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Fishing Reports

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Madison River - Lower - January 6th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 34 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
The lower Maddy is another of the area's hot winter fishing locales.  Find the deeper, slower runs and have at it.  On the best days (overcast, warm, and no wind) fish will move into shallower water and the midge activity greatly increases.  As we go through winter further and further, it's a possibility to find good fish up on top when the midges are heavy. 

Best bets are small crayfish, egg patterns, san juans in wine & tan as well as the venerable red one, hare's ears, copper johns, small rubberleg stones, pts, lightning bugs in normal colors as well as pink.

The wate is freezing cold, literally, so slow down and really take your time!

Call the fly shop for info and patterns 406-333-4401
Madison River - Upper - January 6th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 32 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Water flow was bumped again from Hebgen Dam.  But it's fairly small.  About 80 cfs.  It's up to just a little over 1100. As it is, Bureau of Rec is moving a fair bit of water through the Maddy and has all winterlong.  Look for this to continue as water managers are preparing to have all watersheds possible in good shape to fill up come spring runoff time.

The upper Maddy between the lakes is always a good bet to get some winter fishing in.  And down toward Ennis in the Varney section.  Those are the 2 areas I'd concentrate on.  Nymphing will be your best bet although as January progresses and Feb comes, there will be more and more midges present and given a day of overcast and not much wind, I'd bet you could get 'er done on top with small dries.  In the meantime, just like any other winter fishing locations, find the deep stuff that doesn't move lickety-split.  Take your time and fish it slow.  San Juans, eggs, small stoneflies, PT's, Hare's Ears, Copper Johns, are all great.  Midge pupa and larvae are the droppers of choice.

Gallatin River - January 6th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 32 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
The Gallatin is one of the area's more consistent winter fisheries.  As the rest of the winter goes, this will be one to get better and better.  Just like all area winter time fishing, look for deep & very slow moving runs as places to concentrate your efforts.  Cold water, as long as its not ice choked, will have periods of OK trout activity during the day.  Typically it will be during the warmest few hours of the day.(1-3pm)  Nymphing with basic attractor flies in smaller sizes followed by small to tiny midge patterns are good bets.  Pts, princes, copper johns, small san juan worms, small stonefly patterns, hares ears are good lead flies.  Brassies, zebra midges, disco midges, and the like are great droppers.  You could also try small egg patterns.
Yellowstone River - January 6th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 35 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Wintertime fishing on the Yellowstone.  Some days it's pretty decent. Others, you couldn't pay me to be out there- what with the snow flying, temps not even close to being above freezing, and the wind.  With the recent warm weather we've been experiencing, however, it's been pretty good out there.  Only thing is it's been windy.  Oh well, guess I'd take that over snow and freezing arse cold.

What to do and where?  Find the deepest, slowest moving runs you can and be patient with your fishing.  Don't plan on covering tons of water.  The fish are extremely slow and won't move any real distance to eat a fly.  Many multiple casts through the same area sometimes are needed before a hit occurs.  Keep your flies focused on simple patterns.  Many times, the smaller the better.  Midges make up a very big and important part of a trout's winter diet.  Small prince nymphs, PTs followed by brassies, zebra midges, disco midges, etc are all good combos.  A small San Juan worm or small stonefly patterns can also be good lead fly bets and worth a try.

Feel free to give a call 406-333-4401
Yellowstone National Park Rivers - January 6th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • 0 ° F 
  • Fishing: Poor
Park waters are closed until Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  We'll be updating the report on the Park waterways once the season opens. 

Feel free to call us at the fly shop any time for information about fishing in the Park, or elsewhere in SW Montana
Yellowstone River - October 11th, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Windy and Rain
  • 55 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
A return to a little more seasonal weather.  Mountains are still pasted with snow way up high.  And with the leaves on the cottonwoods and willows changing to gold, the scenery is some of the best of the year!  Fishing is still continuing to be good with sparks of greatness.  Mixed clouds and some small chances of showers are great.  The wind, however, is going to make things difficult.  Thinking that fishing higher up in the valley here around the shop may give anglers some shelter.  Down by Livingston- hold onto your hats.  With the water temps continuing to cool,  turning to nymphing in the AM as the action has been slow to get going has been the way to start the day. Around lunch time go to the short leash method with lighter nymph patterns and by 2pm dries through the remainder of the day all the way to the boat ramp.  

Your Fly Box-
Neversink Trudes- small sizes in tan or black
Wilcox's JC Special both grey and olive -small
Paralime Variant
Purple Haze, Copper Haze
Parachute Adams- hi vis as well as 'guide chute'
Parachute Hare's Ear
Gray Drake cripples
Parawulff Adams, Purple, as well as olive
PMXs in royal, orange, olive
RL Crystal Buggers- olive smaller sizes
Pat's Rubber Leg olv/blk, brown (turd), org/brown, tan-small
Lightning bug
Tungsten Soft hackle PT
Soft hackle Copper John
Home Invaders
Peanut Envy
G's S Dungeon
McCune Sculpins

Feel free to call us any time or stop by the fly shop to get up to the minute reports on where to go as well as the bugs and gear to get 'em.  We're here every day of the week.