warm and the low-mid elevation snowpack had to runoff and boy has it hit hard! 

 Anyways, the upper Big Hole has about 18 inches of visibility and the Melrose area looks very dirty, maybe a foot of visibility here in town. Look for this to improve the next few days and the fishing should pick up as the river drops. Once we get to 2 feet of visibility it will be streamer time! Give us a call for the up to minute report 406-835-FISH. 

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Big Hole is finally coming into decent fishing shape from the ice flows we had last week. Water clarity here in Melrose is 2 feet and we are starting to have consistent fishing. We have not seen much for dry fly fishing but that should improve towards the end of the week as air temperatures are going to improve. The Big Hole is currently running at 1,610 cfs in Melrose and the water temperatures are reaching the mid 40's during the heat of the day. The skwalla nymphs are moving around and we are mostly catching fish subsurface on Pat's stones, and San Juan worms. Currently the river is a nice stable flow. Spring fishing should be heating up! 

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  Eric with a nice Spring trout on the Big Hole

Recommended Flies: #16 Shop Vac; #8 San Juan Worm Pink/red/Wine; #8 Mr. Beam Skwalla; #10 Chubby Tan/Olive; #4 Yellow Yummy; #4 Sparkle Minnow; #6 Flash Minnow; #8 Prince Nymph; #8 Pat's Stone

Friday, April 12, 2019

It has been a crazy week here on the Big Hole River. Every year we get the spring thaw in the valley and that occurred this week. On Wednesday some major ice jams broke on the upper Big Hole. Currently we are ice free all the way up to Mudd Creek. The Big Hole River had a major flush occur on Wednesday as the ice jams broke, which made a muddy mess on the entire river. When the ice flows broke the river went over 5,000cfs here in Melrose. Currently the river has dropped to a manageable flow of 2,200cfs. A huge improvement has occurred and it will continue to get better. Currently we have around 18 inches of visibility here in Melrose. The river will start to fish this weekend. I don't think it will be stellar but you will be able to catch a few fish subsurface on nymphs and streamers. Besides low visibility the cold water temperatures will make the fishing tough. We need the temperatures to get into the mid 40's and currently they are in the upper 30's. You will find the warmest water conditions around Melrose this weekend for fishing. Accessibility and hazards are too dangerous to float anything above Jerry Creek at the point. 

Recommended Flies: #8 San Juan Worm Pink/red/Wine; #4 Yellow Yummy; #4 Sparkle Minnow; #6 Flash Minnow; #8 Prince Nymph; #8 Pat's Stone

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

We have kicked off the 2019 fishing season on the Big Hole with a stellar week of fishing and then the river blew out yesterday and is worse today due to an incredible valley floor snowpack that has been melting. This is by no means the "runoff" for the season but things are not good at the moment. The Maiden Rock gauge and lower river gauges on the Big Hole River are all rising and the river around Melrose has only about a foot of visibility. This is a great time to take a break on the freestone rivers and head to tailwater fisheries. We have trips this week heading up to the Missouri River. Here is a link to guide trips on The Land of The Giants. 

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Sunrise Fly Shop Guide Chris "Romo" Getting after it between guide days