Big Hole River

August 20, 2018

Fishing Conditions

August 20, 2018

The lower portions of the river are starting to cool in the mornings, but midday temps still are not prime. However, with average flows, 300 cfs at Melrose, and colder than average nights, mornings are still fishing really well in the lower reaches. Once above Melrose, the fishing improves throughout the day.  This time of year is great for attractor dry flies and dry dropper rigs. Running standard patterns like stimulators, humpies, royal wulffs, chubbies, water walkers, foamulators, or caddis are all great options. During midday, the fish have been slightly reluctant to eat on the surface so running a dropper nymph is a great method to try. For droppers keep them size 14-16 and keep them in the mayfly category. Pheasant tails, spankers, and lightning bugs are all great options for those midday picky fish! When the afternoon storms roll through, streamer fishing can get really good! try smaller black and olive buggers. Sometimes these can crack the code on more difficult days. Dry fly fishing can be hit or miss up this direction. Tricos are starting to come out and fish are taking notice. Get into a slick bend and watch for heads coming up. The key to trico fishing the bighole is to decipher between white fish and trout. If they are head tailing and small enough that you can't tell, they are most likely a white fish. Keep an eye out, there will at times be large trout in the middle of white fish pods. Also be aware that there are spuce moths throughout this river system at the moment. Find a pocket with a few spruce trees and make it happen!

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Fly Pattern Suggestions

Dries| Elk Hair Caddis: 12-16, PMD patterns: 14-18, Renegade: 16-18-20 Water Walkers: 4-6, Chubby Chernobyls: 8-16, purple haze: 14-18, royal wulff: 12-18, Royal trude: 12-18, lime trude: 12-18, red humpy: 14-16, trico spinner: 18-22, rusty spinner: 18, foamulator: 8-12

Nymphs| Bubble Back BWO: 16-18, BH Pheasant Tail: 14-16-18, Green Machine: 18-20, CDC Pheasant Tail: 12-14-16-18, Rubberlegs Olive, Olive/Brown: 6-8-10, Ugly Bug: 4-6-8, Red Belly Yuk Bug: 2-4 Coppertone Delektable: 6-8 Lightning Bug Pearl, Gold, Purple: 14-16 IED Worm: 10 Copper Johnson Yellow, Red, Blue: 12-14-16-18

Streamers| JJ Special: 4- 6 Sculpzilla's Tan, Olive, Black: size 4-6 Haymaker Sculpin Olive, Brown: 4 Bellyache Minnow Tan, Olive: 1/0-1 Micro Zonker Tan, Olive, Black: 8 Fatheads Yellow: 2 Sex Dungeon Yellow, Rust, Natural: 2 Home Invader Yellow, Olive Space Invader: 2 Flash Fry Brown & Yellow: 2 Space Invader Brown Yellow, Tan: 2-4-6; Brown/Copper Sparkle Minnow 4-6

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More USGS Water Data

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