Fishing with Ladin: Fly Fishing TV Show, Videos, VOD and Articles inspires young and old to enjoy the outdoors. Travel the Northwest with them as they reveal the beauty of nature and the practice of catch and release fly fishing through an entertaining format that is fast-paced and humorous. Fly fishing places is designed to give the fly fisherman the basics of where, when and how to fly fish some of the places we have been around the Northwest.
The Big Hole River is famous for its beauty and excellent blue-ribbon fly fishing. It is located north of the small town of Dillon, Montana (Population 4257, Elevation 5240 ft) and south of Butte, Montana (Population 34,000, Elevation 5538 ft). There are many miles of fishable water on the Big Hole and on this trip, we fly fished just west of the little town of Wise River on highway 43. There are several access sites and fly fishing can be good throughout this section. This is a very scenic area for sure, which along with the high fish population, draw lots of fly fisherman. September is a bit less crowded than summer, but you will still see many fishers.
Travel: We stayed at the Sportsman Motel in Melrose, Montana which is a great little motel. It is clean, reasonable and close to the river. A highlight of the trip outside of the fishing was eating at the “Hitchin’ Post”. We loved every meal and breakfasts were amazing.
It was a typical September day and the morning was pretty cold, consequently we did not have much success in the morning. Just a few small browns and rainbows on nymphs. In the early afternoon we moved locations and started trying a fast riffle area that deepened a little, but not really into a hole to speak of. The first fish caught was in a typical spot with small rocks and just as the water deepens out of a riffle. It was a nice 15-inch leaping rainbow caught on a size 14 flashback pheasant tail nymph under a strike indicator. Striking out in the rest of the typically good part of the run, we decided to try some of the faster, shallower riffle and the fishing lit up. There we brown trout holding and feeding all over in this fast riffle in less than two feet of water. Often times they were tucked in behind a basketball sized boulder, but not always. I was amazed at how shallow we caught some of these browns. All of them were caught with the same pheasant tail nymph and most often with a strike indicator but not always. We caught eight brown trout between 14 and 16 inches in less than four hours, all in shallow fast riffles.Tactics:
Equipment: We fly fished with nine-foot five weight rods, using floating lines on all rods and 9 to 9 ft poly leaders. The fluorocarbon tippets 4X. Always wear eye protection.
How: The Big Hole River at this time of year is a great DIY walk and wade trip or a good float trip depending on flows and the area you are fishing. We had several smaller watercraft float by while we were fishing. The water levels are way down compared to summer, as you can see in the videos, resulting in easy access and fly fishing on your own. There are a couple of fly shops and many guide services in the area so if you want to use a guide there are many options. We have purchased flies, materials and benefited from great advice at Frontier Anglers Fly Shop in Dillon as well as the Sunrise Fly Shop in Melrose. We do not get money or free materials from any of the mentioned business in this article.