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Big Hole River
Big Hole River Fly Fishing Guide
The Big Hole has many personalities exhibited throughout its course beginning in the Rockies and ending at the confluence with the Beaverhead River to form the Jefferson River. We float and access about seventy-five miles of the most productive water. Where we fish is often dictated by the level of water flows. The level can vary from a couple hundred cubic feet per second (cfs) to over five thousand cfs during peak run-off. Pre run off in early spring can be fabulous fishing with Mother's day Caddis hatches, Skwala hatches, and May flies. The Big Hole is world renowned for its Salmon fly hatch and attracts fishermen from around the world. The Salmon fly hatch occurs right after the peak run-off period which is the first to second week in June. As the summer progresses Tricos, and Spruce Moths can provide great dry fly fishing. Terrestrials can offer added action in late summer. The fall is a very special time on the river with Cottonwood trees changing and the Browns getting their spawning colors. Streamer fishing can be great fun in the fall.
Beaverhead River is one of Montana's premier brown trout fishing rivers, producing more large trout, particularly brown trout, than any other river in the state." The local FWP fisheries biologist, Matt Yeager, is working hard on some great innovative projects on the Beaverhead River to further enhance one of the best wild trout fisheries in the country. The Beaverhead river starts below Clark Canyon Reservoir. The dam was completed in 1964. This "one big spring creek" water winds north through pastures and foothills to Dillon. Then the water continues the journey to it's confluence in an open valley to Twin Bridges where the Ruby flows in and later joins with the Big Hole to form the Jefferson. This river is predominately a Brown trout fishery with large Rainbow trout in the upper reaches. Most of the fly fishing occurs from the Clark Canyon Reservoir to Dillon. This cottonwood and willow lined stream produces prolific hatches of Caddis flies, Mayflies, little yellow Stoneflies & Crane flies. Terrestrials such as hoppers on the lower sections can produce fun-filled days.
The Madison river is formed by the Fire Hole and Gibbon rivers inside the Yellowstone national park. Then, it flows approximately 140 miles to form the Missouri river at Three Forks with the Gallatin and the Jefferson. The most productive and well know part of the river is between Quake Lake and Ennis and is known as "One big riffle". The riffle is the exciting, dominating feature of the world-famous trout stream. The water's character changes when it get close to Ennis winding and braiding in the lower stretches creating deep holes punctuated by shallow riffles - truly Big Sky country! When the hatches come off the Dry fly fishing can be very good. The Salmon Fly hatch is famous and usually comes off around the end of June to the beginning of July. At other times of the year Caddis flies, numerous Mayfly Species, and Terrestrials excite the angler. Nymph fishing is productive all season. Streamers can provide action in the fall. For the most part it is a brown, and rainbow trout fishery. The scenery is spectacular with snow capped mountains most of the year. The valley has open grasslands with numerous conifers on the hillsides.