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Fishing Reports

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Yellowstone National Park Rivers - March 26th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • 0 ° F 
  • Fishing: Poor
Park waters are closed until Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26th.  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
 
Armstrong's, DePuy's and Nelson's Spring Creek - January 6th, 2012
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 35 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
Wintertime on the spring creeks.  Can be a great option for fishing this time of year!  Being a spring creek, the waters here are much more moderated in temps.  Trout in the creeks are active for a bit longer than in the river.  But it's still winter, so it's not like the summertime when fish are on the feed much more consistently.  Look for the deeper slower places on the creek. You can likely see the fish stacked up in there.  Nymphing is going to be the most likely means to get a bend in your rod.  Think small whether it's eggs, flossy san juans, or midge patterns.  Think simple as well.  Thinly dressed patterns without flashy beadheads have a greater tendency to find their way into a trout's mouth on the creeks.

You know what's not bad about the creeks in the winter besides the fishing opportunities?  Off season rates!  $40/day sure beats the Ben Franklin from high season.  Want to fish the creeks frequently in the off season?  Get a seasons pass on Depuy's for $400.00 and it's good until April 15th.  Fish 10 days and you're paid up.  Fish more, and, well, you can do the math on that one.

Feel free to call us for conditions and up to date info  406-333-4401
 
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