Hoot Owl restrictions have gone into effect on many rivers in SW Montana, including portions of the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers. Hoot owl restrictions means fishing is not allowed from 2 PM to Midnight, during the hottest part of the day. The following stretches of river are currently under Hoot Owl regulations: Big Hole from Dickie Bridge upriver to Saginaw Meadows and from Dead Zone (Maiden Rock FAS) down to the confluence of the Beaverhead River. The river is under normal fishing regulations from Dead Zone to Dickie Bridge. Please remember to pack along a thermometer and check water temperatures frequently. If water exceeds 68 degrees, please reel it up, drink a cool beverage and enjoy the scenery! Cooler water can also be found in stream tributaries and high mountain lakes, and we have many effective fly patterns for the lakes and streams.
If you do choose to come fish the Big Hole, you are in luck, as we are having some good hatches return to the river. Spruce moths and tricos are starting to come out, with fish looking up for the moth pattern pretty well. Additionally hoppers are beginning to move towards the river banks, try a variety of different colors (tan, peach, pink). Lastly, for those who are sticking to the dry fly only, we are beginning to see fish be active on ants. As the heat of the day comes, don’t hesitate to drop a small nymph below your dry fly. The darker colored bullets are still our best pattern, with small psycho mays coming into play. Don’t forget a small bugger in the shallow, fast riffles. The river is dropping into its August low-flows. We recommend a raft river wide, be prepared to rub on some rocks and likely have a little dragging at the boat ramps.
We have modified our shop hours to accommodate hoot owl restrictions and warm water temps. We will be opening at 7:00 AM daily, and closing at 4 PM. If you are coming through in the evening, give us a shout and we will try to accommodate you!