Float Trip on the Big Hole River with Stonefly Outfitters

/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
1 day
Dan L
Response rate: 
Response time:
several hours
Fed by three different mountain ranges, dozens of freestone creeks and flowing over 100 miles, the Big Hole River is one of those places you just can't get off your mind. Often referred to as "The Last Best River", the Big Hole fishes well from ice out in April until the winter weather hits in November. Limited outfitter use makes this river a first choice for many of our guest anglers in Montana.

What the Big Hole offers:
  • Over 100 miles of fishable water.
  • Freestone trout fishing.. No dams here.
  • More colors of mayflies than you have in your box.
  • Caddis hatches that can require dust masks.
  • Stonefly hatches that bring even the largest of trout to the surface.
  • Brown and Rainbow trout that will test every skill you have.
  • 6 months of changing conditions - great early and late season opportunities.
  • Fishable at high and low flows
  • Side channels, dry fly slicks, and nymphing riffles.
  • Trout fishing the way it was meant to be.
  • Experienced Guide
  • Lunch
  • Drinks
  • Flies
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Minimum number of anglers for this price
Daily1 day
Daily1 day
Fishing Waters
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.
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.

Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.

Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Welcome to the Stonefly Inn & Outfitters, Montana's "Last Best Fly Fishing Lodge", located in the heart of Montana's Blue Ribbon Trout Country.... more

Based in Twin Bridges, we are licensed outfitters on the Big Hole, The Beaverhead, The Madison, The Jefferson, the Missouri and the Ruby Rivers. That's right - there is over three hundred miles of world class Montana fly fishing water within an hour’s drive of your cabin door.

FIVE Blue Ribbon Rivers. Six guest cabins, great steaks and the best guides in the zip code. Join us here at The Stonefly Inn and let us show you our definition of "Montana's best fly fishing". Because when it’s over, the fishing was just one part of your Montana fly fishing vacation.

Lodging: Staying at The Stonefly Inn, you will enjoy clean, freshly remodeled cabins that will make you look forward to returning from your day on the water. In a time of fast food, roadside motels and less than friendly service, we are "the other guys" that do it right. And we're located right in Twin Bridges, a five minute walk from the Beaverhead River. We have six cabins that can accommodate up to 12 anglers. Each cabin has 2 queen beds, and more than enough space for 2 anglers and all of their gear.

You can expect clean, comfortable cabins with all the amenities of any chain motel. Each cabin has Direct TV and Wi-Fi access is available - but if you choose to leave those options for when you return home, we understand! Daily housekeeping is standard, and you will return to your beds being made, fresh towels on the racks and the coffee pot ready to roll for the morning.

Whether you are our guest for one night or five, comfortable cabins, clean sheets, warm showers and a family down home Montana atmosphere await you. During your stay in Twin Bridges, The Stonefly Inn will be your home away from home. Other amenities include complimentary wi-fi internet, satellite television and a buffet style breakfast served each morning. After a long day of fly fishing, you're invited to unwind, maybe tell a tall tale or two and get to know other Stonefly Inn guests at the Stonefly "Roost" Lounge. Our outfitted guests can also enjoy nightly dinners from the grill. Montana beef and Alaskan salmon are just the tip of the iceberg - many times prepared by none other than Rooster himself!

The Stonefly Inn operates primarily as a fishing lodge throughout the summer months, but we welcome all fishermen and travelers on a space available basis - please call us at (406) 684-5648 and check our availability! We have six cabins that can accommodate up to 12 anglers. Each cabin has 2 queen beds, and three of our cabins have kitchenettes for the do-it yourselfers out there.

When you return to the Stonefly after a day of fishing - you can look forward to appetizers and refreshments in the spacious screened in patio of "The Roost". Our guest lounge comfortably seats up to 20 guests, and is often the hub of information each night. Our meals are prepared our chef, Monique, and range from Montana beef to Alaskan Salmon. Late night "seminars" are quite common, as our guides tend to migrate to the Roost just about the time dinner is served. One word of caution, when the liars dice gets started you might want to head for the barn!
Fishing Reports
The Big Hole is still a bit frozen but if you have been wanting to fish here, it is should warm up over the next few days which should provide for some opportunities. Look for some ... morespring fed areas for fishable waters. While the browns have finished spawning for the year, there eggs lay dormant until the spring season so watch where you walk. We recommend fishing on the bottom with midge nymphs, cased caddis and mayflies. We also recommend stoneflies. Look for fish down deep in the middle of the river.
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Monday, 1 Feb, 2016
Cancellation Policy
  • Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
  • Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
Payment directly with Float Trip on the Big Hole River with Stonefly Outfitters.
2 reviews   0 comments
(5.0 of 5)
(5.0 of 5)
(5.0 of 5)
Boat Comfort
(5.0 of 5)
Outfitter Review
Ladies Fly Fishing Experience
From TripAdvisor - Our group of 10 women stayed at the Stonefly Inn July 15-18, 2015 in the thick of an incredible heat wave with sunny skies. That made for less than ideal fishing conditions, but our excellent guides took us to their secret spots on the river, changed flies as often as necessary, coached us and improved our techniques to make sure we maximized our catch. They were outstanding (one ... more of our ladies pulled out a 22 inch brown)! The cabins were spotless and comfortable. We got a heads up to bring a hair dryer if desired. The Stonefly Inn staff were ALL warm and friendly and the meals were fantastic! Glen, the chef, has a gourmet touch with beautiful sauces and dressings and appetizers; your steak or (or whatever) was always cooked to perfection. The owner, Rooster, went out of his way for us in every way. Beyond fishing and lodging, he helped us with a scattering of ashes for one of our dear friends who recently died, who had hoped to be with us. He swam halfway across the Big Hole River to make sure she started her journey in swift running water, in the most beautiful of settings. We loved this place.
Boat Comfort
Outfitter Review
Comfy Cabins, Great Food and Super Guides
Exert from TripAdvisor - The cabins are old but clean and the beds comfortable. The bathrooms are small, but sufficient and equipped with fluffy towels. Like most fishing lodges, no blow dryers are furnished. Meals are taken in a convivial screened in area where good strong coffee is ready for the early riser. The chef has 4 star restaurant experience and it shows in the quality of the superb meals. ... more They are prepared with fresh local ingredients and great thought and care. Chef Glenn listened to our groups desires and made sumptuous but not carb laden delights. The food was far better than most fishing lodges. The chef even prepared a special elk appetizer to pair with one of the special vinyages we brought.The fishing was less than spectacular due to unseasonably hot weather and low water levels. Every one of us caught fish, due in large part to the tireless efforts of the terrific guides who work out of this lodge. They mustered all of their experience to ensure that we would have the opportunity to land some famous Montana trout. These guides are the real deal, and work hard to guide you to the right places, with the right flies to maximize success.The fly shop at the Stonefly Inn is also a handy and well stocked resource. They are a Simms outfitter as well as other top notch manufacturers of high quality gear and clothing.We had a great experience and would return for sure.
Boat Comfort

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