Fishing report  Big Hole River from Red Mountain Adventures

Monday, 16 May, 2016
Water Clarity
Angler Traffic
Waters are on the rise on the big hole, but still has good visibility.  The big hole goes up but rarely gets too dirty to fish its headwaters have never been logged  thus high water but low sediment load.  Fished the big hole a week ago, and caught the water on a spike the cfs came up almost 800 while we were on it..  Like most of the rivers around here you want to catch it when the water is on the way down not on the way up.  As predicted fishing was kind of a bust, 4 fish in 5 hours and none very big.  Seemed like the only way to catch fish was pull over at all the tributaries coming in and fish a San Juan worm on a bobber.  Ouch!   River has been an a slow decline for the last week and fishing has improved markedly.  Still big, about 3000 cfs at Melrose, which is right about at normal for this time of year. Fishing the last few days has been good.  Salmonfly nymphs are starting their migration to the banks so big black nymphs size 2 or 4 heavily weighted in the slow water.  Best results are coming from getting out of the boat and pounding the slow water on the banks and the slow inside corners There are still a few leftover squallas and a few mayflies in the foam homes, but it is tough to catch em on dries unless you find some fish rising.  More rain on the horizon and since the land is already saturated it doesn't take a lot to jack water levels Keep an eye on water levels and whenever it starts to fall get out there and get some.
Fishing Water Report
The Big Hole River starts in the Beaverhead Mountains south of Jackson, Montana and flows on for about 156 miles. Beginning as a slight stream, it picks up muscle as it joins with ... morethe North Fork, and draws more volume as it passes through the Wise River basin. At the Continental Divide it changes its northeasterly direction and heads southeast until it joins the Beaverhead and forms the Jefferson River close to the town of Twin Bridges, Montana. It hosts one of the last known habitat for the native fluvial artic grayling but is best known to fly fishers for its trout.

Like so many Montana rivers, the Big Hole is as full of history as it is of water. When Lewis and Clark stumbled upon it, the river was providing a buffer zone between rival Indian tribes vying for land as they sagely anticipated the westward push of European miners, furriers and settlers. Fifty years later, a significant number of the Nez Percé, a tribe that had initially befriended the Expedition, refused to accept life on a reservation and were nearly wiped out by U.S. troops in the Battle of the Big Hole. Today’s battles consist of quarrels between ranchers who desire water for irrigation and recreational users who wish to see the water preserved.

Fishing the river can be basically divided into three sections. From the headwaters at Skinner Lake to Fish Trap, the river meanders slowly through high meadowlands. This is where the few remaining artic grayling can be found, although browns and rainbows are in abundance here. In the second section, Fish Trap to Melrose, you will find boulders and pocket water rushing through a narrow canyon; here rainbows outnumber the browns with an estimated 3000 fish per mile. The final section, Melrose to Twin Bridges, is lined with cottonwood bottoms, braided channels and long, slow pools. In contrast to the second link, browns outnumber rainbows 2 to 1 with approximately 3000 fish per mile.
Reporting Outfitter
Welcome to Southwest Montana's finest fly fishing adventures. Blue ribbon trout water is literally steps away when you visit us in the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana. You may spend ... morethe day on our home river, the world famous Madison or drive to one of our other local rivers such as the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby or the Jefferson. Whether you are a new angler or an old pro we have the expertise and patience to make your time on the water chasing wild trout a success.
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