Big Hole River Montana Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Big Hole River

The Big Hole River is a popular fly fishing destination, traversing incredible mountain scenery on its 153-mile journey through southwest Montana, from the Idaho border to the town of Twin Bridges.

  • The Big Hole River flows for 153 miles in southwest Montana. 
  • Fish for large browns, rainbows and brook trout. 
  • Enjoy plenty of recreational activities near the Big Hole in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. 
  • Visit Big Hole National Battlefield. 
  • The Big Hole River is located southeast of the Bitterroot Valley.


Originating near the Idaho border, the Big Hole River meanders across southwest Montana before ending at the confluence of the Beaverhead River. The Big Hole is mostly widely known as a superb trout fishery and anglers flock to its waters in search of big browns, rainbows, brook trout, and grayling. The river passes through gorgeous mountain landscapes such as the Big Hole River Valley - flanked by the Pioneer and Beaverhead Mountains - and portions of Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Location and Information

The Big Hole River is located in southwest Montana and runs 153 miles from Skinner Lake to the Beaverhead River, near Twin Bridges, Montana.

From the Bitterroot Valley, the river can be reached by traveling south on US 93. At Lost Trail Pass head east on Hwy 43.

For fishing information, contact Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
Ph: (406)- 444-2449

For recreational activities in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest:
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
420 Barrett St.
Dillon, MT 59725-3572
Ph: (406) 683-3900


The Big Hole is an angling hotspot with abundant rainbows, browns and brook trout lurking in the pools, runs and riffles. In spring, toss streamers toward the banks and in late spring enjoy the caddis hatch. During June, the salmonfly hatch is in full swing and in late summer grasshoppers are the fly of choice. Strict fishing and boating regulations apply. Be sure to check with Montana FWP for specific rules and licensing information.

Dozens of camping areas are located in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Camp near the Big Hole or take a backpacking adventure up into the surrounding mountain ranges for pristine settings with spectacular views of the river valley.

Explore hundreds of miles of trails near the Big Hole in the National Forest and on BLM land. Many trails are multi-use, open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.

Big Hole National Battlefield
Located near Wisdom, MT, the Big Hole National Battlefield is one stop along the Nez Perce Trail. Learn about the history of the Nez Perce tribe and the historic battle of 1877, when the US Army attacked the Nez Perce near the North Fork of the Big Hole River. Tour the battlegrounds, view artifacts, and more.

Fun Facts

The Big Hole River is the last habitat in the US lower 48 to find native Fluvial Arctic Grayling, commonly known as Montana Arctic grayling.