Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the fluvial Arctic Grayling from Endangered Species candidacy, which has resulted in a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and other interested parties,[14] who have stated the view that the USFWS decision was politically mandated by Julie MacDonald, the former Department of Interior official who has since resigned. Starting high in the mountains, the river, which is very narrow at this point, lazily twists and turns its way down into the stunning Big Hole River Valley. Floating in Maiden Rock Canyon on the Big Hole River. She is prosperous. In response, organizations such as the Big Hole River Foundation were formed, with the goal "to understand, preserve, and enhance the free flowing character of the Big Hole River and to protect its watershed, culture, community and excellent wild trout fishery. It meanders slowly through the Big Hole River Valley. There are only four designated access sites between Glen and Twin Bridges. Lewis & Clark considered navigating up the Big Hole River, but chose the slower-flowing Beaverhead River instead. However, Skinner Lake is in turn fed by Darkhorse Creek, which flows from Darkhorse and Cowbone Lakes, the former at 8,691 feet (2,649 m). During July, and lasting for the rest of the summer until the first frost, the Big Hole River in this section (as well as for the remainder of its length), becomes, not surprisingly, a prime river for using grasshopper imitations. If you're asking the question "Is the cabin really on the Big Hole River and can I walk from the cabin to the river to fish?" This character of the Big Hole River in this section changes again, as the river begins its journey into the arid plain. s, "waters of the pocket gopher" ) is a tributary of the Jefferson River, approximately 153 miles (246 km) long, in Beaverhead County, in southwestern Montana, United States. Out the door is private access to two and a half miles Montana's Big Hole River, perfect for floating or solitary wade fishing. The cooler temperatures spur feeding activity and the fly fishing can be good all day long. For 7 December 2020: To keep visitors safe ALL camping in NSW national parks now requires a booking. Big Hole is the birthplace of the Shiliang River. The Silver Bow Club 4000 Maiden Rock Road Divide, Montana 59727. What this section may lack in fly fishing quality and access, however, it makes up for in solitude. The best access to the Big Hole River in this stretch is from the designated access sites, as the river primarily flows through private land. Access to the Big Hole River for most of its length is excellent. The committee was criticized for exclusion of activist voices such as the Center for Biological Diversity and the Montana Wildlife Federation. In 1877 the U.S. troops under John Gibbon fought the Nez Percé Indians along the Big Hole River, during the Nez Perce War in the Battle of the Big Hole. The Big Hole River is one of the prettiest rivers in Montana. Assuming the Big Hole River isn’t blown out by high water, tremendous fishing for large rainbow trout and brown trout happen on this section. Productive fishing on this section of the Big Hole River begins in March and April using large streamers thrown along the undercut banks, river obstructions and into the deeper holes. The Ruby River below Ruby Reservoir also provides an additional option. The Big Hole River has been fishing pretty well lately. Larger size flies (4-6) are recommended to avoid catching whitefish all day long (which are plentiful in the Big Hole River) instead of rainbow trout. Since this is primarily brown trout water, the fly fishing is more difficult on this section even though fishing pressure is significantly less than found further upstream. A popular fly for this demanding duty is the Wolly Bugger, preferably in larger sizes. We are in the late summer transition to some fall activity. Combine Big Hole’s unparalleled vistas with more than 3,000 trout per mile and hundreds of imagination-defying hatches, and it is no wonder the Big Hole River is nicknamed Montana’s Last Best River. Excellent brook trout fishing also exists on its upper reaches. The river flows through the valley for more than sixty miles before it turns eastward where it enters a canyon. With more than 3000 fish per mile, the river is an angler’s dream. Fall fishing, like found between Salmon Fly FAS and Glen FAS, revolves around using large streamers such as Wolly Buggers on sink-tip lines, fishing them in and around prime brown trout habitat. For the angler who lacks a fly fishing boat, this stretch of the Big Hole River is the perfect place to fish. Beginning in May, water conditions permitting due to the variable nature of spring run-off, this section of the river becomes excellent for fly fishing using caddis fly imitations such as the X-Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis and the Tan Caddis, in smaller sizes of 14-18. Only one designated fishing access site exists, although some road access is occasionally found along a fair condition dirt road (Burma Road), which loosely follows the Big Hole River from Glen to Twin Bridges. However, caddis fly imitations work equally well for a number of weeks before and after the hatch, and provide a wonderful opportunity for fly-fishing with dry flies. Finally, when nothing seems to happen on top, nymph fishing using popular patterns such as the Hare’s Ear Nymph and the Prince Nymph (sizes 16-18) can work well for catching the rainbow trout. Once the Big Hole River leaves the mountains, it spills out into a massive, sparsely populated arid valley where it continues on towards the confluence with the Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges. Fishing Conditions December 2, 2020. It varies between running through small valleys on its eastern edge to slicing through a number of canyons, with the mountains sometimes heavily forested and other times almost completely barren of vegetation–particularly as the river nears Melrose. Few rivers in Montana flow through such a wide variety of geographical features. Along with rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout, the rare Fluvial Grayling (which is rarely seem in the lower 48) can be caught in the upper sections. Lower Big Hole River, downstream from Glen Fishing Access Site. As is found further upstream, excellent dry fly fishing begins during May with the caddis fly hatch that occurs around Mothers Day. View detailed fishing guide books & river maps for Montana. The Big Hole River at this point is less of a river and more of a spring creek, since the river is very narrow and often closed in. The river is rich in iron ore and coal. So when is the best time to fish the Big Hole River? The Big Hole then emerges from the canyon near the town of Divide, which is located along Interstate 15. Near Glen, Montana it turns northeast and joins the Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges to form the Jefferson. Big Hole River Fly Shop & Guide Service Great Divide Outfitters is a fly shop and guide service located in Divide, Montana, just steps from the Big Hole River. The Watershed Committee reached out to local and selected interested entities and developed a viable community-based consensus group to forge solutions to difficult problems that impact the river. Even the weather changes markedly on this section of the Big Hole River, since it can be cold and rainy in Wise River while warm and sunny just a few short river miles downstream in Melrose. The riverbanks are primarily a combination of forests, agricultural fields and open meadows. However, on warm, sunny days in July and August, particularly downstream from Divide FAS, the best fishing happens during the morning and later in the evening when the temperature is cooler. The Big Hole Lodge is truly one of the classic fly fishing lodge experiences in the American West. The best fishing for brook trout will be found on the upper half of this river section while the best rainbow trout fishing will be found downstream from Wisdom. Spring fishing on this stretch of the Big Hole River is similar to that found upstream. Inflatable canoes are ideal for floating and fishing many waters in Montana and elsewhere and are very portable. Caddis fly imitations work well on this section of the Big Hole, water conditions permitting, up through early July during a normal year. However, since no road follows the Big Hole River in this stretch, access for the wade angler is limited to the fishing access sites—which thus create a fair amount of fishing pressure around these sites. This section is where the prime fly fishing begins and which also has the heaviest fishing and floating pressure. The Big Hole River Foundation is a science-based organization that works to protect the Big Hole River watershed through water quality monitoring, education outreach, and advocacy on behalf of its unique culture, fisheries, and wildlife. When nymph fishing during the Salmon Fly hatch, a popular method is to use a sink tip line, bouncing the nymphs along the bottom, particularly in the deeper holes and near obstructions. However, a number of unofficial access sites exist just off the road that follows the Big Hole River. This section has 5 public access sites: Sportsman Park (Mile 78), Dewey (Mile 57), Greenwood Bottoms (Mile 57), Powerhouse (Mile 52) and Maidenrock (Mile 48). The meadow stretch is home to a few remaining native Fluvial Arctic Grayling and a good population of exotic Brook trout. The Big Hole is a productive river, and is typically only crowded for the middle weeks of June during the salmonfly hatch. The Big Hole is one of the few un-dammed rivers in the country and one of the few with wild trout.When you fish the Big Hole River, you never known what you might catch. Big Hole River. Popular nymphs for the Salmon Fly hatch include Bitch Creek Nymphs, the Kaufmann’s Stone and the Brooks Stone, in sizes 2-6. Location: The Big Hole River is born in Skinner Lake high in the mountains of southwestern Montana.. For over half its length, the Big Hole flows through spectacular country. At the time Lewis & Clark traveled through the Big Hole River watershed, it was a buffer zone between several rival Native American tribes including the Nez Percé, Shoshone, Coast Salish, and Blackfeet. Mid-April to mid–May is pre-runoff here on the Big Hole. Finally, beginning in September, dry fly anglers will have the opportunity for more top water fishing using standard dry flies such as the Parachute Adams, as solid mayfly hatches occur on the Big Hole during the fall. View listing photos, review sales history, and use our detailed real estate filters to find the perfect place. On the wet cool days we are seeing Blue Winged Olives hatching and some October caddis have been spotted in certain sections of the Big Hole. And nestled right on its banks sits a perfect fishing haven. The Big Hole River in Montana, one of the best fly fishing rivers in Southwest Montana. Lower Big Hole River in Montana, near the confluence with the Jefferson River. This scenic valley is flanked by mountains on all sides and to many people defines what Montana is all about—big valleys, tall mountains and wide-open spaces. The character of the Big Hole River changes considerably from just upriver. Beginning at Divide fishing access site, however, the river widens. It is not at all uncommon to see mule deer, moose and elk all along the river. Listed below are selected river miles for the Big Hole River in Montana. [6] As a great improvement for preserving the wild hay for winter feeding of cattle, Herbert S. Armitage and David J. Stephens filed for a "Hay-Stacker" patent in 1909, which was awarded in 1910. For the first few miles below Wise River, the Big Hole resembles that found further upstream. The river is home to high numbers of wild and large rainbow and brown trout. Between Glen and Twin Bridges, the river runs moderately fast except during low water periods. This beautiful river begins high in the mountains of the Bitterroot Range. Inflatable fishing kayaks are ideal for solo anglers who need a portable fishing boat for fishing on both rivers and flat waters. The month of July sees angler pressure fall somewhat as the Salmon Fly hatch winds down, although small hatches still periodically happen. [7][8][9], The Big Hole River watershed drains 2,800 sq mi (7,300 km2).[10][11]. Back to Rivers. Streams form the Big Hole River, starting at its Beaverhead Mountain headwaters more than 10,000 feet high, and continue on to join the Jefferson River in Twin Bridges, Montana. The river is bordered by the Pintlar and Beaverhead Mountains in the west, and the smaller West Pioneer Mountains in the east.. Zillow has 4 homes for sale in Wise River MT matching Big Hole River. Access to the Big Hole River on this section is excellent. s, "waters of the pocket gopher" ) is a tributary of the Jefferson River, approximately 153 miles (246 km) long, in Beaverhead County, in southwestern Montana, United States. [16] Although the river still holds some native westslope cutthroat trout, their populations are almost non-existent. Wolly Buggers and other attractor dry flies in larger sizes work well for the top water fisherman, just as they do further upstream. Floating on the Big Hole River can begin near Jackson. Like most rivers in Montana, the Big Hole turns brown and swollen during spring run-off. Liars Lodge on the Garrisons' Big Hole River Ranch is the perfect base for a fly fishing vacation, hunting excursion, bird watching, hiking or just to get away from it all. The site of the battle along the North fork of the Big Hole is preserved as the Big Hole National Battlefield. Between Jackson and Fishtrap Access Site, the river is narrow. [5] The Big Hole River Watershed Committee (BHWC) was formed in 1995 by several Big Hole ranchers and some factions of the conservation community who opposed an ESA listing for fluvial Arctic grayling. As a result, anglers who plan to fish for the larger brown trout on this section should concentrate their efforts in the early morning hours and again later in the evenings. Due to its elevation, the valley gets a fair amount of moisture by Montana standards and also gets quite chilly, even during the summer. A word of warning is needed to anyone visiting the upper Big Hole River for the first time. This page was last edited on 23 November 2020, at 16:05. The Big Hole starts as a wide and meandering meadow stream surrounded by majestic peaks in its headwaters before picking up speed and added volume from the Wise River. Big Hole River in Montana, downstream from Wisdom. Strict fishing regulations on the river help maintain both the fly fishing quality as well as limit the use of the river to some extent, keeping fishing pressure at tolerable levels most of the year. This is the slow moving, high meadow stretch of the Big Hole. The Big Hole River is frequently bordered by federal land, and numerous official and unofficial access sites exist. Access to the river in the canyon stretch is excellent. The river also flows through a short stretch of BLM land on this section (the Upper Big Hole River SRMA), allowing for easy access. The Big Hole River is likely in the top 3 of both lists. Dillon, located sixty-five miles to the southeast, and Anaconda, fifty miles to the north, provide the best source for supplies and services. Caddis fly hatches occur on the river through the middle of the summer and provide excellent fly fishing for dry fly anglers. The largest trout, particularly the brown trout, are found on this section due to higher fertility in the Big Hole River and better habitat. The river between Wise River and Divide is of moderate width, although it is sometimes rather deep in spots. The river flows through a delightful mix of country, almost as if the river is unsure of whether it wants to leave the mountains behind. Established in 1984 by long-time angler Craig Fellin, the Big Hole Lodge continues to offer world-renowned wild trout fishing, remarkable cuisine, and comfortable accommodations in a secluded mountain setting. The Big Hole River is nationally known as one of the premiere blue-ribbon trout waters in Montana and for good reason. In short, the Big Hole River offers an exceptionally wide variety of geography between Wise River and Melrose. This section is exclusively brown trout water and is best fished in the spring and again in the fall. An Office of the Inspector General investigation found that "MacDonald has been heavily involved with editing, commenting on, and reshaping the Endangered Species Program's scientific reports." 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