The Big Hole River: 150 + miles of free flowing water, originating high in the Beaverhead Mountains outside of Jackson, Montana. As it flows from the rugged peaks it meets the lush Big Hole Valley, and descends through the valley towards the small town of Wise River. Many small streams flow into the river above Wise River, helping to keep the river cool, while providing good spawning ground for the trout. Below Wise River, the surrounding river banks turn into a rocky canyon. This provides great riffles, deep pools and some fast water. The canyon section lasts for about 13 miles before opening up into the arid, high dessert near Melrose and Glen. Here the river has tall cottonwoods that provide shade and shelter as it flows through farmland before meeting with the Ruby River and Beaverhead to form the Jefferson.


The Big Hole really is a “text-book” example of prime trout fishing water. A variety of bugs hatch throughout the year, starting with Skwallas in early spring, Caddis in May, the famous Salmon fly & Golden stone hatch in June, and don’t forget tricos and spruce moths in mid to late July. Year round,  fisherman can throw streamers at aggressive trout. The Big Hole also has a variety of trout to catch, in addition to the beautiful fluvial arctic grayling.


  1. Percfet shot! Thanks for your post!

  2. great rivers for trout fishing, I have had one time on Madison river.

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