Big Hole River 1630 cfs—Maidenrock

Even with the river rising some from all the rain the fishing remains excellent.

In the past couple days we have hooked into several grayling. On one trip it was way up river where they are supposed to be. We got into one pod and got three before I pulled out. From the rise forms they seemed to be all grayling.
Now the surprising thing is that two days ago Roger said they caught two almost to the Glen access. Yesterday I floated that stretch and we got one between Glen bar and the access. I haven’t caught a grayling that far down river for a long time. Actually I don’t recall ever catching one down there.
I would be very interested to hear from anybody who has caught grayling down that far and if they have caught them further down. I’m sure Pat McGee who is the grayling guru with FWP would also be interested. So if any one has caught one below Glen, please let us know.

We had some more of that global warming this morning as I noticed all the high peaks were all white with fresh snow. Now I’m just being a wise ass as I think it’s great. Even some of the old timers can’t really remember when we had this much water in the river going into the second week of July.
As for the fresh snow, it was really there. Today was actually cold and I see my neighbor’s got his wood stove going. It’s cool but I refuse to light the wood stove in July.
When I saw the snow on the peaks this morning it made me recall the days when we did the pack trips to the high lakes. I remember one night when me and the wrangler were up there setting up camp. It was so cold we used all the saddle pads from the saddle and pack horses to cover up with. We smelled like sweaty old horses but what the hell, we were warm.


  1. A few years back I also caught a grayling in the stretch between the Glen bar and the bridge.

    Those fish do move around.

  2. Paul Pedfern

    The lowest i have ever seen a grayling was below the Notch Bottom. While floating with my friend Tim Sullivan, he had a small crayfish pattern on and caught a large 15 t0 16 ” grayling. Back in the late 80’s, when they were tagging them, i caught one about the same size on a salmonfly above Mallons. Dick Oswald had tagged that one down above Divide, so they do indeed range.

  3. Is it the Big Hole that flows right by the fairgrounds in Twin Bridges? Four or five years ago I caught a grayling right at the fairgrounds when my buddy was fixing his camper. I’m sure it was a Grayling, but not sure what river that is.

  4. We caught a few in a pool behind the Glen bar about 15 years ago. Since then, they’ve gotten a lot scarcer–there’s even been a year or two when we caught none in the upper canyon. But this is a great water year, and they do like to travel (50 or 80 miles, according to the radio tag data). Let’s hope flows stay up through Aug/Sept.

    That’s Jim Magee, the grayling biologist with FWP. He recently reported that the Big Hole population is about half what it was five years ago.

    Just read a new genetics study of Big Hole grayling–the native population somehow remained uncorrupted by all those thousands of grayling that were stocked over the years. Also, turns out the Mussigbrod population is a native group that has been cut off from other lake grayling in the area for a long, long time.

  5. Lorin Waxman

    Actually two years ago I caught a small ( 7 inch) grayling ri;ght outside of the town of Dillon.

  6. Lorin, They stocked grayling in 2002 near anderson lane on the beaverhead. they died off

  7. Lorin Waxman

    I need to revise my comments on where I caught that Grayling. It was actually between
    Twin Bridges and Dillon closer to Twin Bridges, near I believe Brown’s Bridge. Lorin

  8. I’m just a yahoo from Georgia (whadoIkno) but make a 2-3 trips to the Big Hole each year. Have caught grayling (I recall 5-6 over the past 3 years) in the Divide to Melrose stretch. Definitely catch more- sometimes lots- in the upriver meadow stretches but they are in the canyon for sure.

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