The winter was mild, the spring was wet, and now the summer is hot. The river is closed from 2pm-12am at the very top and very bottom of the river. The middle three sections, where all of the best fishing is, remains at a flow well above closure status.
Please play your fish in to the net quickly, keep them underwater when unhooking, and revive the fish in moving water before releasing. An improperly handled fish may swim away, but due to buildup of lactic acid it will die soon after swimming off.
Save this river for years to come! The Drought Management Plan is detailed below.
Big Hole River Drought Management Plan
Actions & Restrictions Through 7/24/13
|As predicted, flows are low and temperatures are high this season. The Big Hole Watershed Committee Drought Management Plan (DMP) has been implemented on several occasions. We would like to let you know the actions surrounding the DMP so far this summer:
Section I: Headwaters to North Fork Big Hole (measured at Wisdom Bridge) dropped below 40cfs in early July. DMP notice went out July 3 and landowner plans under the CCAA program were implemented. Flows rose by July 5 and remain above 40cfs, the first flow trigger in the DMP.
Section V: Notch Bottom to Mouth (measured at Hamilton Ditch near Twin Bridges) flows are low in this section. DMP is implemented in an effort to raise flows and implement conservation measures. As of today, flows remain at 127cfs and 27cfs above a river closure.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks determined that the following sections warrant a “Hoot Owl” fishing restriction due to high water temperatures:
Section I & II (Headwaters to Dickie Bridge) “Hoot Owl” fishing restriction beginning 7/22/13
Section V (Notch Bottom to Mouth) “Hoot Owl” fishing restriction beginning7/25/13
BHWC and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will continue to watch Big Hole River flows and water temperatures and implement DMP actions accordingly.
Details of actions, reports, results and the DMP 2013 are posted on our website: http://bhwc.org/initiatives/drought-management/streamflow-2013/
The middle portion of the river continues to maintain flows with Sections II, III, and IV well above the first flow triggers.
Thank you for your role in supporting the river this year.
Big Hole River
Weather: Hot with afternoon showers
Fishing was pretty d*** good today! We fished dries through the cloud cover this morning, nymphed through the heat of the day, and slammed big drakes into the back eddies when the clouds rolled in. Found a lot of fish looking up between the lightning strikes!
From Contributing Blogger and the woman at ground zero: Lanette
The Big Hole went up with all this rain the past three days and fishing was tough. There are Green Drakes, Pmd’s in the air and guides are using big dry’s with little droppers and streamers. With the weather clearing, the river is dropping slightly and the visibility is back to around three feet. Fishing was great yesterday on streamers, with one boat carding a 50 fish day!!
Hot weather is coming, pack a big hat and hang up those waders.
Fishing is great right now. The river is absolutely gorgeous, with clear water and perfect flows. The salmon flies are out, along with the goldens, but the most numerous of the stoneflies are currently the yellow sallies.
All six boats reported good fishing today from the top of the Big Hole down to Jerry Creek. From what I hear the fishing from Divide down through the lower river has been good as well. Get out there!
We hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Big Hole Lodge honored those who have fallen for our freedom by proudly waving the Stars and Stripes as we floated along the Pintler Range.
The fish were looking up for March Browns and chasing streamers underneath.
Chaco jumped off the dry bag for a parting kiss before Burt released this beauty!
Thank you to all who have served.
The long rods were launching fly lines into the stratosphere as Big Hole Lodge hosted its first Spey Casting Clinic May 4-9, 2013.
Larry Aiuppy from Livingston, MT was the Zen master who gave a brilliant four day instruction on spey casting with a two handed rod which originated in Scotland on the banks of the Spey River in the mid-1800’s. Rods made of greenheart from British Guyana were originally used up to 22’ in length but modern spey rods are generally 12-15’ long with 13 ½’ being the norm. Larry is the only FFF certified Spey Casting instructor in Montana and one of only 25 in the country whose teaching method constantly stresses the fundamentals of the spey cast throughout his clinics.
Orvis supplied the rods and reels for the event ranging from their 11’ Helios switch rods for trout all the way up to their 15’-10 wt. Helios salmon and steelhead rod.
Glenn Brackett and Jerry Kustich from Sweetgrass Bamboo Rods in Twin Bridges brought two bamboo spey rod prototypes over to demo on day one that added a different look and feel to the spey casting.
Larry made it fun to learn and even brought out his supply of brooms one day to teach the power stroke that was unforgettable. The great advantage to spey casting is being able to make a cast with an obstruction like a tree or rock cliff directly behind you. Another advantage is being able to cast long distances with hardly any effort at all assuming your timing and casting positions are good.
It has been said that watching an accomplished spey caster is like watching a ballet. A friend also told me that “it gives you something to do while you’re steelhead fishing.” Whatever it is, spey casting is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to fish a big river with a streamer.
Call us today to reserve your spot for the 2nd Annual Spey Clinic at Big Hole Lodge!