Big Hole River
Described as the perfect trout stream by legendary anglers as Joe Brooks and George Grant, the Big Hole lays claim to Montana’s most beautiful river.
Many anglers are not aware that we have darn good fishing before summer even arrives. Mid-April to mid–May is pre-runoff here on the Big Hole. Low clear flows, light fishing pressure and willing trout await your arrival. Nymph fishing is consistently good and a slow striped streamer will entice the winter weary trout before the dries make their appearance. Expect to see march brown mayflies, skwala stoneflies and the mother’s day caddis before the snowpack melts and the river begins to rise usually around the third week in May.
If the melt occurs early and conditions deteriorate, we always have the Beaverhead River less than an hour’s drive to the south, one of the advantages to having a tail-water so close. So if you’re interested in extending your fishing season outside of the summer months, dust off your rod, pack waders and enjoy some spring fishing with us here at Great Waters Inn.
Renowned for its famous salmon fly hatch, the Big Hole draws anglers from across the country and throughout the world. Good golden Stone, green drake and plenty of caddis overlap with the salmon flies as the month of June turns to July.
Excellent hatches of pale morning duns and yellow sally stoneflies continue the parade of insects well into the month of July. Next in line is the trico hatch followed by our terrestrial fishing; hoppers, ants and beetles. You can expect to throw dries well into September before the top water action begins to fade.
For anglers looking for diversity in their catch, the Big Hole is the last river where one can catch all five members of the trout family in a single day, capturing the coveted Grand Slam of trout fishing. They’re all here…. The rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat trout and fluvial grayling!
By mid-September, the days now shorter and evenings cooler, the trout sense the change as winter is now only a few months away. Adorned in their spawning colors, the browns are a sight to behold! The big brown trout become more aggressive, more territorial as competition increases for spawning rights to the most fertile females. Late September through early November is prime time for big brown trout. Girdle bugs, san juan worms and streamers are the flies of choice as we pursue the impressive brown trout amid the gorgeous fall colors of the Big Hole Valley.
All of this fun takes place in one of the most beautiful river bottom valleys in Montana!
Small Stream Fly Fishing
Are you more comfortable fishing in a bit less water? Maybe your fondest memories growing up were spent on creeks and streams no wider than a rods length? In addition to our larger Blue Ribbon Streams, our area abounds with smaller streams and creeks that are chock full of rainbows and brook trout that are eager to rise to a floating fly. Be sure to ask about this opportunity. Our guides are familiar with these back country streams and are anxious to share them with you!