Current conditions for the Big Hole River
- Big Hole River bl Mudd Cr nr Wisdom MT (#1)
- Discharge, cubic feet per second: 573 cfs
- Gage height, feet: 3.19 ft
- Big Hole River at Maiden Rock nr Divide MT (#2)
- Discharge, cubic feet per second: 1430 cfs
- Gage height, feet: 4.10 ft
True Freestone start to finish!
The 160 mile Big Hole River flows out of Skinner Lake and the Beaverhead Mountains south of Jackson through the Valley of Ten Thousand Haystacks; so named for its ingenious and now photogenic haying machinery. The upper Big Hole meanders its way through several meadows brimming with Brook trout, Rainbow’s and the last wild population of Arctic Fluvial Grayling, all eager risers to your favorite dry fly.
As the river enters the canyon stretches it changes drastically in surroundings and gradient, grassy meadows give way to house-size boulders hiding some 3000 Brown and Rainbow’s per mile; and some of our favorite ‘pocket water’. The hatch list, too long to get it all includes, ‘Mother’s Day Caddis’, ‘Salmon Flies’, Hoppers …….. I’ve heard from more than one grinning client ….this is what they imagined a Montana river ought to look and feel like…. I couldn’t agree more.
Wildlife is abundant all along, it’s not uncommon to see Golden Eagles, Whitetail Deer or even moose all in the same day. Further down the river slows. Braids and islands in between classic riffles, littered with hanging cotton woods and long grassy runs; harbor some of the largest brown trout in Montana. The Big Hole eventually merges with the Beaverhead River just north of the town of Twin Bridges, forming the Jefferson River. Bluebird days and Hoppers; or clouds and Streamers, the Big Hole River is stream that everyone enjoys!