Big Hole River Information


The Big Hole River is best known for its spectacular salmonfly hatch and incredible scenery. The Big Hole flows through some of the wildest and most picturesque country in the state, and offers something for everyone. It is also well known as the home of the only fluvial population of Arctic Grayling in the state, a last stronghold for this incredible native fish.

The Upper River

The Big Hole River from its headwaters, through the town of Wisdom and down through that valley toward the town of Divide is what we consider to be the Upper river. This is the wildest stretch of the Big Hole, and offers some of the last untouched vestiges of a Montana long forgotten. Fishing access sites are scattered through here, so plan on longer days of floating and some rowdy ramps. There are numerous spots along this stretch perfectly suited for an overnight trip.

This is the stretch where you can find Arctic Grayling and brook trout in abundance. The brook trout are non-native and considering an invasive species, while the grayling are working to rebuild a population base on this river. It’s an incredible story, and gives hope for the future.

The Canyon

From Wise River to Divide the Big Hole speeds through a scenic canyon. The lower flows, higher grade, and numerous rock gardens in this section make fishing more difficult but appeal to whitewater rafters and kayakers.

The Lower River

From Divide the confluence with the Beaverhead in Twin Bridges, the Big Hole winds it way through an area that is classically Montana. This is the kind of place you imagine when you close your eyes and picture Montana. The river quiets through a lot of this stretch, and it is through here you will find great overnight trips, big fish, and lots of good times.

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Big Hole River Streamflow

USGS Water-data graph for site 06025500