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Fly Fishing Guide To Beaverhead River Montana
The Beaverhead River has several points that it can be accessed and fished from the bank or
waded, but most anglers prefer to drift the river by boat. As we have said, in the upper part of
the stream above Barrett's Dam, the river is fairly deep with little wading opportunities. Fishing
it from a drift boat is most always preferred to wading. The part below Barrett's Dam down to
Dillion, a distance of about 16 miles, can be waded or fished from a drift boat. It can get rather
low during the summer and early fall season, so you must check the water levels. The section
below Dillion probably has fewer fish but those that are there are usually very large. The
stream can usually be easily waded in this section. Everything depends on the streams flows
and water levels, so be certain you check them anytime you fish the Beaverhead River.
The stream is not the easiest stream you can find to fish. Its large brown trout, large amount
of fishing pressure at certain times of the year, changing water conditions, small flies that are
often required and precise presentations, make it difficult at times to catch trout. When you
do, you are usually well rewarded with some large trout. Most anglers prefer to use nymphs or
streamers. Trout can be taken at times on dry flies but most often, nymphs and streamers will
work much better. Streamers are particularly important during the fall when the brown trout
spawn. They become very aggressive and will hit most streamers if they get near them.
In the upper section, most anglers try to drift a nymph tight against the banks underneath the
overhanging willow and cottonwood trees. Hangups are common. Getting the fly caught in the
trees is a common problem. Each time this occurs on a drift boat trip, lots of time is wasted,
however, if you don't get the fly to where the fish are holding, you will be wasting a lot of time.
If you do fish dry flies, the best time to do it is during a hatch, of course. That will increase
your odds of success considerably. Fishing early and late in the day will also help improve
your odds of catching them on attractor flies. If the sun is bright, the rainbows will sometimes
respond to dry flies in the faster moving current, but usually the brown are holding deep and
will not take a fly on the surface. Your odds will increase if you fish the dry fly on cloudy,
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James above Beaverhead Dam
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Barretts Diversion Dam