Big Brown’s

Big Hole River 200 cfs-morning water temp. 55, afternoon temp. 65
Beaverhead River 174 cfs

Went fishing for a short time this evening and was having moderate success with hoppers and small pmd’s as well as an assortment of other small dry’s. I couldn’t get any big fish to look at any of them. As soon as the sun went behind the mountain I thought maybe a wooly bugger as I haven’t tried one for quite awhile. I tied on a #4 black and olive bugger and first cast, first strip a big fish slammed it and broke that 3x tippet immediately. I clipped the leader back to what I figured was at least 2x and tied on a #4 pumpkin bugger as that was the only other streamer I had with. This time first cast, two strips and whammo, but this time I got him or her I should say as she made about 4 jumps and I knew right away it was a female brown. Did you know that in most cases only the female brown trout will make jumps like that? I released her and thought, there couldn’t be three big browns in that spot. Sure enough, three casts later and a bit down stream and another big brown. After releasing this one I thought to myself, I’m happy now and walked home. Both those fish I landed were pushing twenty inches and I have no idea how big the first one was that broke off.

Ray Babineau, who used to have a fly shop in Wise River and is an excellent fisherman told me that yesterday he caught a 24 inch brown on a #18 trico. When Ray says it was 24 you better believe it. I have seen this guy in action many times and he knows how to fish this river.

My clients for the next two days called me this evening and said they stopped in Missoula on the way and went into the Sportsman’s Warehouse there and the clerk told them not to bother with going to the Big Hole as the fishing was terrible—unbelieveable, I think that guy better stick to golf.

One Comment:

  1. Steelhead Bum

    Al & Art,

    Pumpkin Buggers and Big Browns are my favorite Big Hole River combination!! It’s amazing to me how so many “experts” around the state can’t or won’t pick up the phone and call the local flyshops for the latest news/advice.

    Not to worry though, this past Saturday, I stopped at a flyshop in Bozeman to pick up a couple of items. The “seasoned” gentleman manning the store struck up a conversation about the Madison & Big Hole. The long story short was this: Once the sun goes behind the mountain; breakout the Olive Sculpin (Madison) & the Pumpkin Bugger (Big Hole). Both are simple but deadly. Oh, he also said the Big Hole was fishing “very Good” and will get better right after Labor Day!! Not bad info from the big city of Bozeman!!

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