The fishing in the Jefferson Valley and the surrounding area has been nothing short of spectacular for the last week. The Stoneflies have hatched, and are still hatching on the Big Hole, the Jefferson is getting pretty close to the way we like it, and the Madison is going to be great fishing any time, if not already. I am pretty sure you could blindfold a guide right now and he could find good fishing. It's sure easy to be a hero these days - but lets not forget the days in August when you are scratching your head! It's time to enjoy this great fishing and diversify a little bit. The Big Hole, as great as it is, is certainly getting a bit of attention. If you are a guest with us, don't be surprised when we recommend floating somewhere else for a day or two during your stay!

Fishing "topwater" patterns (Dry flies for your purists) is some of the most fun we have each summer. I personally enjoy mixing it up a bit and finding a pattern that perhaps isn't being fished by the other anglers on the river. This season I have been fishing more variations of Ken Burkholders "Bearback Rider", and finding that some of the other colors work great. In some cases, better than the standard orange and golden versions. Like Purple.


On another note, I have seen more moose along the river this spring than I recall in years past. A word of caution, the "wives tales" of Mother Moose protecting her calves have some merit. I speak from experience when I tell you to give them some room when you float by, or accidentally walk into them in the willows along the river. They are certainly fun to see and add to the day when "the man in the moose suit" shows up during your float!


Moving into summer, we are looking forward to a few more weeks of stonefly fishing on the Big Hole and Madison, and from the looks of it, damn near perfect water flows at least for a while. Hope you enjoyed the read and photos, thanks for all the comments and emails. Keep em coming.


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Stonefly Inn & Outfitters, Dan "Rooster" Leavens

409 N Main Street,

PO Box 428,

Twin Bridges, MT 59754

Phone. 406-684-5648