Beaverhead R&D

Big Hole 597 cfs—-Melrose
Beaverhead 400 cfs—give or take

The convict and I did an R&D trip on the Beav today and what fun it was. No we did not do the nypmh thing but just the opposite with small dry flies on top. Pretty amazing to be fishing small dries in November but with the warm weather it was happening. We hooked several big fish but boated very few. With using 5x tippet with these small flies it was tough. And we had to use that light tippet as they were pretty persnippity (new word). So when you hook a 24 inch fish on this tackle it’s pretty tough to land them especially on the Beav. But the most fun was in hooking them as we did several and most of them ate our lunch.
This was the kind of fishing my friend Wally would … Continue reading

Wet and Wild

Big Hole River 412 cfs
Beaverhead River 530 cfs

It has been a rather wet and cool summer and it continues. Not complaining mind you as flows have been great and fishing has been good most of the time. There are some days when the brown trout are just off and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it.

I floated the Beaverhead today and it was my first trip there this season. We had a great time with lots of action. It was basically a R&D trip so we tried lots of stuff except nymphs which is the norm down there. We had good action on top right off the gitgo with hopper patterns. After we got a few hits on a certain pattern we changed to try a new one. That is what an R&D trip is all about. We tried five different … Continue reading

Happy Guide

Big Hole River 520 cfs
Beaverhead River 360 cfs

While I was gone to Denver, Mike was covering for me guiding my clients. It sounds like I missed out on guiding some pretty nice folks. When I got back Mike called and said it was the best couple trips he had the entire year. He said Herman and Geannie were the best clients any guide could ask for. It wasn’t that the fishing was that spectacular, but they just knew how to have fun. On the Beaverhead they opted to go with dry flies even though nymphs seemed to be the better choice. It did work out however as she caught a 23 inch trout on a small dry fly up in the slick—way to go.

As of today I closed the shop for the season. Fishing is still good but the weather isn’t. Snow showers … Continue reading

Close Call

Big Hole River 442 cfs
Beaverhead River 370 cfs

Yesterday evening just after dark I was heading up to
Wise River for dinner. I was between Dewey and Thompsons corner when all of a sudden here was this bull elk right in front of me. It was like he came out of nowhere. I was in the little shuttle car and the only thought that raced through my mind was “this is really going to hurt” I had slammed on the brakes and the car stopped just inches from him. For a split second it was like he was froze there, probably blinded by the lights. He was a big 5 point bull and looking up at him in that little car he looked like the biggest elk I had ever seen. He then bounded off followed by about 10 more and all right in front … Continue reading

Tough Days

Big Hole River 332 cfs
Beaverhead River 440 cfs

The past few days have been slow fishing. The trip to the Beaverhead was terrible. A week ago in the same stretch we had good luck with hoppers and then streamers when it got cloudy. There was basically the same conditions the other day except the fish did not cooperate.
Yesterday on the Big Hole the action on top picked up some but was stil not great. Best action was when I spotted a big brown in shallow frog water right next to the bank. His dorsel fin was actually sticking out of the water. We were about 40 feet from him and I knew if I got any closer with the boat he would spook.Wally made the cast and it was perfect, landing softly on the water a few feet upstream from him. The fly slowly … Continue reading

Beaverhead Trip

Big Hole River 438 cfs
Beaverhead River 472 cfs

Yesterday Dave and I took a trip down to the Beav just to try something different.
My old Jeep has been sounding like there is a bunch of chipmunks under the hood and about half way to Dillon it gave up the ghost. There was some smoke, some noise and all warning lights were on. We were just at the Glen exit. That morning for some reason I packed my cell phone which is a rare thing for me to do. So not to spoil our trip I called Roger at the shop to bring down the van and called Lisac’s to come and tow it and fix if possible.

We finally got to the Beav and it was a bit disappointing. There was lots of grass and moss floating down the river. Since it was cloudy … Continue reading


Big Hole River 6600 cfs—Maidenrock and rising

As cold as it was today it was surprising how many boats were on the upper river, and way up as far as Squaw Ck. bridge (Mudd Creek for the politically correct) It was raining up there, snowing and the wind was blowing. I saw one guy in a raft floating down with a huge umbrella held over his head. His buddy was trying to fly fish and was having a bit of a problem trying to cast.
The few guys who floated from Divide down came back with great reports on the streamer action in that section.

Hard tellin how much higher the river will get and it depends on how much more rain we get. The weather pattern is for unsettled conditions well into next week. High temp for tomorrow is forecast to be only 47 with snow … Continue reading

Blown Out

With the river flow approaching 6000 cfs I would have to say it’s out for awhile.
Much cooler temps. are on the way but so are showers.
I’m thinkin it will be at least a week before it starts to fish again but with showers predicted, who knows.

The Beav. is running about 550 cfs and fishing ok. I heard it was bit crowded last weekend for the season opener.

Continue Reading

Back To The Big Hole

Big Hole River at Maidenrock 2950 cfs and dropping

All the rain we had a few days ago pretty much blew the river out. Today it is starting to drop and fairly quickly on the upper river. It should start fishing again as there is that all important foot and half visibility on the banks. I’ll be on it tomorrow with a couple rookies who I think will score big.

Yesterday we did the Beaverhead and it was ok….it was more than ok for some and less than ok for others. We had three boats and the guides were Chuck, Mike and myself.
Chuck’s boat did great. Mike’s boat did fairly well. My boat did terrible and if we were on American Fising we would be totally eliminated. There was a pretty good caddis hatch in the afternoon but we just could not connect.
Tomorrow I … Continue reading

Great Day

Big Hole River 172 cfs
Beaverhead river 356 cfs

Just for some thing different I took Robert and Holt to C. C. Dam . It was a bit slower than last time I was there but with the high tech approach we used we managed to boat about ten rather large trout.
We watched these ominous dark clouds getting near and the lake was like glass. This was an omen that it was time to get the hell out of there and we did. We just got back to the old road when the wind started blowing at mach 2.

Later that day we floated the upper Beaverhead where we encountered a pod of very finicky, very large fish. We tried trico patterns, tiny nymphs (we did get one on a #18 MRE—-Meal Ready To Eat) small hoppers with #20 zebra midge on a dropper and … Continue reading