Man Eating Pheasant

doug's dadDoug’s dad with a measured 25 incher.

The other day Jim and his friend were heading down to the Maidenrock area when they came upon this rooster pheasant standing in the middle  of the road.  Jim’s friend got out to chase it off the road. Instead of running off it came after him and started pecking on his pant leg. He had enough of that and jumped back in the truck. Then the killer pheasant flew up and started raking his spurs on the window. They couldn’t believe it. He called me that evening and told the story. I believed him as earlier that day we came across that same bird. He would not get out of the road and actually chased the van about a hundred feet.

So if you are in the Maidenrock area you … Continue reading

Skwalla Action

Maidenrock  Rams



It was good to see  those big full  curl rams in the Maidenrock area the other day. It has been quite awhile since we have seen them. Years ago they were plentiful and then disease hit and almost  wiped out the entire herd.

Top water action with skwallas has been great to say the least. A couple guys were in the shop the other  day and said they didn’t try any  skwalla’s because they didn’t see any. Fact is you very seldom see them but the fish know they are there. Only way to find out is tie on one of those big pattern and test the water. Those guys did yesterday and filed a super report with lots of  fish on top water and a twenty incher to top it offStill pretty cool but milder conditions by mid week is promised. River is fairly low at … Continue reading


If you zoom in on this photo you  will see two birds on top  of that highest  rock on the  ridge. This was yesterday morning right behind my house. They are Canadian geese who for the time think  they are eagles. I  heard them honking like crazy and I  finally  spotted them high on that pinnacle.

The river is in great condition with the flow this morning at 850 cfs–Maidenrock. Visibility is great but the only problem is it has been colder than a well diggers —. Looks like the end of the week for warmer temps and the weekend looks good. Next week also looks great.

Skwalla action should still be happenin but streamers will rule for big fish.

Getting lots of predictions for  the peak flow with the earliest May 18th at 6970 and the latest so far June 8th at 8674 and 5890.


Lets Go Fishin

Big Hole River 951 cfs—Maidenrock

River dropping, temps. rising, all means it’s time to get serious about fishing.

Weather conditions look to be on the cool side for awhile so bring those layers of warm clothes.

High water flow on the Big Hole is still a ways off but there are some who want the action of picking the date and flow to start. So anyone wanting to confer with their crystal ball and come up with a prediction, please go for it. Send me the date and cfs flow and I’ll get er started. The winner will get a substantial prize this year with a dozen streamers already donated and there will be much more, should be fun again.


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Salmon Fly Fever

Big Hole GraylingSalmon flies are here and so are lots of fisherman. However things are going rather smoothly. No fights, no gun battles and most are having good luck catching fish.
Best fishing as of now is between Silver Bridge and Melrose. Just figure you are going to have company.
If you are not having much luck with Salmon Fly patterns, put on a golden. We actually did better yesterday with golden patterns.
I have a picture of a 25 inch rainbow that was caught way up river last week. Having trouble downloading the damn thing—too big I guess. That is the biggest rainbow I have heard of on the Big Hole for a long time. Caught on a yellow streamer on a cold, rainy, windy day—perfect for streamers.
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Tanker crash

Almost in the river
tandem tankerThis accident happened early this afternoon on    

the curve just west of Thompson’s corner. I found out the tanker was empty. Hard to tell how much fuel from the trucks fuel tanks leaked into the river. There might not have been any at all. This is a bad corner where several accidents have happened. The guard rail was sheared off like they were match sticks.

The river seems to have leveled off at 4400 cfs and is dropping a bit. Cool conditions are forecast for this weekend so I doubt there will be anyof the big bugs.
Fisherman  I talked to today said the fishing was fair.

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Big Hole River 590 cfs—-Maidenrock

Well I made it back here to the Big Hole safe and sound and immediately had to go to work. I spent most of the day yesterday getting the shop ready to open and it’s open today. I had not turned the sign on ten minutes before a couple guys came in looking for a shuttle.

The river is in great shape with good visibility. Forecast for this weekend looks good with temps gettting to sixty on Sunday.

Silver bridge remains closed so you have to access Pumpstation Rd. from the east side.

Nymphs and dead drifting streamers would be the choice  for now. However with these warm temps I would not hesitate to present a skwalla pattern from time to time.

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Cool Waters

Big Hole River 560 cfs Maidenrock, 650 Melrose, 701 Glen

Water temps. are dropping which makes for a little tougher fishing. However yesterday one of the guys we shuttled got a 22 incher on a streamer. I also heard of another upriver that was 28 inches.

The brown trout are on the redds now. I know it;s a place where one can catch some big fish and quite a few of them. Personally I prefer to leave them alone at this time. How would you like it if you were on your spawning bed taking care  of your business and somebody was trying to stick a hook in your butt?

Got an e-mail from a guy who caught a nice grayling at the Divide campground. Did you see that comment from Chuck Robbins where one of his clients caught a grayling way down river close to the Glen bar … Continue reading

Monster Big Hole Bows

About a week ago we came across this old photo of two Butte fisherman who won the US and Canada Rainbow trout contest in the fly category. There was no date on the photo and I thought it was around the 1940’s. After extensive research we were surprised to find it was September, 1916 Field and Stream issue.

Jack Derville who is on the right won the contest on July 14th. He landed a 12 pound 8 ounce rainbow in the Big Hole River near Divide. The length was 32 inches and girth of 18 inches. It was caught with a hand-made “Ted Ross” fly rod.

Ted Ross, winnerof the second place, was a well known dealer in angling supplies and was a expert on piscatorial matters. So says the article. His catch was 10 pounds and was caught on a #10 hook also on the Big Hole … Continue reading

Grumpy Old Men

Streamer Catch

Big Hole River 400 cfs and rising, Maidenrock

It was a picture perfect day when Art, Bobby and I got together for a float on the lower river. As you can see in the photo the East Pioneer Mountains look as majestic as they possibly can be.

Dry fly fishing was slow and I kept telling these hard heads to put on a streamer. It was a bright day so they figured it was no use. We stopped at good spot I know and on the second drift with a streamer through this seam I had a nice brown. That convinced Art as he grabbed my rod and he hooked two more nice ones in the same seam.  I told him … Continue reading