Blog Posts In Events

Exciting News from Big Hole Lodge


For thirty years, the Orvis Company has been recognizing excellence in sporting experiences through its Endorsed Lodges, Outfitters, and Guides program.  Big Hole Lodge has been nominated for 2016 Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year and Craig Fellin has been nominated for Orvis' Lifetime Acheivement Award!  Last year, our own Chuck Page was named Guide of the Year and the winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a ceremony during the 2016 Orvis Guide Rendezvous in Missoula, Montana, on April 8. Thank you to all of you, our loyal and hardworking staff, and our precious rivers and fish for these honors. 

We are also proud to announce Wade Fellin will deliver the Keynote Address at the Orvis Banquet Dinner & Awards Ceremony. 



WEEK OF MAY 1 – 5, 2016

We have limited space available for our 4th Annual Spey Casting Clinic the week of May 1 - 5, 2016. The course will be taught by Lee Davison, an IFFF certified master Spey casting instructor. He is the CEO of Sank River Outfitters, and is a licensed Idaho guide. Lee combines both a calming patience and infectious enthusiasm for teaching single or Spey casting techniques, building confidence and skill in his students.

While single-handed rods work on virtually all rivers, the advantages of a double hander are many. You can cover a lot more water with very little effort; mend and control your line on the water more effectively; better handle windy conditions and cast well even with obstruction directly behind you. This all means more fish and more fun!

The clinic is set up as a four-night / three-day fishing package and costs $2,760 per person based on single occupancy. Accommodations, all meals and instruction are included. The clinic is only offered for up to six participants, thus giving very personalized instruction.

3 spots available, book today!  


Stephanie grew up dividing her time between San Francisco, CA and Wisdom, MT in the Big Hole Valley where her parents built a small fishing cabin on the bank of the Big Hole River. She attended the Thacher School where she further developed a love of riding horses, backpacking and the outdoors lifestyle and continued her education at Boston College.

Stephanie spent two summers as sous-chef at the Big Hole Lodge and fell in love with fishing the surrounding rivers during every moment of free time with our chef Lanette and our guides. Pursuing her passion Stephanie completed Montana's Sweet Water Guide School this spring and will become Big Hole Lodge's first female guide!
















Join us in April for Ice-Out on the Big Hole, Beaverhead, and Missouri Rivers!
Our guides are on the water chasing huge fish, join them for an unforgettable experience!

Big Hole Lodge will be open from April 1st until spring run-off in May so call and book today!


- Day Trip for Two: $450

Include flies, gourmet lunch, hot coffee and cold beer!

- 10% Off All Packages: 

6 Nights/5 Days Fishing
5 Nights/4 Days Fishing
4 Nights/3 Days Fishing
3 Nights/2 Day Fishing 

For prices and availability visit our website

Includes lodging, gourmet meals, and flies



Come rain, snow, or gorgeous sunshine one thing is sure - these trout are hungry!




On cold days guides will have hand warmers, extra clothing and can build a bankside fire.


Space is limited during this pre-runoff window. 

Don't miss your chance for the fishing adventure of a lifetime!

(406) 832-3252

2013 Spey Casting Clinic at Big Hole Lodge

The long rods were launching fly lines into the stratosphere as Big Hole Lodge hosted its first Spey Casting Clinic May 4-9, 2013.


  Larry Aiuppy from Livingston, MT was the Zen master who gave a brilliant four day instruction on spey casting with a two handed rod which originated in Scotland on the banks of the Spey River in the mid-1800’s.  Rods made of greenheart from British Guyana were originally used up to 22’ in length but modern spey rods are generally 12-15’ long with 13 ½’ being the norm.  Larry is the only FFF certified Spey Casting instructor in Montana and one of only 25 in the country whose teaching method constantly stresses the fundamentals of the spey cast throughout his clinics.


Orvis supplied the rods and reels for the event ranging from their 11’ Helios switch rods for trout all the way up to their 15’-10 wt. Helios salmon and steelhead rod.


Glenn Brackett and Jerry Kustich from Sweetgrass Bamboo Rods in Twin Bridges brought two bamboo spey rod prototypes over to demo on day one that added a different look and feel to the spey casting.


Larry made it fun to learn and even brought out his supply of brooms one day to teach the power stroke that was unforgettable. The great advantage to spey casting is being able to make a cast with an obstruction like a tree or rock cliff directly behind you. Another advantage is being able to cast long distances with hardly any effort at all assuming your timing and casting positions are good.

It has been said that watching an accomplished spey caster is like watching a ballet. A friend also told me that “it gives you something to do while you’re steelhead fishing.” Whatever it is, spey casting is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to fish a big river with a streamer.


Call us today to reserve your spot for the 2nd Annual Spey Clinic at Big Hole Lodge!



First Annual Spey Clinic

Flow: 642cfs  at Melrose
Visibility: fair to clear
Fishing: Good! Streamers, March Browns, Skwalas

We have our Spey Clinic this week, with casting demos and instruction through the morning and then out to the Big Hole for the afternoon.


Jerry Kustich and Glen Brackett brought up two gorgeous Sweetgrass Bamboo Spey rods, which has been a new and exiting project for Jerry.


Our pro instructor getting acquainted with the 'boo!  We'll post pics throughout the week as the course progresses.


Welcome Cliff Zielke


We are pleased to welcome Cliff Zielke to our seasoned guides staff.

Cliff has been guiding fly fisherman and hunters in the Rocky Mountain West and Alaska for over 25 years, with a few interruptions when he held "traditional jobs" in the animal health indurstry and timber sales.  Cliff was literally raised fishing, with his first fly fishing experiences coming at the age of 5 in the Midwest, where his father bass fished and Cliff would cast from the back of the boat for bluegills and sunfish with a fized length of line on an old Wright McGill cane rod. Since 1989, he has lived just over the hill in Salmon, ID and has fished the Big Hole, Bitterroot, and other local waters regularly when not guiding elswhere.  In addition to getting you into fish, Cliff strives to add to your game, no matter your angling skill level.  Cliff also guides for steelhead, big game, has an upland bird business, builds wooden driftboats, and trains Labrador Retrievers.

Check out our entire seasoned guide staff on our Website!

Four-Day Spey Casting Clinic


Join World Champion Spey Caster, Whitney Gould at Big Hole Lodge in Montana for a four-day Spey casting clinic May 4-9, 2013
Big Hole Lodge is offering this Spey casting clinic with current and three-time World Women’s Spey Casting Champion, Whitney Gould and her fiancé, Mike McCune -- who is an icon in the sport and also an experienced instructor. The five-night / four-day fishing package costs $3,290 per person based on double occupancy and includes accommodations, meals and all guiding and instruction. In addition, Spey rods and reels will be supplied by Orvis, C.F. Burkheimer Rods and Sweetgrass Bamboo Fly Rods (the former bamboo rod makers from R.L. Winston Rod Co.).


Call 1-800-245-1950 and ask for Denise today!

F3T 2013 in Butte, Montana


The Fly Fishing Film Tour is brought to Butte by The Stonefly Fly Shop, The Big Hole River Foundation, and George Grant TU

Tickets($10) are available locally in advance both at the Stonefly Shop and online through this link at the Motherlode Theatre Box Office.   They are also available at the door on the night of the event for $10.

Door open at 6.00 pm.  Please come early and join us for a pre-event social gathering.   Film starts promptly at 7.00 pm.

Please note there are no tickets available through F3T online for this event.

For more information please contact Chris Bradley, 406-494-0707 or


Learn to Spey Cast with a World Champion!

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Learn to Spey Cast with a World Champion
Added: Nov 19 2012Want to learn to Spey cast? Make plans to join Craig Fellin and Women's World-Champion Spey Caster Whitney Gould and her fiance Mike McCune who is an icon in the sport of spey casting in his own right and an experienced instructor, on a hosted five-night / four-day casting event at Big Hole Lodge in southwestern, Montana May 4-9, 2013. Space is limited so don't delay. Call Denise Schreiber or Barbara Alden for more details at 1-800-245-1950 or visit Frontiers Travel online.

And read about Craig Fellin's Spey casting breakthrough.

By Craig Fellin, Big Hole Lodge

After finishing a successful fishing season with our guests at Big Hole Lodge in southwestern Montana, there I was, standing knee deep in the Grande Ronde River on the border of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. I was enrolled in a three-day / two-night Spey casting clinic with casting guru Dec Hogan and outfitter Troy Dettman.

I had struggled for a year, trying in earnest to master the Spey cast by reading a book and viewing a DVD by renowned English Spey caster Simon Gawesworth. In addition, Whitney Gould, three-time and current woman's world Spey casting champion, and Mike McCune, Spey casting Jedi and fly line designer, had given me a short casting lesson on this very same river the previous fall. I took this knowledge to the Salmon River a few weeks later and promptly forgot everything they had taught me.

The Spey cast, I painfully discovered, was not an intuitive motion that can be picked up in a short time on the water. With nearly 40 years of single-handed fly fishing experience, I thought this would come naturally to me. Wrong!

My self-teaching experience over the past year had been similar to teaching myself how to play golf without the aid of an instructor. Humbling was not the right term. There were days when I was ready to launch my very expensive, two-handed, 13-foot-6-inch Orvis Helios Spey rod as far into the bushes as I could manage. I fished the famous rivers of the Olympic Peninsula for two months last winter in hopes that things would fall in place for me, but all I did was practice my mistakes, and if anything, my self-esteem was what was falling.

I finally hit the wall and decided that if I wanted to be a Spey caster, I needed personal instruction. I had enjoyed reading Dec Hogan's Passion for Steelhead, which is destined to be a classic in steelhead fishing literature, and saw that he was offering a casting clinic with Troy Dettman. When I stepped into the boat to begin the three-day clinic, I felt a sigh of relief that someone was not only going to show me the Spey cast, but would actually see my mistakes and correct them.

The second day, I worked with Dec Hogan. I felt more confident about my double Spey cast from the previous day's instruction. After a short boat ride early in the morning, Dec put me in a classic steelhead run before the sun hit the water. On my fourth cast, a good one thanks to Dec, the fly swung into the sweet spot of the drift. I felt the tug, so I gave the fish the loop of line hanging from my reel. He immediately turned, and I struck to the bank side of the river. I could feel the power of the wild steelhead straining against my line.

After a fifteen-minute battle, Dec grabbed the fish by the tail. It was over. As I held my first proper Spey catch in my hands and watched his gills working back and forth, I thanked Dec for putting me on to the beautiful steelhead. With my new proficiency at Spey casting, I knew my life had changed for the better and now my Orvis Helios Spey rod is one of my best friends.

Craig Fellin


Fire Between Wise River and the Lodge is OUT!

Cyrena and Jodi, from our kitchen staff, couldn't get to work yesterday because of a grass and sagebrush fire raging in the 8 mile stretch between the town of Wise River and Big Hole Lodge.

The fire knocked out power to the valley above and forced Lanette to rally a crew of friends, guides and clients to pull off dinner in the dark.   The road eventually opened and the power was restored by about 9 pm last night.

A big Thank You from Big Hole Lodge to all members of the forest service fire crew, the various volunteer fire departments, and the locals who contained this fire before it reached the tinderbox forest!

A fire that broke out in sagebrush and grassland early Tuesday afternoon south of Wise River threatened homes before fire-fighters brought it under control, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said.

Firefighters from federal and state agencies and local volunteers rushed to the Byway Fire burning about a mile and a half south of Wise River just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, said Leona Rodreick, information officer for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Rodreick said the fire, fueled by gusty winds, had burned roughly 300 acres east of the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway by late afternoon and was a threat to several homes in the area.

By Tuesday evening, firefighters had contained the blaze and the helicopters called in for the effort were grounded.

“They’ve been relieved for the night and they’re actually starting to relieve some of the other resources,” Rodreick told The Montana Standard. “They’ve got a pretty good handle on it and structures are no longer threatened.”

The cause of the fire is unknown, but firefighters responded quickly in an effort to get control of the blaze. Rodreick said early in the afternoon they had a helicopter, three water tenders and nearly a dozen engines working the fire.

The blaze burned close to one home, said Charlie Miller, a homeowner in the area. He said his home was not seriously at risk, but a neighbor had flames burn the tires on his horse trailer before firefighters were able to protect a home, garage and barn.

Miller drove through the area, and said the fire was burning just east of the highway, about a mile and a half south of Wise River near the town airport. The burn was quickly moving north, fueled by strong winds from the south.

“When I went through I had fire right up to my truck,” Miller said.

Rodreick said the winds were blowing at between 17 and 24 mph in the early afternoon.