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

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Big Hole River is almost entering flood stage in Melrose. With the heavy rain predicted the next couple days I would think the river will continue to climb. It is downright dangerous to float the Big Hole unless you are well above the Wise River. If you must get out and float (which I suggest you stay home and tie flies) I would do a stretch around Mudd Creek or Fishtrap. Fishing has been tough lately and it won't get better until the flows drop. We will keep you posted when conditions improve. Even though the river is high and off color we have managed to get some good fish lately but we aren't catching many. 

Spring Special guided fishing details are here. 3 night 2 day fishing Packages starting at $595 per person 

Robert Harp with a fantastic Big Hole Brown caught a couple days ago on the Big Hole River

Recommended Flies: #8 Mr. Beam; #10 Olive Chubby; #8 Bullet Head Skwalla; #10 Pat's Stone (Olive/Brown); #8 San Juan Worm; #6 Flash Minnow (Olive); #6 Smokin' Mirrors (Black); #6 Sparkle Minnow; #4 Little Kim; #6 Screamer (Yellow) (Olive)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Some warm weather the last several days has the mid to low elevation snow melting and has caused the river to gain a large volume of water. Today the river has leveled off for the moment on the upper river gauges. We might get a window of good fishing the next few days on the upper Big Hole since the melting will stop due to the cold winter like conditions today. River clarity is the main concern for us right now. We need improving water conditions to get the fish eating. We will keep you posted and hopefully the fishing improves.

Spring Special guided fishing details are here. 3 nights lodging 2 days guided fishing packages starting at $595 per person 

Recommended Flies: #8 Mr. Beam; #10 Olive Chubby; #8 Bullet Head Skwalla; #10 Pat's Stone (Olive/Brown); #8 San Juan Worm; #16 Shop Vac; #18 Zebra Midge; #16 Psycho May (olive); #6 Flash Minnow (Olive); #6 Smokin' Mirrors (Black); #6 Sparkle Minnow; #4 Little Kim; #6 Screamer (Yellow) (Olive)

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

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

For more information on our Spring Special click here

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. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The moist wet weather continues in Southwest Montana. We are receiving some much needed rain to saturate the ground. Our Big Hole River guides have had fantastic fishing lately. This is the Big Hole River fishing report you have been waiting for. The large brown trout have been eating well during this wet cycle. You will find caddis hatching on the Big Hole from Jerry creek down stream. We have had March Brown hatches above the Wise River in the afternoons. Streamers have been working well for large brown's on the upper Big Hole. The river is on the rise but don't let that fool you. The large brown trout have moved to the banks as they are snacking on worms, and sculpins with the increase of flow. The river has 2 feet of visibility and now is the time to search for the large brown trout the Big Hole is famous for. 

Brant with a nice Big Hole Brown 

Flies: #10 Chubby, #12 Purple Haze #10 Pat's Stone Brown/Green #8 San Juan Worm, Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow, #4 Yellow/Black Beldar; #4 Smoke N' Mirrors #6 Yellow Zonker #10  #6 Bad Boy

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Earlier this week the ice broke off the entire upper Big Hole River. We are currently in the clearing process and the river is dropping from the ice flow. Water temperatures are starting the day around 37 degrees and warming to about 42 degrees. We currently have 2 feet of visibility in the Melrose area.  We fished yesterday and it was ok, not great.  We boated about a dozen fish in 5 hours.  We have a Big Hole River guide boat out today so we will let you know how the river improves.  All sub surface fishing right now on the Big Hole.  Our best bug yesterday was a red San Juan worm and a yellow yummy streamer dead drifted tight to the banks.  

Check out our Spring Special Package Rates



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.





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

We have had a nice stretch of winter weather here in Southwest Montana.  You don't get to say that too often because the wind is either blowing snow or the temperatures are sub zero.  High temperatures have been in the upper 40's.  Don't let the warm weather fool you though, winter is far from over. If you want to get out and wade fish find the heat of the day in the afternoon and nymph some tail outs with your basic prince nymphs, San Juan's and Pat's Stones.  I would get out there now before the next cold snap and snow.  The Big Hole river snowpack is currently 108% of average.  We are sitting well right now but we will not complain if mother nature brings us some healthy snow storms the next three months to boost our snowpack even more. We are gearing up for our hosted trip in February to Patagonia River Guides. Our Big Hole River guides are itching to get back on the water this Spring.  

Check out our Big Hole Spring fishing packages.


            The Big Hole River at Brownes Bridge Fishing Access Site