Big Hole River near Whitehall, Montana
Did you know that Montana is the only state in the US to have populations of fluvial grayling in it? Among the waters in Montana that have the grayling the Big Hole River contains the biggest population. The bad news is that they are in serious trouble; nonnative species (even the trout), really low water flows, warm water into the 70s all spell bad news for the species being found in the US 20 years from now. But don't just think those problems only affect the grayling; the other trout are affected just as much and at times parts of the river are closed to fishing. There is hope though; the DFWP, Trout Unlimited, and other agencies are working to protect the future of this fishery that is listed among the 100 best trout waters in the US. One of the things they have done is to set up a calling tree. The first set of calls goes to landowners to let them know when the river is going to need water and ask them not to use as much during those time. The second set of calls goes to baits shops and other places that cater to fishing to ask them to only fish in the morning when the water is not as warm. The third step is to shut down the river. Another thing they have done is put in place the regulation that you have to release all grayling you catch immediately. For now, though the fishing is fine and I highly recommend you take advantage of it. If you do take advantage of the fishing here you will see why I recommend it; it flows through some of the most beautiful scenery in America, there is 153 miles of river so you shouldn’t have trouble finding fish. In those 153 miles of river it grows from a tiny stream that is perfect for cutthroat and brook trout to a bigger river where rainbows are king but you can find all the other fish species to a major river known for its huge brown trout and nice rainbows. The best fishing here happens the farthest away from other anglers. Before spring runoff starts to be too much of a effect streamers throw to boulders, fallen trees, and overcut bank will catch lots of fat rainbows. Once the surge passes in about May you can catch lots of nice fish on salmon flies and big nymphs. If you are after the biggest trout forget about any dries at all and just use streamers and nymphs (in big sizes of course). Sinking line is a good thing to have when fishing here. If you are a history buff you will like fishing here even more because back in 1877 the Nez Perce Indians, who had been fleeing the US army because they did not want to go to a reservation, stopped to camp along the north branch of the river. On August 9, 1877 John Gibbon’s troops attacked the sleeping Indians. Quickly the braves got up to fight and the women and children hid in the undercut banks that now hold nothing but trout and grayling. As the battle raged the braves retreated up the slope of a ridge. Then the women and kids left the river and fled with the braves to the Yellowstone area. From there they planned on going to Canada where the arm could not bother them. It was a journey that would never be end; the arm caught them. Good luck fishing!
Big Hole River Fishing near Whitehall, Montana
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Details for Big Hole River
Species Caught Here:
Access: Public Property
Body of Water Type: Stream
Lat/Long: 45.567703 -112.339165
Bodies of Water near Big Hole River
Description for Big Hole River, Madison County, Montana
Big Hole River is a stream located just 24 miles from Whitehall, in Madison County, in the state of Montana, United States, near Twin Bridges, MT. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including arctic grayling, cutthroat trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout here. Whether you’re spinning, fly fishing or baitcasting your chances of getting a bite here are good. So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Big Hole River. Alternate names for this stream include Wisdon River, Sensable River and Wisdom River.
For Fishing License purchase, fishing rules, and fishing regulations please visit Montana Fish & Wildlife
Please remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure the stream is open to the public. Now get out there and fish! Check out our Fishing Times
chart to determine when the fish will be most active.
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