Born and raised on a cattle ranch in Southwestern North...
Pioneer Outfitter is a for-sure, full-time hunting outf...
Born and raised on a cattle ranch in Southwestern North Dakota, Al Lefor is no green-horn. As founder/owner of Great Divide Outfitters, Al is one of the most experienced river guides in the area and has been a licensed river guide for 25 years. His favorite river, is of course the Big Hole because of it’s unique nature. Whether you prefer to fish pools, riffles or rapids, there’s something for every fisherman on the Big Hole. From wild-flowered alpine meadows, to canyons and cottonwood bottoms, it’s little wonder why Al loves the Big Hole river.
Favorite Dry Fly: Carlson’s Purple Haze
Favorite Nymph:Oversized Bead-Head Pheasant tail
Favorite Streamer:Pumpkin Bugger, Olive Rabbit Tail Bugger
Art Bivins grew up on the central coast in Santa Maria, California and received a Forestry Degree from San Jose College on a football scholarship. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he was introduced to commercial Salmon fishing in Alaska. After thirty-eight years of hard work, Art acquired a 58ft Purse Seiner, a crew of five and a life-time of experiences he wouldn’t trade for the world. Retirement as a river guide in Divide, Montana has become his life’s calling, and he’s been living that dream for the past five years.
Favorite Section of the Big Hole:Fish Trap in the Spring, Jerry Creek to Maiden Rock in the Summer.
Favorite Dry Fly:Golden Stone Fly, Blue Winged Olives
Favorite Nymph:Stone Flies in black and brown, Bead-head Pheasant tail.
Favorite Streamer:Pumpkin Bugger on overcast days in May.
So this is the big fella that has been taking huge dumps in my yard. I bought a trail cam yesterday and already got results. Tonight we will place the camera lower to the ground to get a more accurate picture of the actual size of this guy. He is pretty big, check out the size of that forearm. Also I’m sure there is more than one. Check out the time on the photo. He was in the yard just after dark. That camera is fun.
River still in great shape and fishing is good. Browns are getting on the redds. When they are on the redds, I suggest to leave them alone.!
Have been on the river everywhere from Jerry Creek to Melrose the last couple of days. The fishing has been some of the best I have seen. We have caught them on streamers, single dries, and a variety of nymphs.
Most of the fish caugh were browns although we did have a nice selection of Rainbows and a couple monster whitefish!
Stick with the streamers for the big browns and make sure to have some yellow in your pattern. I think anything in the size 2-6 range would be great. For a single dry, a parachute adams in size 18 is pretty hard to beat right now. Best of luck on the water!
Help me is what this little whitetail button buck seemed to be saying to me this morning.
I got a call early this morning from a neighbor who said there was a deer caught in the fence behind the fly shop. I called Bobby at the shop and he confirmed it and said he was pretty sure it’s back leg was fractured. I called FWP game warden Regan Dean and asked if he would meet me at the shop to see if we could cut this poor little guy out of the fence. Fence pliers and side cutters couldn’t do the job on this heavy guage wire. Luckily Regan had a hack saw in his truck and we managed to cut him loose. Amazingly his back leg was not broke and when he was cut free he hightailed it for the thick willows up Divide Creek. Regan and I both felt pretty good about ourselves in freeing this little guy.
Now for the fishing report. About all I can say is the river is in great shape and the fishing is really good. Best action is with streamers with #4 JJ Special winning the honors today. Ben and Dylan had good action again today and have more pics to be posted later.
Forecast is for really cold tonight but perfect fishing conditions next few days.
The flow at Melrose is an amazing 1015 cfs.
This next report is from Ben Hahn. He and his new wife floated the Big Hole yesterday.
“The Big Hole is fishing very well currently. I got married last Saturday and decided what a better place to spend a honeymoon then on the Big Hole in the fall! The streamer fishing was on and most fish were taken on patterns with brown/orange combos with a bit of yellow. Make sure to have some yellow in your streamer box. The fish above was caught on a size 4 streamer.
In the canyon below Jerry Creek we caught several bows in the 12-17 inch range on nymphs. A brown girdle rubber leg was good as well as a red san juan worm in size 8. Yes we had some junk out!
With the flows up and easy floating combined with superb fishing, the Big Hole River is hard to beat right now. Ring the shop here in Divide and get up to minute information. “
Tom didn’t catch any huge fish but he did get several around the same size as in the picture and that is good fishing where ever you go. Jeremy did a great job guideing these guys. Some were caught on steamers but most were on nymphs I will have to admit.
The recent rains and snow has brought the river up to almost record flows for this time of year. Flow at Maidenrock is 450 cfs and at Melrose and Notch Bottom it’s 550 cfs. That’s almost 200 cfs higher than the 30 year average. That’s great for the river and the fish.
Not a very pretty picture is it? However there are several piles of this stuff close to my yard. The crab apples are falling off the trees and these guys are loving it. To the trained eye one can see immediately it is black bear poop. And by the size of the pile, a fairly large black bear. For those who don’t know how to tell the difference between black bear and grizzly bear poop, let me give you a quick lesson. Black bear poop is full of seeds and half digested berries and such as you can see in the picture. Grizzly bear poop is full of bells and whistles and smells like pepper. I hope you learned something from this lesson.
Looks like we are in for some heavy snow tonight. There has been a winter storm warning for SW Montana for tonight and tomorrow morning. Calling for up to 2 feet in the high country. Let er snow. An early start to a good snowpack would be great. By Monday and Tuesday it will be warming up again.
Fishing has been fairly good with a variety of techniques from nymphs to streamers and large dry flies.
The fly shop will remain open until further notice. If you need a shuttle or gear it is best to stop or call in the morning.