Fly Fishing Report

Fly Fishing Report

Beaverhead River, Big Hole River, and Madison River 2017 Season Outlook & 2016 Montana Fly Fishing Report
Backcountry Angler Newsletter March 2017

This has been another great fishing year in Southwestern Montana. This time of year the colors are beautiful, the wildlife are moving around more and the fish are active. The area snow pack was good in the spring and the fishing on our area waters have been world class as always. According to Montana Fish. Wildlife & Parks - "The 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 on some great projects to benefit the Beaverhead River. The Big Hole River is one of the most scenic and productive rivers in the state and will be a great choice for anglers as well our other area waters. The Beaverhead Watershed Committee has a great project in-the-works to enhance the waters in Poindexter Slough Public Spring Creek. The upper half of the creek has been enhanced. If funds are obtained work will continue on the lower half. If you would like to contribute to this incredible spring creek that is open to the public we can direct you to the name and address of the fund. Just call or email us. And, we will get you the details .

We have great fishing on the Beaverhead as well as the Big Hole, and Madison rivers. Our area rivers offer some of the best fly fishing in Montana for wild trout. The Beaverhead, Big Hole and Madison rivers all are fishing well this season. April was outstanding with very few anglers to compete with. April can be one of the best months for large numbers of fish caught. Early April is pre run-off with some of the most consistent water flows and productive fishing of the season. April started the season off with a bang - lots of bugs, fish and happy fishermen. May was a great month also with the Caddis hatch. May is always a BIG FISH month - Tom and Andy taped a number of big fish in the 23"+ class. These were on the Beaverhead and the Big Hole Rivers. June and July were the height of the season with prolific hatches, and good fishing but the largest number of anglers - a very popular time. August is always a great month for the fair weather fishermen with consistent weather and fewer people than June and July. The Spruce Moths, Tricos and Hoppers can produce some of the most consistent dry fly fishing of the season. Another added bonus in late August/early September is the Crane Fly hatch on the Beaverhead. During August Clark Canyon Reservoir can be off the charts with large numbers of big fish being caught. The ice came off the reservoir mid-April and the fishing was good throughout the spring.

September brought slightly cooler temperatures with good fishing, solitude, and brilliant colors. Hopper fishing is good in September. This is one of our favorite times of the year. Fish were be caught by all. October is an outstanding month - fall colors, few people, and great fishing all the way to the end of the month.

Everyone is absolutely in love with the Great Room at the River Lodge this season which has a wonderful gallery of photographs of the area displayed for your enjoyment. . The pool table is getting lots of use for evening entertainment. The wood stove has been keeping everyone cozy in the cool evening hours after a productive day on the water. It seems to be the preferred location to gather for a few fish tales.

Seasons of the Rivers:

April to the beginning of May can have great fishing with Skwalas on warmer days and also streamer and nymph fishing. The Mother’s Day Caddis comes off the middle to end of May. The Salmon Fly hatch came off prior to the middle of June. There were many excellent days of fishing during this time period. We spend a lot of days on the Big Hole river throughout the season. During July the river fished well on dries, nymphs, and terrestrials. August was a great dry fly month for , Tricos, Hoppers, and Ants. September was a transitional month from summer to fall with few fishermen, fall colors and great fishing with Tricos, hoppers, terrestrials and nymphs. All of October was outstanding using streamers and nymph patterns. Fishing was excellent this past fall. There was a new stream flow gauge installed at Maiden Rock the winter of'07/'08. Because of the location of this new gauge there is no question that the Big Hole will remain open throughout the season from Dickie Bridge to Melrose. This is the most productive section of the river. The Big Hole river has improvements at several fishing access sites along the river. The diversion dam above Divide has also been improved.

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When is the best time to fish in Montana?

The answer is “WHENEVER YOU CAN GET HERE.” We have numerous waters to choose from and usually point our rigs towards the rivers that are fishing the best. We start fishing in April and fish through the end of October. April and May can be great fishing with a solitary experience, spring storms are possible. The Big Hole is a star this time of year! PRIVATE SPRING CREEKS are optimal for dry fly fishing NOW. Beatis, Midges and early Caddis are possible. October - the later the better if you want solitude. Fall storms are possible, but it could also be 60+ degrees. Streamer fishing for the BIG BROWNS.

Hatch Chart

April and May can be great fishing with a solitary experience, spring storms are possible. The Big Hole is a star this time of year! PRIVATE SPRING CREEKS are optimal for dry fly fishing NOW. Beatis, Midges and early Caddis are possible. October - the later the better if you want solitude. Fall storms are possible, but it could also be 60+ degrees. Streamer fishing for the BIG BROWNS.

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