Big Hole River

Fly fishing the Big Hole River in southwest Montana is a unique experience. It begins its journey a little north of Dillon, Montana at the Big Hole Divide and forms a large S shape as it winds its way down the mountains of southwest Montana toward Twin Bridges and the Jefferson River. Flowing for some 153 miles or so the Big Hole is one of southwest Montana's un-damed rivers and flows naturally to its confluence with the Beaverhead River to form the Jefferson River, one of the three tributaries that form the headwaters of the Missouri River. One of the most striking differences one notices on arriving at he Big Hole is the color of the water. It is one of the few rivers in southwest Montana that has a tea color to it. The reason for this is because of the tannins in the water.  Because the Big Hole River has no dams its flow can fluctuate significantly over the course of the season. This makes for a river that is constantly changing. Compared to the Madison River and others with more stable flows this can add to the challenge and excitement of fly fishing on the Big Hole. What this means for us is that we mainly focus our fishing on the Big Hole River in the spring when flows are higher and spring hatches like Blue Winged Olives, March Browns and Skwalla Stoneflies begin. 

In conjunction with Trouts N' At Outfitting we are happy to announce that we are now offering guided fly fishing trips on the Big Hole River in the spring. 

Mike Worley with an awesome brown trout caught fishing Skwalla Stoneflies on the Big Hole River in Southwest Montana

Big Hole River Spring Fishing



Fly fishing the Big Hole River in the spring is one of our favorite things to do here in southwest Montana. When many other area rivers are just starting to wake up from the long winter the Big Hole is often one of the rivers around Ennis, Montana that we get to see some of our best early season dry fly fishing. There are three main hatches we are chasing on the Big Hole in the spring. BWOs, March Browns and Skwalla Stoneflies are the ones we tend to see the most. There are also Caddis and midges around as well. When the dry fly bite is not happening the Big Hole is a great river to run dry-dropper or nymph setups to catch fish feeding subsurface on the same insects. It's also a river with some very large brown trout that are often willing to chase a streamer. If you want to add some variety to your next visit to Ennis, Montana in the spring think about adding a day on the Big Hole River.  

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