Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Big Hole River - Melrose - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
March Skwala Stonefly, Midge, Blue Winged Olive Afternoon #10 - #20 Skwala Adult, BWO Dry, Zebra Midge
April Blue Winged Olive, Skwala Stonefly Morning and Afternoon #12 - #18 BWO Dry, Skwala Dry
May Salmonfly, Caddis, Blue Winged Olive Morning and Afternoon #4 - #18 Salmonfly Dry, Elk Hair Caddis, BWO Dry
June Golden Stonefly, PMD, Green Drake, Caddis Morning and Afternoon #6 - #16 Golden Stone, PMD Emerger, Green Drake Dry, Elk Hair Caddis
July Yellow Sally, Terrestrials, Caddis All Day #12 - #18 Yellow Sally Dry, Hopper Patterns, Elk Hair Caddis
August Terrestrials, Tricos, Caddis, Spruce Moths Morning and Evening #10 - #20 Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, Trico Spinner, Spruce Moth
September Blue Winged Olive, Mahogany Dun, Hoppers Morning and Afternoon #12 - #18 Parachute BWO, Mahogany Dun Dry, Foam Hoppers
October Blue Winged Olive, Streamers Afternoon #16 - #20, #4 - #8 for streamers Parachute BWO, Woolly Bugger, Sculpin Patterns
November Midge, Streamers Afternoon #18 - #22, #4 - #8 for streamers Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat, Woolly Bugger
December Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Considered a hidden gem, the Big Hole River in Melrose brims with an abundance of excellent fly fishing spots that promise both leisure and challenge for anglers.

  • Wise River: A tributary from Big Hole, abundant with rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trouts.
  • Divide Bridge: Here, the river divides into multiple channels providing diverse fishing spots.
  • Melrose Bridge: This is a great summer spot for fishing due to its clear and cool water.
  • Glen Access Point: It offers deep pools and mid-river structures perfect for fly fishing.
  • Maidenrock Canyon: Ideal spot for experienced anglers looking for a challenge with high fish density.

Each location assures a unique fishing experience on the Big Hole River, making it a desirable destination for fly fishing enthusiasts.

Best Access Points

The Big Hole River offers ample opportunities, particularly in Melrose, for fly fishing. There are several access points for anglers:
  • Maiden Rock: This access point is few miles north of Melrose and serves as a great starting point for float fishing. Ample parking space is available.
  • Melrose Bridge: This spot provides easy access right in Melrose itself. Easy to reach and parking is available under the bridge.
  • McCarthy’s and Salmon Fly: Located south of Melrose. These spots are popular for wade fishing.
  • Dickey Bridge: This is south end of the Melrose area and provides both wade and float access to the river.
  • Divide Bridge: Just north of Melrose, this site is perfect for launching boats for float fishing.
Remember that the best fishing spots often require a bit of walking from these access points.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: This river is known for its Brown Trout fishing, with some fishers reporting catches up to 25 inches in length.
  • Rainbow Trout: The Big Hole River is abundantly stocked with Rainbow Trout, which can be challenging but rewarding to catch.
  • Brook Trout: While less common than other species, the Brook Trout offers a unique challenge for fly fishing in this region.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Offering a reliable catch all year around, Mountain Whitefish are another sought after species in this river.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Known for their distinct red mark, the Cutthroat Trout can be found in the upper portions of the River.
  • Arctic Grayling: This strikingly-colored fish is a favorite among fly fishers and can be found in the high-altitude portions of the Big Hole River watershed.
  • Smallmouth Bass: A less common but exciting catch in the lower stretches of the river is the Smallmouth Bass.
  • White Sucker: This is a less common species and is often disregarded by most fishers, but it can put up a good fight when hooked.

About The River

The Big Hole River is a Montana treasure and an essential part of Melrose’s charm. This sapphire stream was named ‘The Big Hole’ by Lewis and Clark on their expedition of 1805. Taking its source high in the Beaverhead mountains, it offers an exceptional 153-mile fishing experience that any angler would dream about. Its crystalline waters inhabited by wild trout species.

Authentic Montana hospitality is alive and well in Melrose, a community which blossomed alongside the river during the Gold Rush of the 1860s. Today, it has become a fly-fishing Mecca attracting avid anglers across the globe.

  • Highlights of the river:
    1. The upper section, filled with rainbow and brown trout.
    2. The Canyon Stretch, where you can enjoy recreational activities or simply marvel at the landscape.
    3. The lower section often called the Desert, for its rugged beauty and great fishing opportunities.

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