Big Hole River Fishing Report 5-15-14

Big Hole River Fishing Report 5-15-14


  • Maiden Rock 2730 cfsBig Hole River-brown trout-Montana-FishTales Outfitting
  • Melrose 2,550 cfs
  • Glen 2,570 cfs
    A Big Hole River brown heading home!


  • Good at 2-3 feet typical tea color.

Following a large bump to nearly 5000 cfs The Big Hole River flows have been dropping steadily due to the freezing nighttime temperatures. We know it’s only a matter of time until the big run-off hits,but the fishing; for now has been good.



  • Nymphing with a  two nymphs under a bobber is going to be your best bet for catching numbers of fish. Adding a 15-20 ” inch section of tippet tied off the bend of the hook to a second fly will increase your odds.
This Big Hole Brown ate streamer!

A well spotted Big Hole River Brown that couldn’t resist an olive and tan articulated sculpin!

  • Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone, Chocolate Trout Retriever or Pepperoni Yuk Bug in size # 4-8.
  • San Juan Worms in red, burgundy and pink size # 6-10 are a great dropper choice.


Skwalla Stone Fly close up

Skwalla Stone Fly

  • There are some Skwala’s still around and we’re still catching some trout on top, but most fish are taking the dropper. Try a Black Magic, Chubby Chernobyl with an olive or brown Pat’s Stone in size #10 or CDC Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Nymph or Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear with some flash size #8-12.  Check out my how to tie a Beadhead Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear Nymph video.
  • March Brown’s are coming off most day’s and are the best bet for finding riser’s in foamy back eddy’s.  I like a big Furimsky’s extended foam body Brown Drake or Lawson’s Paradrake in size #10.
  • The “Mother’s Day Caddis” has been begun to show up on warmer day’s. Go with an Elk Hair Caddis size #12 when the hacth is in it’s first week or so, smaller as the hatch progresses.
  • Add a short dropper with a Mathews’ Iris Caddis or Lafontaine’s Sparkle Pupa size #14 are my suggestions for trout keying on caddis pupa rather than adults.


The streamer fishing has been solid and getting better with the  better visibilty and dropping flows. We’re catching fish on a fast strip and pause, a tight line and on the swing. Streamer pattern color preference usually goes reverse of the color of the water. Bright when the water is off color, natural and muted when it’s clear 2.5 to 3 feet. Cloudy day’s will be your best bet for good streamer fishing.

  • Try a JJ Special, Lyle’s Choice, Yellow Yummy, or Zonker in yellow or white size # 2-6.
  • Try a Trick or Treat, Olive Brown or Black Crystal Bugger, or Yuk Bug, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow in size # 4-8
  • Try dead drifting your streamer under an indicator if the fish aren’t making chase.
  • Add a second smaller streamer if your getting short strikes on your big streamer.

TIPS: Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has posted several floating hazard signs along the lower Big Hole River between Glen Fishing Access Site (FAS) and Pennington Bridge (FAS) due to the number of cottonwoods that have moved or blocked channels. Be aware of sweepers, strainers and floating trees as high water moves the lower rivers’ channels and tree’s.

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

Big Hole River,brown trout

This brown trout ate a big yellow and root beer sculpin streamer.

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FishTales Outfitting LLC is a licensed Outfitter with the State of Montana's Board of Outfitters
and Permittee for the Madison, Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.

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