Beaverhead River Fishing Report 5-8-14 (by FishTales Outfitting LLC)
By angelamontana

Posted: May 8, 2014

Beaverhead River Fishing Report 5-8-14


  • Clark Canyon Dam 77 cfs
  • Barrett’s 241 cfs
  • Dillon 110 cfs


  • Fair
  • 2+ feet and improving.

The Beaverhead River is closed to fishing from Clark Canyon Dam Spillway FAS (Fishing Access Site) downstream to Pipe Organ FAS until the general season opener on Saturday May 17th. The Beaverhead River is open to fishing from Pipe Organ FAS downstream to its confluence with the Jefferson River. The flows have started to go up in preparation for the general season opener on Saturday May 17th.Fishing has been good and getting better every day. Clark Canyon Creek is clearing but will be problematic after a thunderstorm. Grasshopper Creek is also clearing and fishing is getting better down to Barrett’s FAS.


A heavy shouldered Beaverhead brown heading back to the river!



  • Nymphing a two fly rig under a strike indicator with a drop shot leader will provide the most action. Midge larva Beatis nymphs and scuds are catching fish.
  • Try a Tailwater Tiny, Micro May, Psycho May, Barr Emerger or Mitchell BWO Splitback size #14-18. Soft Hackle Sowbug’s, Ray Charles in orange and pink size #16-18. Rainbow Warrior’s San Juan worms in red or pink # 14-12 when the water is off color.


  • The steamer bite has been quite good water temps have been reaching the upper 40’s.
  • I like a fairly fast to medium strip and pause retrieve with an aggressive pumping and twitching action. We’re catching fish on Wooley Sculpin’s, Conehead Krystal Bugger’s, JJ Special’s, Zonkers size #2-6.
  • Yellow, olive, yellow and olive combinations, white and black. Check out my Top 10 Streamers for SW Montana for a more complete list of recommended streamers.


This beautiful Beaverhead brown crushed a yellow and olive Wooloey Sculpin!

This beautiful Beaverhead brown crushed a yellow and olive Wooly Sculpin!

  • Baetis are hatching in the afternoons and you can expect to find fish rising to them on soft inside edges and along foam lines and back eddy’s.
  • Try a Parachute Adams, Sparkle Dun, or CDC Dun in olive or grey size # 16-18. A dropper may increase your odds. Try a Micro May, Psycho May size #16-18 tied in with a tag end dropper so your little dry has a chance of staying afloat.
  • Caddis are starting to show up on warmer days, just in time for Mother’s Day.
  • Try an Elk hair Caddis, X Caddis with a Mathew’s Iris Caddis or Lafontaine’s Sparkle Pupa tied off 10 or 12” below your dry fly.
  • Expect to use 5x or lighter tippet due to the low water.

TIPS: The Beaverhead River receives a lot of pressure and the fish will let you know when you haven’t presented your fly properly; especially when fishing dries in low water. If your presentations are refused, rest the fish, change the pattern and try again! The rainbow trout are in full spawn this time of year so if you see patches of bright gravel stay clear!

For more information on The Beaverhead River and guided fishing trips on the Beaverhead River please contact FishTales Outfitting.