• Maiden Rock 4,230 cfs
• Melrose 4,000 cfs
• Glen 4,270 cfs
VISIBILiTY: Good at 3 feet
The Big Hole River has dropped and cleared every day after it’s peak on May 27th at a flow of 8,610 cfs near Melrose. Flows are on the high side for this time but the Big Hole River is still fishing very good. We’ve seen the first Salmon Flies of the season along the lower reaches and the river is in perfect shape when the Giant Salmon Flies hatch! There’s enough water to keep the fish tight to on bank’s and there’s good visibility so the fish can pretty easily see the big dry.
TACTICS & PATTERNS:
The Madison’s first few Salmon Flies are showing up along the lower reaches and it probably won’t be long before the hatch is full on! The dry/dropper bite has been very good and we’ve started see some trout eat the big dry.
- Try a Rogue River Stone Fly, Carnage Stone, Turner’s Bank Robber, Chubby Chernobyl, Gypsy King, Kyle’s King Kong Salmon, MacSalmon or Improved Sofa Pillow in size #4-6.
The streamer fishing has been very good with river visibility improving. I like a fast strip and pause, but a tight line can sometimes out fish the grip and rip method. Color preference will typically reverse track the color of the water, brighter when the visibility is low, natural and muted or earth toned when the water is clearer. Cloudy, rainy or drizzly days will be your friend for the best streamer action, but some trout will always be willing if our willing to put in the time.
- Try a JJ Special, Lyle’s Choice, Yellow Yummy, or Zonker in Copper, 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 willing to make chase.
- Add a second smaller streamer if you’re getting short strikes or fish are rolling on your streamer and not grabbing it.
Nymphing with the standard two fly rig and strike indicator is still very productive as the Giant Salmon fly nymphs (Pteranarcys Californicus) are migrating towards the bank. Trout are looking for them there so target the trout’s feeding lanes and let your Stone fly nymph swing at the end of your dead drift, because this often brings more strike’s than just dead drifting.
- Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone, Bitch Creek, Chocolate Trout Retriever or Pepperoni Yuk Bug in size # 4-6.
- Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Copper John’s, San Juan Worms in red, burgundy and pink size # 6-10 are all good dropper choice’s.
TIPS: Montana FWP has removed the floating hazard signs at both Glen Fishing Access Site (FAS) and Pennington Bridge (FAS) but please be aware of unforseen floating hazards like hanging trees and limbs called sweepers or strainers as high water has moved the lower rivers’ channels and cottonwood’s. Don’t forget your PFD’s!
For more information on The Big Hole River, Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on the Big Hole River please visit Fishtales Outfitting.