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


Big Hole River Spring Special

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Even though is is officially still winter the days are getting longer and spring will be here soon. It has been a good winter in the Big Hole valley as far as snow is concerned. Many of the drainages are sitting around 130% of snowpack for this date in time. We will know more how our summer flows will be based on how the snowmelt occurs and spring rain/snow events. The current conditions on the Big Hole are rather winter like. Around Melrose we still have shelf ice and ice jams. The weather looks like it is gradually warming later this week. As soon as the ice melts around Melrose and south of Melrose we will start fishing. Check back for fishing reports. As soon as we hit the water we will let you know. We are all itching for some Skwala hatch fishing next month.  

It's time to start thinking about spring fishing. We have our annual Spring Special packages starting @ $595. Click here for details. 

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 

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 

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 Fishing Report

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Here come the clouds that we have been waiting for.  Fishing has been ok lately, but inconsistent at times. The change is weather this week should get the fishing back on track. We still have Skwala stoneflies and March browns hatching but on the bright sunny days the fish have not been willing to stay on the surface feeding all day. Our best dropper in the morning and afternoons has been a size #10 olive/brown pat's stone. For dry flies a #10 bullet head skwalla and #10 Mr. Beam has been our best pattern.  Don't let the rising water on the hydrograph fool you.  The clarity is around 2 1/2 feet and the increase of flows will get the fish on the banks, which is a good thing right now for dry fly fishing.   

Flies: #8 Mr. beam Skwala, #10 Bullet Head Skwala, #10 Pat's Stone Brown/Green #8 San Juan Worm, Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow, #4 Yellow/Black Beldar

Dave Leta with a nice Big Hole Rainbow 

Skwala Hatch Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Skwala dry fly fishing has been fantastic recently on the Big Hole. Our Big Hole river guides had a great day yesterday on the surface with Skwala dries.  We were able to throw the dry fly all day long with success. The flows have remained stable and visibility has been around 3 feet. We have had the best dry fly fishing on skwalas from the Divide access down stream.  You will find the dry fly fishing all the way down to the lower reaches of the river.  We have also been on the upper river.  You will not find dry fly fishing up there but the dropper fishing has been pretty good.

Flies: #8 Mr. beam Skwala, #10 Bullet Head Skwala, #10 Pat's Stone Brown/Green #8 San Juan Worm, Bellyache Minnoe Olive #8 Sparkle Minnow #4 Yellow/Black Beldar



March Skwala Update

Info Sunrise Fly Shop - Saturday, March 28, 2015

We had a significant warm up yesterday, which got the water temperatures into the mid 40's.  I spotted two adult skwalas on the water and it was go time.  The skwala hatch has started on the Big Hole.  From 2:00 yesterday till about 4:30 we had some nice dry fly fishing.  The big fish were not rising but plenty of small fish were looking up.  I would still give it some time for the big fish to key into the dry fly. This is the earliest we have ever seen skwala activity on the Big Hole. I would stick to droppers in the morning and then around 2:00 you can fish a single dry fly today unless the wind kicks up like it is supposed to. the visibility is still around 2 1/2 feet.

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.





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