Day off on the Lower Beaverhead River

Thursday was a day to be throwing streamers, and the Lower Beaverhead is a damn good place to do it.  The raft was on its first trip with all the owners of Great Divide Outfitters since it was overhauled by our friends at Sotar.  A drift boat would have a tough time in the shallow water, but the raft was excellent, and the fish were easy to get at.

If you haven’t fished the lower reaches of the Beaverhead river it can be described as a incredibly tight irrigation ditch.  The corners are deep, the banks are undercut and muddy, and the hatches are limited.  Personally, this stretch is one of our favorites.  The lack of people, roads, bridges, and garbage makes the river feel a little more out of the way than it actually is.

We floated Selway to Anderson, starting at about 10 in the morning with … Continue reading

The Big Hole Blow Out

This past week has been fantastic.  The caddis have kept the fish looking up and the snow has been coming out of the hills slowly, keeping the water from getting too colored up.  Today the river has taken the bump.  The water came up considerably with the constant snow and rain over the past 3 days.  The yellow streamers have become the fly of choice over the caddis, due to cold temps and a rising river.  I had a chance to take my wife, Lia, out for an afternoon last week and we caught the caddis hatch dead nuts.  We fished dries all day and landed quite a few fish.  The olive and tan caddis were the best, size 16 and 18.

When the water rises many people think that the fishing is going to be slow.  Despite the fact that fish do not like rising water in general, and … Continue reading

Mothers Day Caddis Hatch continued….

Today I guided one of my favorite stretches of the Big Hole river, Jerry Creek to Divide.  When I arrived at the shop in the morning and made the previous post it was sunny with a slight breeze.  David and Kari showed up a few minutes early and we discussed how they would like the day to go.  Originally David and I talked about doing a half day float because the weather was going to be questionable, but after seeing the hatch yesterday there was no way I was going to let that happen.  Kari mentioned that one of the reasons that they had to be back early was because they had left their dog locked up at their house in Melrose.  I told the couple that the caddis were not going to come off the river until later in the afternoon and that if we were to get … Continue reading

Mothers Day Caddis Hatch Right On Time

It has been quite a few years since the Caddis hatch has made it’s debut on the day of its namesake.  The caddis have been creeping up the river slowly and have finally made it up to Divide in full force.  The hatch is coming off a little bit late still, around 4 PM.  I will be guiding today and will update this post this evening with pictures and comments on the day.  If it was anything like yesterday it should be a slam dunk.  Come see us and pick up a few locally tied miracle caddis #16 and get your fix before the crowds show up!



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Fishing Report: May 4th – 8th





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The fishing has definitely become more diverse over the last week.  As expected, Al and I have visual confirmation of the Caddis coming up the river.  The Caddis are already above Maiden Rock but have been stalled by the recent cold snap that arrived two days ago.  Those of our readers who are waiting for the fish to be on caddis will have to wait a little longer, but not much.  Warmer weather is headed our way later in the weekend and the Caddis will be continuing their march up the Big Hole.

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Good Day Off

I have been watching Big Hole fisher people going fishing for days and I finally got a chance to join in the fun.  Myself, our shuttle driver Ninja, and our very own Craig Jones went out for a day from East Bank to Jerry Creek.  Most of the hits were on dry flies, mainly brown chubbies and quills.  In streamer land I had a few hits on a black and silver bug, but that was it.  Ninja, the star of the day, landed this brown trout on a red attacker which was pretty consistent.  Thanks to Bobby and Al for watching the shop.

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Al is back!

Just as we wait for the bugs and the weather in Divide, we also await the return of Big Al himself.  Al returned last week and has been helping us with the shop, shuttles, and of course the fishing report.  The weather has been great the last couple of days which has brought the skwalla’s up the river.  I was able to see a couple bugs crawling out into the water as far upstream as Mudd Creek.  The fish are still a bit chilly in the upper reaches of the river and it is hard to get their heads up, or chase streamers.  The next couple of days should be the warmest we have seen this year and we are hoping to see the bugs explode and maybe even see a caddis or two.  Al has had some great fishing already using his favorite fly, the Gypsy King.  I … Continue reading

We are open for business!

Today is a new day. We are opening the doors to Great Divide Outfitters for the first time without Big Al to sit on the porch and drink coffee. This, of course, does not mean that the porch will be empty. If you look closely in the morning sun you may spot John Fetter and  Craig Jones drinking coffee, and sunning themselves on this glorious day. The temperatures are suppose to reach the 70’s, and that means that the fishing will be excellent.  Come on down and get your bugs and listen to some BS if you have the time, and don’t forget to get your shuttles and firewood for your camp-fest from us; fishing/camping season is officially OPEN!



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First Days Out: report

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Had a pretty decent day on the Big Hole a few days ago.  It was great to watch my wife, Lia Jones, rip buggers.  She is certainly becoming a pro and may just end up guiding for GDO in the future (she disagrees!) The weather has turned to snow and is dumping in the hills although little is reaching the valleys, which is fine with me.  By the end of the week it is predicted to reach the 70’s.  With the warming of the water expect to see skwala’s making their debut and better streamer fishing.  The shop is due to open this Friday, so stop on by and … Continue reading

Spring check up

The Big Hole has been having a wonderfully mild winter.  The bugs have already started to move, including large caddis, midges, and bwo’s.  I hit the water for GDO’s first guide trip of the year on friday with Richard Kolenda.  The fishing was slow due to the water being icy sludge and the color of coffee.  Mr Kolenda did manage to hook a couple and we did land one nice brown.

On Saturday I went out with my wife and floated the same section as the  day before.  I wanted to see if the nymph fishing would be any better than the streamer fishing on the previous day.  We put on around 1030 and did not catch a fish for at least an hour.  Lia managed to catch one nice brown on a copper sparkle minnow and my good friend, and guide, Thayer Nicholas, caught 4 or 5 on … Continue reading