Big Hole River Fishing Report 10-17-14: Fly Fishing near Missoula

by | Oct 17, 2014 | Fishing Reports, Tips | 0 comments

A bull moose along Montana's Big Hole River.



  • Maiden Rock 468 cfs
  • Melrose 509 cfs
  • Glen 570 cfs

VISIBILTY: Good at 3+ feet

The Big Hole River flows are dropping again after a slight bump due to some rain that jumped the flows to almost 550 cfs on the 13th. This rain event affected the visibiltyin the river for a couple days but it has already cleared and the fish are back on the bite. Pick your tactic.Nymphs, dries and streamers are all catching fish so get out there and get some! Check out our Fly Fishing Tours to book your Montana fall fly fishing adventure!

There’s never a shortage of beautiful scenery on the Big Hole River.


DRY FLIES:  Mahogany’s mid-day and Beatis in the afternoon’s. Fish are eating them in the typical dry fly spot’s, foam lines, back eddy’s, and inside edges.

  • Try a Parachute Mahogany, CDC and Biot Mahogany, , Sparkle Dun or Purple Haze,Cripple Mahogany Dun in brown size #12-16.
  • Beatis patterns in olive or grey size # 16-18. Parachute Adams, Extended Body Parachute, , Sparkle Dun, CDC Emerger, Cripple Beatis.


STREAMERS: The streamer fishing has been very good with the river dropping and clearing. I prefer a fast strip and pause, but a tight line as well as swinging will catch fish as well. Color preference will typically depend on visibity. Bright when the water is off color, natural and muted when it’s clearer. Although cloudy days will be your best bet for good streamer action, fish have been eating streamers on bright sunny days as well. Check out my TOP 10 STREAMERS FOR SW MONTANA for a more complete list.

  • Try a Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow in size # 4-8, JJ Special, Lyle’s Choice, Yellow Yummy, or Zonker in Copper, yellow or white size # 2-6, Flash Fry,Trick or Treat, Olive Brown or Black Crystal Bugger, or Yuk Bug size #4-8.
  • Try dead drifting your streamer under an indicator or tight line behing the boat if the fish aren’t willing to make chase.
  • Add a beadhead nymph dropper or if you’re getting short strikes.

A Broad Shouldered Streamer Eating Madison Brown Trout

NYMPHING: Nymphing with two nymph’s and a strike indicator is still very productive. Let your flies swing at the end of your drift, as this often brings more strike’s than dead drift alone.

  • Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone, Chocolate Trout Retriever or Pepperoni Yuk Bug in size # 4-8.
  • Prince Nymphs, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Psycho May’s, Copper John’s in size #14-18 and San Juan Worms in red, wine or pink size # 6-10.
  • Egg patterns in orange, pink, peach, tangerine, yellow and green size #12-16. Try a Pettis Unreal Egg, Otter Soft Egg, or Mcfly foam egg.


TIPS: October and November are brown trout spawning season so please be aware and don’t walk through spawning redd’s (polished gravel) as this is a detriment to future Big Hole River brown trout populations.

For more information on Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on the Big Hole River please contact Fishtales Outfitting.



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