Secret spring creek flowing through thick grassland

Big Sky and Southwestern Montana Fly Fishing Reports

Friday, January 19 2018

Gallatin River 380 cfs @ Gallatin Gateway

Big Sky Montana Fly Fishing Trips

Gallatin River Fishing Report

Mix of weather this week. Thursday and Friday look great minus some wind on Thursday. Saturday through Tuesday are fishable, but highs will be in the low to mid twenties by the looks of it. Best water has been from Big Sky downstream for 8 or so miles. Some anglers heading up to Snowflake Springs near the park boundary and doing well. And Gallatin Gateway area has been good when temps are a bit warmer.

We have seen a good amount of midges, and fish willing to eat on the surface over the last few weeks, but the most productive fishing has been mostly subsurface with small Rubber Legs, worms, eggs and bigger midge larvae. Think red for wormy looking stuff. Best fishing from Big Sky north to about Lava Lake. Below that there are opportunities as well, but more ice to contend with and colder water temps. Some folks are struggling to find fish, but mostly due to water and fly selection. Once you find a good number of fish and the right bugs you’re golden.

We’ve had several successful guided fly fishing trips already on the Gallatin in 2018. If you’re in town and want one of our best guides to show you the ropes learn more here or give us a jingle at 406-995-2290. We’re open 7 days a week!

Fishing the canyon in winter requires some effort for sure. You have limited sun (assuming it’s a sunny day), limited access and walking to and from the river can be a chore. Not to mention all the gear you have to wear and the additional prep work.

If it’s a sunny day you have to consider if you’re favorite piece of water is in the sun or not. Sometimes fish need the sun in winter to become more active, but it also means you are more likely to spook them. If you can keep your body in the shadows, but cast to water that is exposed to sunlight you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Although there are many pullouts in the canyon, some of our favorite campgrounds and sneaky access points are covered in snow and not accessible. And not all water is equal, ever, but especially in winter. There are spots where fish pod up and there is a lot of water that is mostly void of fish. To be successful in winter you need to find where the high concentrations of fish are hanging out.

We also recommend wadering up at home or here at the shop before heading out. You’ll stay warmer if you do. And boots tend to fish a little tighter in winter, so if they’re dry or frozen you may need to pour some warm water on them to get the day started. Also, it feels nice to have warm boots on right out of the gate!
Find up to date weather reports here

Flies
Smaller Pat’s Rubber Legs, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Lighting Bugs, Midge patterns have been producing. Highly recommend keeping the Rubber Legs or similar pattern as your point fly and playing around with smaller droppers.
Streamers – Smaller is better, slowly stripped or swung. Slow is key.
Dries – Griffiths Gnat.

Check out our “YouTube Channel”:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA5fPFNaQuGai6JhqUaorQ and we’re working hard to create good content for you all to enjoy. Mostly fly tying videos at the moment, but we’ll keep adding to the mix with other informative tidbits.

Is the Gallatin River on your list of dream streams? We offer an assortment of guided trips on Southwest Montana’s greatest rivers and streams. Whether it’s a half day walk wade, an all-inclusive five-day fishing adventure or a DIY mission, we’re here to make it happen.

With the growing popularity of fly fishing, qualified fishing guides are in demand all around the world. Learn what it takes to be a fishing guide and start building your network in one of our Montana Fly Fishing Guide Schools and learn more about past graduates here.

Women’s fly fishing is growing at a record pace. Join our incredible female guides for one of our three-day Women’s Fly Fishing Schools “To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, non-competitive environment. To fish and have fun.”

Updated reports for the Gallatin River coming to you from our backyard in beautiful Big Sky, Montana.

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FLY OF THE WEEK

Mega Prince

Mega Prince

Hook
Dai-Riki #280 6-12
Thread
Black 6/0
Bead
Copper or Nickel
Tail
Brown Grizzly Marabou and Barred Crazy Legs Olive/Green Flake
Antenna and Legs
Barred Crazy Legs, Olive Green Flake
Body
Peacock Herl
Rib
Brassie or Medium Copper Wire
Hackle
Hungarian Partridge
Wing
Turkey Biots White

Check out our new fly tying how-to videos on our blog or Follow us on YouTube.

Upper Madison River 1060 cfs @ Cameron

Madison River Fly Fishing Trips Montana Fly Fishing

Upper Madison River Fishing Report

Great fishing if you don’t mind the drive and maybe some post-holing through deep snow. $3 Bridge will require a walk from the highway unless you have a snowmobile or skis. Raynold’s is more accessible, but walking along the banks is challenging. Some good access near Pine Butte as well. In between the lakes is an option as well, but temps tend to be colder over there and little chance of sunshine.

Raynold’s Pass has good parking in winter, but lots of private property upstream that makes getting around a challenge. $3 Bridge you’ll likely have to hike in to from the highway. Good news is the road will be packed down by snowmobiles and fishing traffic will be very light. Around Pine Butte, you can find some easier access to the river as well. The river starts to ice up more as you move downstream from Lyons Bridge…

The closer to dams like Quake, Hebgen, and Ennis you stay the less ice you will run into and water temperature will be warmer.

This is a great time to fish the Madison as there is very little angling pressure and fish still have to eat. Our rates are reduced this time of year, so give us a shout and we’ll get you hooked up with one of our Upper Madison walk-wade specialists.

Check out our” YouTube Channel”:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA5fPFNaQuGai6JhqUaorQ and we’re working hard to create good content for you all to enjoy. Mostly fly tying videos at the moment, but we’ll keep adding to the mix with other informative tidbits.

Is the Madison River on your list of dream streams? We offer an assortment of guided trips on Southwest Montana’s greatest rivers and streams. Whether it’s a half day walk wade, an all-inclusive five-day fishing adventure or a DIY mission, we’re here to make it happen.

With the growing popularity of fly fishing, qualified fishing guides are in demand all around the world. Learn what it takes to be a fishing guide and start building your network in one of our Montana Fly Fishing Guide Schools and learn more about past graduates here.

Women’s fly fishing is growing at a record pace. Join our incredible female guides for one of our three-day Women’s Fly Fishing Schools “To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, non-competitive environment. To fish and have fun.”

Thanks for checking out our Madison River Fishing Report brought to you from Big Sky, MT.

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Lower Madison River 1470 cfs @ McAllister

Madison River Fly Fishing Trips

Lower Madison River Fishing Report

1/8 – Haven’t heard much for fishing reports, but one of our guides has been down there a couple of times. Says most of the ice is gone, but the wind has been too bad to bother. If we get a calm day there should be some good midge activity. Temps look good for at least the next 10 days, not factoring wind into the equation.

Fish have moved into winter holding water, so deeper buckets, seams, and the insides of bends. Some midges are around and fish are eating on the surface some afternoons. Otherwise, nymphing with a crayfish, zebra midge, and San Juan worm are your best bets. Streamer fishing is hit or miss, with fish preferring a slowly stripped or swing fly.

Check out out “YouTube Channel”:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA5fPFNaQuGai6JhqUaorQ and we’re working hard to create good content for you all to enjoy. Mostly fly tying videos at the moment, but we’ll keep adding to the mix with other informative tidbits.

Is the Madison River on your list of dream streams? We offer an assortment of guided trips on Southwest Montana’s greatest rivers and streams. Whether it’s a half day walk wade, an all-inclusive five-day fishing adventure or a DIY mission, we’re here to make it happen.

With the growing popularity of fly fishing, qualified fishing guides are in demand all around the world. Learn what it takes to be a fishing guide and start building your network in one of our Montana Fly Fishing Guide Schools and learn more about past graduates here.

Women’s fly fishing is growing at a record pace. Join our incredible female guides for one of our three-day Women’s Fly Fishing Schools “To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, non-competitive environment. To fish and have fun.”

Thanks for checking out our Lower Madison River Fishing Report brought to you from beautiful Big Sky, Montana. Also serving Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman, the Missouri River, and locations in between.

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Yellowstone River 1750 cfs @ Livingston

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Trips

Yellowstone River Fishing Report

Pretty icy and slushy. It’s a great time to get on the local spring creeks and rod fee’s are the lowest they get all year. Contact us if you’d like us to hook you up with one of our spring creek specialists, as we have many, and our owner loves it over there.

Check out our “YouTube Channel”:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA5fPFNaQuGai6JhqUaorQ and we’re working hard to create good content for you all to enjoy. Mostly fly tying videos at the moment, but we’ll keep adding to the mix with other informative tidbits.

Is the Yellowstone River on your list of dream streams? We offer an assortment of guided trips on Southwest Montana’s greatest rivers and streams. Whether it’s a half day walk wade, an all-inclusive five-day fishing adventure or a DIY mission, we’re here to make it happen.

With the growing popularity of fly fishing, qualified fishing guides are in demand all around the world. Learn what it takes to be a fishing guide and start building your network in one of our Montana Fly Fishing Guide Schools and learn more about past graduates here.

Women’s fly fishing is growing at a record pace. Join our incredible female guides for one of our three-day Women’s Fly Fishing Schools “To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, non-competitive environment. To fish and have fun.”

Thanks for checking out our Montana fly fishing report for the Yellowstone River Fishing Report brought to you from beautiful Big Sky, Montana. Also serving Bozeman, Ennis, West Yellowstone, Belgrade and Livingston, Montana.

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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing Trips

*Yellowstone National Park Fishing Report*-

Closed to fishing from November 6th through May 25th. It was a great season. If you want to book a fly fishing guide for Yellowstone National Park in 2018 we recommend getting a headstart as we have a limited availability. Thanks for a great 2017 season!

We now have a “YouTube Channel”:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTA5fPFNaQuGai6JhqUaorQ and we’re working hard to create good content for you all to enjoy. Mostly fly tying videos at the moment, but we’ll keep adding to the mix with other informative tidbits.

Is Yellowstone National Park on your list of dream streams? We offer an assortment of guided trips on Southwest Montana’s greatest rivers and streams. Whether it’s a half day walk wade, an all-inclusive five-day fishing adventure or a DIY mission, we’re here to make it happen.

With the growing popularity of fly fishing, qualified fishing guides are in demand all around the world. Learn what it takes to be a fishing guide and start building your network in one of our Montana Fly Fishing Guide Schools and learn more about past graduates here.

Women’s fly fishing is growing at a record pace. Join our incredible female guides for one of our three-day Women’s Fly Fishing Schools “To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, non-competitive environment. To fish and have fun.”

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