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


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 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 

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

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 - Thursday, April 07, 2016

We were back on the Big Hole yesterday and we have a Big Hole River guide on the river today. Yesterday we fished from Sportsman's to East Bank. Clarity was not good. We maybe had 10 inches of visibility. Our clients still managed to catch some fish subsurface. Today our guided trip is heading up to Fishtrap. Clarity is better on the upper Big Hole right now. We are hoping the clarity improves today and tomorrow before the next push of water from the warm temperatures we are going to have. We are fishing streamers and large San Juan worms tight to the banks where the clarity is the best. 

Susanne caught this nice fish on the upper Big Hole yesterday 

Recommended Flies : #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone Brown/Green;  #6 San Juan Worm; #10 Mr. Beam Skwala #10 Bullet Head Skwala #8 J.J. Special #10 Sparkle Minnow; #4 Sunrise Sculpzilla 

Big Hole Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, March 31, 2016

Warmer weather is coming tomorrow and into the weekend. The warm up will get the fish moving and the bugs. We had a boat on the lower Big Hole River yesterday and we had more of the same action with midges ruling the day and a few surface eats late in the afternoon on the Skwala dry fly. We might get better Skwala activity this weekend as the water warms but there is no guarantee.  The fish have been slow to move to streamers but that can change during the next several days. We have Spring Special Big Hole guide trips out the next two days. Stop in the shop to check out our new fly patterns and advice on the fishing. 

Recommended Flies : #12 Prince Nymph; #10 Pat's Stone Brown/Green; #18 Shop Vac; #18 Micro Mayfly; #10 San Juan Worm; #10 Mr. Beam Skwala #10 Bullet Head Skwala #8 J.J. Special #10 Sparkle Minnow; #4 Sunrise Sculpzilla 

Spring Special

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, February 04, 2016

Here are the details of our spring special this year. You can't beat the price and fishing is pretty darn good. In April we have a great Skwala hatch on the Big Hole with a mix of Blue Winged Olives. In May you will have the Mother's Day caddis hatch and excellent streamer fishing. Get rid of the cabin fever and join us this spring. 

Big Hole River Spring Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Friday, March 27, 2015

Warm weather on tap today.  It is supposed to hit 70 degrees this afternoon.  After the cold week and the warm weather for the next few days the Skwala nymphs should start moving towards the banks.  We have gotten some dumb fish on top with Skwalas but it is still early.  We have been fishing dry dropper rigs all week and we have done very well on the Pat's stone dropper and worm as a dropper.  Occasionally we have had eats on top but we are still not in full swing on the Big Hole River skwala hatch.  Your best window of opportunity right now is from about 11:00 am till 5:00 pm.  Streamers have also been working for our Big Hole River guides.  You will need to dead drift the streamers for your best results since the water is in the upper 30's to lower 40's.  Flows are stable at the moment and the visibility is around 2 1/2 feet.


Big Hole Spring Fishing Special

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Thursday, March 05, 2015

It is time to shake off the cabin fever and enjoy some Big Hole River spring fishing. Our season kicks off soon and our Big Hole River guides are ready to take you fishing.  We will have hatches of Skwala stoneflies, and Blue Winged Olives in April and May.  Every year some of our largest fish are caught in April and May.  Timing of the Skwala hatch on the Big Hole is from April 1st - May 15th.  Spring is a time of change, so you have to monitor river flows, temperatures, and weather conditions to catch the elusive Skwala.  Experiencing a fly fishing vacation in Montana to catch this hatch is not to be missed.  This is a great time to experience trout feeding with fury, as they eat their first stoneflies of the season.





Big Hole River Spring Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Monday, March 02, 2015

We made it back from our hosted trip to Patagonia River guides. We will be getting some photos up here soon to share our amazing moments down south. March is here and with it has come a winter storm.  We are having heavy snow in the Big Hole Valley tonight and we will have sub zero weather following the storm. We had a very mild February in Southwest Montana but we are lucky to have a snowpack hovering at 100%. Typically our high country in March and early April receives some of the heaviest snow of the winter season. Eric was up in Wisdom yesterday and the Big Hole is still frozen above Dickey Bridge.  Most of the ice is off the river below Dickey Bridge but we are having slush ice daily from the overnight low temperatures. Our Big Hole River guides are dreaming about the days in April when we get to throw Skwala dry flies to eager brown trout.  The Spring fishing on the Big Hole is coming soon.  

Check out our Spring Special Discount Packages     

Recent Posts