Big Hole River
5 DAY FORECAST
PRIME FEEDING TIMES
The Big Hole River is a tributary of the Jefferson River, approximately 153 miles (246 km) long, in southwestern Montana in the United States. It rises in Skinner lake in the Beaverhead National Forest in the Beaverhead Mountains of the Bitterroot Range at the continental divide along the Montana-Idaho border in western Beaverhead County. It flows northwest and north, past Wisdom and between the Anaconda Range to the northwest and the Pioneer Mountains to the east. It flows around the north end of the Pioneer Mountains, then southeast, past the town of Wise River, Montana, where it is joined by the Wise River. Near Glen, Montana it turns northeast and joins the Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges to form the Jefferson.
The river is an historically popular destination for fly fishing, especially for trout. It is the last habitat in the contiguous United States for native Fluvial Arctic Grayling.
The Big Hole river has been a destination for serious trout fisherman since the late 1880s when The Angler's Guide, an Eastern angling journal advertised the Big Hole as a national destination fishery for grayling and trout while promising daily 40 lbs catches. Although the river still holds some native Cutthroat trout, their populations are almost non-existent. Instead, the river holds healthy wild populations of Brook, Rainbow and Brown trout which were first introduced into the Big Hole in late 1880s as hatchery operations began in Butte and Bozeman, MT. Native Mountain Whitefish are also prevalent in the river. In the 1980s, the state of Montana began stopping general stocking of all Montana rivers. The last hatchery fish were stocked in the Big Hole in 1990. Dozens of guides, outfitters and fishing lodges offer guided fishing on the Big Hole and its tributaries.