29 Jul Big Hole River Fishing Report 7-29-14 Fly Fishing near Missoula
Big Hole River Fishing Report 7-29-14 Fly Fishing near MissoulaBig Hole River Fishing Report Fly fishing near Missoula 7-29-14
By Michael Stack
- Maiden Rock 468 cfs
- Melrose 475 cfs
- Glen 579 cfs
- Clear at 4+ feet
The Big Hole River is dropping now every day now, almost half of what it was a little over a week ago. The Big Hole River is fishing well before mid-day temperatures reach 90+ and in the fast water down the middle as the fish seek faster more oxygenated water. The hopper/dropper game is on and we are hoping to see the first Spruce Moth’s any time! Check out our Specials page for more information on Montana Fly Fishing Vacation Packages!
TACTICS & PATTERNS:
The dry fly bite has been good, better on cloudy days as you might expect. A dry/dropper in the riffles and fast water is where you’ll want to concentrate the fishing effort. There are Caddis, PMDs and Yellow Sallies early. Terrestrials later in the day once the water has warmed and the hoppers are more active. Hoppers, ants and beetles are all good choices this time of year in the late morning or afternoon.
- I like a Morrish, CFO Hopper, Parachute Hopper in tan, yellow or pink size # 12-8
- Try a Purple Haze, PMX, Yellow Stimulator or Rusty Sparkle Dun sizes #16-14 for PMDs, Yellow Sallies and Rusty Duns
- Good dropper choices are Beadhead Pheasant Tail, Copper John in copper or red, or Beadhead Prince, Psycho Mayfly nymph. Sizes #16-12
The streamer game has been good early before the sun get’s high above the horizon and on cloudy day’s. With the heat and lack of clouds lately I like a sculpin dead drift under an indicator in the fast water ! A tight line will catch fish as well. Bunny streamer’s in natural muted Earth color’s like olive brown and Grizzly and Chinchilla. Cloudy days will be your best bet for good streamer action.
- Zonker’s in Olive, Natural/Copper, Natural/pearl or white size # 2-6, Sculpzilla JR in Natural, or Olive. Black or Olive Crystal Buggers, or Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow in size # 4-8.
- Read my TOP STREAMERS FOR SW MONTANA list for more patterns.
- Try dead drifting your streamer under an indicator if the fish aren’t willing to make chase.
- Add a small nymph dropper 15 to 18″ off the back of your streamer to give the trout an option. I like a Beadhead Pheasant Tail, Beadhead Prince or Beadhead Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear.
Nymphing with two fly’s and a strike indicator is still productive in the fast water, but expect to find plenty of Whitefish as well as trout. A little swing at the end of your dead drift often brings more strikes than dead drift alone.
- Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone in brown, tan, black or olive. Peacock Stone, George’s Rubber Leg Brown Stone, Chocolate Trout Retriever or in size # 4-6.
- Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ear Nymph’s and San Juan Worms in red, wine or size # 6-10 are all good second fly choices for nymphing.
TIPS: Bring plenty of sun block, water and bug dope.
For more information on Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on the Big Hole River please contact Fishtales Outfitting.