Big Hole River Fishing Report – 5-15-15 (by FishTales Outfitting LLC)
By angelamontana

Posted: May 15, 2014

Big Hole River Fishing Report 5-15-15


  • Maiden Rock 2730 cfs
  • Melrose 2,550 cfs
  • Glen 2,570 cfs



  • Good at 2-3 feet typical tea color.

The Big Hole River has been dropping steadily after a big jump to nearly 5000 cfs due to the freezing nighttime temperatures and although it’s only a matter of time until the big run-off hits,the fishing; for now has been good. The push of water has put a lot of food in the drift and the fish like it. So do we!



  • Nymphing with the standard “two fly rig and strike indicator” is going to be your best bet for catching numbers of fish. Stone flies are always present and are a primary food source for fish on the Big Hole River year round and will continue to be my first big fly when nymphing. Adding a 15-20 ” inch section of tippet tied off the bend of the hook to a second fly will double your odds.
  • 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

  • Skwala’s are still present  and we’re catching some fish on the surface, but most fish are taking the dropper as we’re usually fishing dry with a 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.
  • We’re seeing March Brown’s 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. An Elk Hair Caddis first developed by Dillon’s own Al Troth is tough to beat for visibility and floatability. I use a size #12 when the fish first get ‘on them‘ and go smaller as the hatch progresses. The “Mother’s Day Caddis” can be a frustrating time for fly fishermen as trout may be rising everywhere and your best upstream presentations are refused.
  • Adding 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.


ftfish3The streamer bite has been good and getting better with the dropping flows, better visibility and warmer water temperatures in the low fifties. We’re catching fish on a fast strip and pause, a tight line and on the swing. It’s all good! Color preference will typically track the color of the water. Bright when the water is off color, natural and muted when it’s clearer than 2.5 to 3 feet. Cloudy day’s will be your best bet for good streamer action.

  • 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.

ftfish4TIPS: 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.

New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing