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Big Hole River Fishing Report


Big Hole River Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Sunday, March 26, 2017

The massive ice jams and flooding events that took place last week are all behind us on the Big Hole. You will still see large ice chunks the size of small VW's pushed up over the banks of the upper Big Hole. The entire river is flowing ice free at this point and the river is starting to come into shape. Clarity is improving daily and water temperatures should start climbing this week to activate the fish throughout the day as the water flows continue to drop. We had some Big Hole River guides out today scouting the river and they had some success in very specific locations. It should be a good week on the Big Hole and it is time to start thinking about the Skwala hatch. We will keep you posted on when the hatch starts and it's movement on the lower Big Hole. As for now we would stay subsurface with Skwalla nymphs, San Juan Worms and slow moving streamers. Some Spring specials are still available. Click here for information on our Spring Special. 

Sunrise fly Shop guide Rick Rossi with a beautiful brown caught today on the Big Hole River 



The Ice off Event

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Every winter the upper Big Hole River valley freezes over and gets covered by a thick blanket of snow. Some years the ice and snow stacks higher then others. This winter was a cold and snowy winter in the upper Big Hole Valley and we had several days below zero and a healthy above average snowpack at low and high elevations. We experienced the normal spring warm up and the Big Hole valley is in the process of thawing out. This is just the valley snow and ice that is releasing right now. The event every year is involved with ice jams and flooding fields. As you can see from the above hydro graph we have an incredible amount of valley snow and ice to melt off. Some massive ice jams are occurring above East Bank fishing access and Sportsman Fishing access on the upper Big Hole. Once the ice jams release we can start to see a decline in flows and the river will start to clear up. Right now the river is a muddy mess and un-fishable. This is not our peak runoff we experience in late May, this is just the thaw of the valley. We will be reporting soon as things improve. Here are some photos Eric took of the upper Big Hole Valley. Spring fishing on the Big Hole will return once the ice clears and the river drops and gains clarity. April is setting up to be a fantastic month. Here is a link to our Spring Special  

  Ice Flows Above East Bank Fishing Access

Spring Fishing Is Here

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, March 13, 2017

It is that time of year again and we are looking forward to a great season. A few big Hole River guides got out last Friday and had a good day fishing. This was our first float of the season and the Big Hole is in good shape for mid March. You will find some shelf ice around some banks but it is not bad below Melrose. We have been floating below Melrose and the midges are about all the top water action you will have right now. Streamers and nymphs got all the fish to the boat for us. Clients are coming in tomorrow so we will be updating our reports now regularly. Don't forget to check out our Spring Special. We are anticipating a great Skwala hatch if water flows stay favorable this spring. The snowpack in the Big Hole is over 100% and the the prediction is for above average precipitation for the months of April, May and June according to the Climate Prediction Center. It is gearing up to be a fine water year in Southwest Montana. 

Cory with a nice Brown caught a few days ago below Melrose 

The Spring Special is Back

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Friday, January 13, 2017

For more information on our Spring Special click here


Big Hole River Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, October 03, 2016

Fall is here and we just had a blast of rain in the valley and snow in the high country. Foliage is at it's peak on the Big Hole right now. Fishing has been very good lately. You will find hatches of Blue Winged Olives and Slate Drakes on the river. Streamers have been working well and the nymphing has been solid. Look for the flows to rise with this Fall storm we are having. The Brown trout are staging to spawn so please do not walk on spawning beds or fish over the spawning areas. We have a large Fall sale going on in the shop: 20% - 40% Off clothing. Please stop in or give us a call if you are interested. 

The Wares with a 20 inch brown on their 20th wedding anniversary! 

Recommended Flies: #16 Split Wing BWO : #16 BWO Cripple #14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom's Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; #18 Silver Lightning Bug #16 Micro Mayfly;  4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #8 Trevors Sculpin

Big Hole River Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fishing has been excellent lately on the Big Hole. You will find hatches of Blue Winged Olives and Slate Drakes. Streamer fishing in the overcast weather has been fantastic. Nymphing in the tail outs of runs have also been very good. A large cottonwood tree has fallen about 1/3 of a mile above the Salmonfly take out in Melrose. Below is an image of one of our Big Hole River guides portaging around the tree. We have contacted FWP about the fallen tree. Hopefully it will be removed so you will not have to portage. Please be aware of this obstacle if you are floating above Melrose. 

Recommended Flies: #16 Split Wing BWO : #16 BWO Cripple #14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom's Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; #18 Silver Lightning Bug #16 Micro Mayfly;  4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #8 Trevors Sculpin

Big Hole River Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, September 19, 2016

Fishing has remained pretty good on the Big Hole. The Big Hole just opened from Maiden Rock down to Notch Bottom. The river is moving into Fall mode and the brown trout are eating very well. We have been catching many large brown trout lately on the Big Hole River. You will find hatches of Blue Winged Olives, and Slate Drakes. Nymphing has been consistent with Pat's Stone's #10 olive/brown, or black. #18 Micro Mayflies, #18 silver lightning bugs, #18 green machines, and #16 pheasant tails. Streamer fishing has been fantastic. We have been catching them in the shallow riffles and deeper tail outs lately. It's time to enjoy the Fall fishing on the Big Hole. 

The Big Hole River is open without any restrictions from Dickey Bridge down to Notch BottomHere is a map to help you with the closures http://www.bhwc.org/fish-water/river-conditions/

Client Colleen with a Big Hole beauty this week

Recommended Flies: #16 Split Wing BWO : #16 BWO Cripple #14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom's Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; #18 Silver Lightning Bug #16 Micro Mayfly;  4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #8 Trevors Sculpin


Big Hole River Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Fall is in the air and the trout are responding to the change of the seasons. We got a nice bump in flows due to valley rain and mountain snow. Fishing has been very good lately. The brown trout are looking to pack on the pounds for the spawn later this month. Streamer fishing has been very good. Natural and olive color streamers have been the best ticket lately. You will find fish eating the streamers in the shallow riffles and deeper pools. We have also done well with a #10 black or olive/brown pat's stone. You will find Blue Winged Olives hatching around 2:00 in the afternoon. 

The Big Hole River is open without any restrictions from Dickey Bridge down to FWP Maiden Rock. Please note Maiden Rock FWP is the lower Maiden Rock, which is out of the canyon a few miles upstream from Melrose. Here is a map to help you with the closures http://www.bhwc.org/fish-water/river-conditions/

Frank with a colored up Fall Big Hole brown from this week 

Recommended Flies: #16 Split Wing BWO : #16 BWO Cripple #14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom's Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; #18 Silver Lightning Bug #16 Micro Mayfly;  4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #8 Trevors Sculpin

Big Hole Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, August 15, 2016

Dry fly fishing has picked up lately. We have the Spruce Moths back on the water. From Jerry Creek down to Divide we have had excellent dry fly fishing lately on Spruce Moths and Tricos. Overcast days we have had good luck with #16 Comparaduns and small chubby chernobyl's. Not much for any hopper fishing yet on the Big Hole. The Big Hole River is open without any restrictions from Dickey Bridge down to FWP Maiden Rock. Please note Maiden Rock FWP is the lower Maiden Rock, which is out of the canyon a few miles upstream from Melrose. Here is a map to help you with the closures http://www.bhwc.org/fish-water/river-conditions/

Recommended Flies: #18 Comparadun Trico; #18 Trico Spinner;#14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom's Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; 4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #6 Sculpzilla 


Big Hole River Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fishing has been ok on the Big Hole lately. The Spruce Moth fishing looks like it is done for the year. It was a fantastic hatch this year but we have not seen anymore since the rain last week. Trico fishing is the main recipe for the dry fly fisherman. After the Trico hatch in the mornings on the sunny days you will need to get down and nymph. Overcast days we have had good luck with #16 Comparaduns and small chubby chernobyl's. Not much for any hopper fishing yet on the Big Hole. The Big Hole River is open without any restrictions from Dickey Bridge down to FWP Maiden Rock. Please note Maiden Rock FWP is the lower Maiden Rock, which is out of the canyon a few miles upstream from Melrose. Here is a map to help you with the closures http://bhwc.org/fish-water/river-conditions/

Sunrise Fly Shop Guide Shawn Bechtol getting into some nice fish lately on the Big Hole 

Recommended Flies: #18 Comparadun Trico; #18 Trico Spinner;#14 Purple Craze; #14 Comparadun Yellow; #12 Bloom's Caddis; #12 Purple Chubby; #14 Para Wolf; #14 Psycho Mayfly; #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone; #14 Pearl Lightning Bug; #14 Red Copper John; 4 Mini Loop Sculpin; #6 Sculpzilla 




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