.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/31/09

Destinations: Big Hole River, Montana
When I think of the Big Hole River, I think of grayling even though I have never
caught one there. I guess it's because I have read so much about them being
there and more recently, in danger or not being there much longer. I guess it is
tough to make a living as a farmer and/or rancher when you must protect such
fragile fish. The grayling are said to be in the stream near the Wisdom area and
I have fished there very little.

This stream isn't exactly in a hole because it is 155 miles long. That is a very
long river anywhere but Montana. When you tell someone they should give the
Big Hole River a try, you better get far more specific. On a couple of occasions,
without giving it much though, I have recommended the Big Hole to other
anglers only to find out they ended up disappointed. In both cases, the reason
for the lack of success was the result of the part of the river they fished. Fishing
can be very good in one part, and very poor in another. At some point in time, it
is usually good in all parts of the river but that varies from season to season,
even month to month.

One thing that alters a typical water level schedule for Montana rivers, is the use
of the water for agricultural purposes. The valley is flooded during the early
summer and this affects the levels at a time when you would think everything
was getting into perfect shape. When you pinpoint times of the year to fish, you
have to take a lot of things into consideration. It is made up of a lot of different
types of water. There are small mountain headwater streams, meadow type
streams, large open flats of moderate flows, canyon sections, slow water smooth
sections, larger river section more suitable for drift boats and on and on.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh