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Big Hole River Fishing Report


Big Hole River Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, May 11, 2017

The upper Big Hole River has leveled off for the last few days. We currently have 2 feet of clarity in the river. Our Big Hole River guides are back on the river and we are catching some nice fish lately. Our guides have been fishing the upper Big Hole since it has less water volume and more fishable water at these high flows. The Mother's Day Caddis have hatched all the way up to East Bank, but the river is currently too high to get the trout to eat on the surface. We have been doing the best subsurface with dead drifted streamers and worms. The trout have been filling up on worms lately. We have had fish puking up worms in our boats when we land fish lately. Some worms have been 5 inches long! Sparkle minnow, yellow yummies, Smoking' Mirrors and zonkers have been our best streamers. If you are looking to fish high water for some trophy trout, this is the time to be here. Conditions can change if we get increases in flows so please call for the latest update. Here is some information on the 2nd annual Salmonfly Fest. 

Our Client Justin caught this Brown on the Big Hole yesterday 

Recommended Flies: #10 Purple Haze; #12 X Caddis; #10 Mr. Beam; #10 Skwala Stone; #10 Pat's Stone Olive/Brown; #8 San Juan Worm; #12 Pheasant Tail; #12 Caddis Pupa; #6 J.J. Special; #4 Smokin' Mirrors; #4Mr. Creepo

Big Hole River Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Saturday, May 06, 2017

Runoff has started on the Big Hole. Don't mark this river off your list but it is going to be tough fishing the next few days due to the increase in water volume. Clarity in the river around Melrose is about 18 inches. We had good reports from yesterday with streamers and nymphs but the river clarity has gotten worse since yesterday. Once the river stops the hard rise we should get some good fishing days in. The Mother's Day Caddis hatch has started on the lower Big Hole. The Caddis hatch should be starting in the canyon in the next few days. We have reports of blizzarding caddis hatches below Melrose on the Big Hole.  

Recommended Flies: #10 Purple Haze; #12 X Caddis; #10 Mr. Beam; #10 Skwala Stone; #10 Pat's Stone Olive/Brown; #8 San Juan Worm; #12 Pheasant Tail; #12 Caddis Pupa; #6 J.J. Special; #4 Smokin' Mirrors; #4Mr. Creepo

Big Hole River Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Fishing has remained very good on the Big Hole. We have hatches of Caddis, March Brown's and Blue Winged Olives. The river is clear and stable at the moment. Streamer fishing has picked up since the water temperatures are getting into the 50's in the afternoon. The warmer weather in the next few days might start to bump the river so please stay in touch with the latest report by calling the fly shop. We have Big Hole River guides on the river daily with your latest fishing report. 

Below is information on our second annual Salmonfly Fest. 

Big Hole Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fishing has been pretty good on the Big Hole lately. We did get a bump in flows in the last 24 hours due to snow in the mountains and rain in the valley. The river still remains clear and fishing well but the dry fly fishing might be sacrificed until the water stabilizes. Cool wet weather remains for the rest of the week, which bodes well for dry fly fishing if the river flows don't continue to rise. Our Big Hole River guides have been catching some very nice fish lately on the Big Hole. The snowpack continues to build and we are setting up for good summer flows if this weather pattern continues.

                                                         Sunrise Fly Shop Client with a nice Brown from this week

Recommended Flies: #10 Mr. Beam; #10 Bullett Head Skwala; #10 Skwala Stone; #10 Pat's Stone Olive/Brown; #8 San Juan Worm; #12 Pheasant Tail; #6 J.J. Special; #4 Smokin' Mirrors; #4Mr. Creepo

Big Hole River Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring fishing on the Big Hole remains very good and plenty of people are getting out and enjoying the spring action. The Skwala hatch has been a good one this year. You will find the Skwala hatch on the lower Big Hole and up into the canyon stretches of the Big Hole. We had a banner day from Jerry Creek down to Maiden Rock on the Skwala dry fly. With more of the consistent weather, which will not change the river flow too much you will have opportunities for fishing on the surface with Skwala dry flies. Slow moving streamers have also been working well on the Big Hole River. we have been sticking to olive colored streamers and natural colored streamers lately. The tailouts of the runs or shallow slow riffle water has been the most consistent for us lately. Our bins are stocked with Skwala patterns and some new Big Hole streamers, stop in we are open 7 days a week. 

Rutger with a nice Big Hole Brown from this spring 

Recommended Flies: #10 Mr. Beam; #10 Bullett Head Skwala; #10 Skwala Stone; #10 Pat's Stone Olive/Brown; #8 San Juan Worm; #12 Pheasant Tail; #6 J.J. Special; #4 Smokin' Mirrors; #4Mr. Creepo

Big Hole Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The spring fishing season is in full swing on the Big Hole River. Stable flows and consistent weather has the river fishing very well. The water temperatures have remained cold but the fish have been active lately. On the warmer days with afternoon air temperatures in the 50's, you will find good dry fly fishing.  The fish have been looking up for Skwala dry flies. Our best dry fly fishing on the Skwala's lately have been from Maiden Rock down to Notch Bottom. The dry fly fishing should improve above the Maiden Rock canyon if the water temperatures get in the upper 40's. Dropper fishing has been consistent with Pat's Stones and San Juan worms. You may find some Blue Winged Olives and of course the midges scurrying around the back eddies. The streamer fisherman have done ok with slow moving streamers in deeper tail outs and inside bends. 

Lynn Harp with a perfect brown caught on a Skwala dry fly 

Big Hole River Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The ice is off, the clarity has improved, the water is warming, and the fishing is really heating up.  Most of the fish in the last week have been caught on San Juan Worms and Pat's Rubber Legs, but we have been getting a few fish here and there on a Skwally dry.  Additionally, a few of our guides have been using small streamers (olive and yellow have been the best colors).  Most of the fish have been found in soft, inside corners and deep tail-outs. When the river temps get above 45 degrees, you can expect the Skwalla action to really get started.  A lot of people have been asking about ice on the upper river, and we want to report that all of the boat ramps are ice free except for Lower Sportsman's and East Bank.  East Bank should be ice free in the next day or two, but Lower Sportsman's still has several feet of ice and will take quite a bit more time to become usable.

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 

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