Tricos, Hoppers & Diversion Dams

Big Hole River 165 cfs
Beaverhead River 375 cfs

We floated the stretch of the Big Hole today between Maidenrock and Melrose to see for ourselves if those diversion dams with the trees across the slots were still there and unfortunately they are. The tree across the second dam is about three feet in diameter and impossible to move without a piece of heavy equipment such as what placed it there. One has to drag the boat up and over these to get across. I have been in touch with the Big Hole Watershed Committee, Big Hole River Foundation, Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation, Dept. of Enviromental Quality and the FWP. You would think the buck would have to stop some where but so far it hasn’t.

The best thing about the float today was that the fishing was excellent. After the trico flurry and feed we went to hoppers with that little cripple on a dropper. After awhile they just hit the hopper and pretty steadily I might add. We expermented with several different hopper patterns and they hit most of them, as a matter of fact I don’t think there was a hopper pattern they didn’t hit. There were several wade fisherman in the canyon and every one seemed happy. When we would pull the boat behind these fisherman they would engage in conversation as to what patterns were working for us. For the ones that were not having very good luck we would give them a pattern that was working for us. Of course we only gave them one and told them where the shop was if they so desired to get some more. It just seemed that today all the fisherman and women had a smile on their face — it was a fun place to be.


  1. Paul Siddoway, M. D.

    Gentlemen, I enjoy your web site for the most part because it pertains to honest comments about the current fishing conditions. I am however confused about recent comments regarding the current sad situation on the river with regards to water flows and the avoidance of saying that the river should be left alone until water flows improve.The majority of the people who care about the river are staying away and I’m sure that if the fish had a voice they would rather be left alone. They have enough stress with low water flows and no where to hide. The mandatory closure should be raised from 150 to 200 csf regardless of the water temperatures now that we have had drought conditions year after year after year.Everyone needs to work together to find some long term solutions to the water problem, and in the interim take some of the pressure off the fish that inhabit the greatest river in Montana so that this gift will be available to future generations.

  2. Ryan Reichle

    To Paul Siddoway, M.D. Does the M.D. indicate medical doctor or residence in Maryland? Either way we must question your actual knowledge of current conditions on the river. Please don’t chastise Big Al for fishing the Big Hole right now. If you knew him you would realize he is a respectable man and a damn fine steward of the river that puts food on his table! Check the USGS site. Water temps are running between 50 and 60 degrees. Fish like this. With regards to them having no place to hide it’s just not true. A sloppy cast or poor fly choice will put the fish down immediately. An experienced angler can always fing the fish no matter the flow. Tempurature and turbidity play a much greater role in a fishes health than flow does. Actually considering the current water temps I think it’s rediculous that the river is closed now.

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