Beaverhead River Fishing Report 6-10-19

Beaverhead River Fishing Report 6-10-19

My son David is a huge fan of the Beaverhead and it’s very large trout!

The Beaverhead River is open to fishing from the spillway at Clark Canyon Dam to it’s confluence with the Jefferson in Twin Bridges. We all eagerly await the regular season opener as many of our other rivers are high and muddy and more importantly, it offers some of the best early season fishing in the state. The flows are being bumped at this time of year as irrigators downstream call for more water so be prepared with a good array of patterns as the fish will change their menu from day to day. As long as the bump isn’t too great. I think a 10-15% increase is still fishable.
When flows are bumped the fish are still eating, just not always an insect. The trout will key in on invertebrates like scuds and sow bugs that live in the moss. Keep in mind that when flows are bumped the fish are still eating, just not always an insect. Have scuds, sow bugs, Cranefly larvae and of course, San Juan worms in your fly box. When this happens the water will go off color and you will see moss in the river.


Nymphing is the standard operating procedure on the Beaverhead as the water temps being very cold and the fish below the dam tend to key in on small nymphs.

The dry fly fly bite below the dam is fairly soft. You may see a few rising to Blue Winged Olives but your best bet for dries is downstream below Barrett’s to Selway Bridge.

We have had good streamer bite, even in full sun. A good cloud cover day is even better. The downstream sections below Henneberry, Barrett’s and selway Bridge will offer the best streamer bite most days.

A dandy streamer eater from the lower Beaverhead River!

Although standard in-line leader will work, we employ the drop-shot rig for getting the flies at the right depth and keeping them there especially in fast deep water. Read how to tie and fish a “Drop Shot” leader from a previous post. One Big Reason Your Not Catching Fish Nymphing.

A solid Beaverhead brown caught below High Bridge.


Beatis or Blue Winged Olives are the spring hatch now and we’re seeing a few of the first PMD’s. Midges are of course always present but the fish will show a preference for the mayflies and seem to prefer to wait until the water warms enough and the hatch gets going. Read Top 12 Nymphs For Catching Trout for a more thorough list of nymphs.

The Beaverhead fish are thick!


Mitchell Split Back- #18-22 olive.

Barr Emerger-#16-20 PMD or BWO

Psycho May-#16-20 olive

Ray Charles-#20-16 olive, gray, tan

Eddie Vedder-#20-16

Poxy Back Scud-#20-16 olive, gray, tan

Soft Hackle Sow Bug-#20-16 tan, pink, orange

San Juan worm-#16-12 red, burgundy


Sex Dungeon-# Mini #8 to #4 white, olive, black, yellow

Boogie Man-#6 to 4 olive, grey, white black

Zonker- #8 to #4 natural, white, olive

Sculpzilla-#6 to 4 natural, olive, white

Kiwi Sculpin #6-2 natural, olove, white

To learn more about fly fishing the Beaverhead River and guided fly fishing trips on the Beaverhead and all around southwest Montana visit our site


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