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Beaverhead River and Big Hole River

The Beaverhead River is one of Montana's premier brown trout fishing rivers, producing more large trout, particularly brown trout, than any other river in the state. The Beaverhead River begins at Clark Canyon Dam, near Dillon, and flows for 80 miles to the confluence with the Jefferson River. The scenic Big Hole River winds and rushes in every imaginable configuration through high alpine valleys, steep-walled canyons, and broad agricultural plains. Its long journey twists and turns through and by the McCartney, Pioneer, Pintler, Ruby, Tobacco Root, and Highland Mountains until the eventual confluence with the Ruby and the Beaverhead in Twin Bridges, the headwaters of the Jefferson River.

To manage recreational use on these two important rivers, rules defining recreational use and outfitter restrictions were adopted in June 2005. The Fish & Wildlife Commission will review the rules within five years of that date.

From the third Saturday in May through Labor Day, recreational use rules and restrictions are in effect on the Beaverhead River (from Clark Canyon Dam to its mouth) and on the Big Hole River (from its headwaters to Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site). Please familiarize yourself with these rules.