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2020 Montana Fly Fishing Season in Review

First big brown of the 2020 guide season

Thank you to all of our anglers for your support during the 2020 Montana fly fishing season!

We were beyond fortunate to be able to work, stay healthy, and spend so many great days on the water with anglers this year. The appreciation our Montana fly fishing guides have cannot be understated, as well as our thoughts and care for those that were not able to make it in 2020. We are looking forward to being back on the water with everyone, in good health, and safely, in 2021.

Our outfitter and guides had more time than ever this spring to fly fish for ourselves. The silver lining to being out of work for 1-3 months. A big thank you to Adipose Boatworks, the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, as well as Governor Steve Bullock for providing support for outfitting businesses during these tough times. We are grateful.

Summer 2020 brought anglers back to the Big Sky State and our guides were busy on the water. The fly fishing was as good as ever in spite of the backdrop of the worldwide pandemic. The PMDs and Caddisflies hatched on the Missouri River, Salmonflies on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers, and the hoppers of August fed trout all across Montana. A delightful sense of rhythm in uncertain times.

We spent more time in 2020 fishing the rivers closer to home in Bozeman, MT than usual. The requirements of social distancing meant that time in vehicles was minimized and anglers were asked to provide their own transportation or wear masks. Thank you to our anglers for their flexibility and understanding. Our guides renewed their appreciation for the truly incredible fishing opportunities we are fortunate to have so close to home.

2020 Montana Fly Fishing Highlights

The Yellowstone River was the star of the show in 2020. Strong hatches, solid flows, and cool water temps kept the trout happy and on the feed all summer long. While some days the bite was better than others, it was consistently great. The dry fly fishing was rock solid from July 1 until about October 15. The streamer bite was excellent from late August through October. There was no need to nymph until late October. The Yellowstone gave up as many big brown trout on dry flies as we’ve ever seen. Hopeful for more of the same in 2021.

Other highlights included excellent late fall fishing on the Missouri River, great mid-summer hopper fishing on the Madison River, and a new appreciation for wade fishing on the small public waters near Bozeman, MT. Lots of great memories were made in 2020 with anglers new and old.

As we head into winter, we still have a few anglers on the calendar for December taking advantage of Winter Special Trips, but we are also already looking ahead to 2021. We are optimistic that we will return to a sense of normal and we will be able to host anglers all season. We are also confident that we can now handle anything after the many lessons learned from 2020. Anglers safety and health has always been our priority, and will continue to be moving forward.

Thank you again to everyone for your business and support in 2020. We hope everyone has a safe holiday season and look forward being back on the water with all in 2021. Anglers interested in booking trips can contact us today. Thank you!

Notes From Downstream

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Angler couple enjoying winter fly fishing

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