My subscribers are expecting a Throw Back Thursday post today, but I decided to provide a “bonus” post instead. We’re on another fly fishing road trip and headed to Montana. My last post stated the next spot we planned to fish was the Madison River. But…I always am open to a “plan B”. Well, fly fishing the Beaverhead River ended up being our “plan B”.

Karen's Beaverhead Brown |

How did we get there?

I was driving through Idaho on Tuesday and received a phone call from the Winston Rod Company letting me know my rod repair was complete. Yes, I broke my Winston BIIX 9′ 5 weight rod right after I broke my wife’s too. Don’t ask me to explain. I’m still upset about breaking both of them!

We were on Highway 20 past Picabo, ID on the way to Idaho Falls when we got the call. Instead of continuing to Idaho Falls, we turned north on I-15 and headed to Twin Bridges, via Dillon.

It just so happens the Beaverhead River runs through that area. We’ve fished the Beaverhead River one other time in August 2017. It hasn’t been a destination for us.

The Beaverhead River flows out of Clark Canyon Reservoir and is used mainly for irrigation. And it looks like an irrigation ditch to me. It’s a popular river to float, but I’ve never done that. I enjoy walk and wade fishing and we’ve tried to find spots where we can fish from shore. It’s tough to do.

We learned where to fish from Frontier Anglers in Dillon, MT in 2017. We found a spot about one mile below the dam and did well there one evening.

So we decided to stop at the same spot and see if any fish were rising.

We arrived about 2 pm. No one was in the eddy we like to fish and in fact, a few fish were rising.

Beaverhead River Eddy |

Out came the fly rods and we began casting to rising fish. My wife was the first to hook up and her fish jumped and spit the hook.

I hooked up next on a nice Brown Trout.

Beaverhead Brown in Water |

Several more fish came to hand. We did catch a couple of Rainbows, but most of them were Brown Trout, very healthy Brown Trout. Most were in the 16 to 18 inch range. One measured at least 19 inches.

Karen's Beaverhead Brown |
Beaverhead Brown Trout and Snake River Company Net

I think we broke off four or five fish using 4X tippet.

What flies were successful for us?

X Caddis – Tan

X Caddis - Tan |

Iris Caddis – Tan

Iris Caddis - Tan |

IOBO Humpy

IOBO Humpy Natural Brown |

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple – PMD

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple - PMD |

Improved F Fly

Improved F Fly |

We spent the night on the river and I fished for awhile the next morning. I was only able to coax one 14 inch Brown Trout to the net.

Oh, I almost forgot…I did pick up my rod later the next day.

John's Winston Rod |

Next stop, Madison River. Really!

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. I know that eddy. Fished it two evenings last August.
    First eve caught two nice browns 16 and 20.
    Next night every cast had to clean the weeds off the flies. Cannot remember If I even landed one fish but hooked two lol.

  2. I have been enjoying all your fishing/travels . Brought back great memories ?
    You are pretty rough on my favorite rods ( Winston)
    Guess I am also my Winston is in for work not broken but all the guide and tip are warn out and have to be replaced for the second time. After the first replacements they promised it would never happened again? guess they don’t know me and my fishing.
    My rod not due back until mid September ☹️
    Have not fished the Met much , other waters have just been too good!!!

  3. Hi John & Karen,
    We really enjoyed your post about the Beaverhead River. We’ve fished the same section of river that you two did many times in years past. It almost always gives up a few really nice brown trout. Further down river and closer to Dillon the river is best fished from a float boat. Most of the guides use very low-to-the-water Jon boats to navigate because several of the road bridges are so close to the water that it’s difficult to get a standard drift boat under them. We’ve always used our pontoon boats to float the river and get out of them at the bridges to “walk” them under. It was my job to walk the boats while Gretchen would take the fly rods and walk them through. Thanks for the post; it brought back a lot of old (and good) memories. Take care & …
    Tight Lines – (Gretchen &) Al Beatty

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