Mid-October is a favorite time in Bozeman, MT for anglers and our Montana fly fishing guides. All of our Montana rivers are fishing well as well as the rivers and streams of Yellowstone National Park. Fall is in the air, the trees are lit up with color, and anglers will find plenty of solitude on our blue ribbon waters.
Great days on the water with anglers have kept us away from the computer and on the oars, but with our Montana fly fishing season starting to wind down we have found time for an in-depth fall fly fishing report and forecast. Our guides have been on the water daily with the Missouri River, Yellowstone River, and Madison River at the top of the list for productivity. Strong hatches of BWOs (#18-22), fall drakes (#10-14), and a variety of caddis, midges, and lingering terrestrials have made for some memorable days of dry fly fishing the past few weeks.
The fall streamer bite has also been improving daily. Anglers willing to commit have been rewarded. The morning streamer bite on the Missouri River has been particularly good with consistent action on baitfish imitations fished through 3-4ft of fast moving water.
Anglers planning a fall fly fishing trip will find the daily rhythm of streamer fishing or nymphing in the morning followed by afternoons of dry fly or dry-dropper fishing to be fulfilling, with diverse opportunities and good action. Fall brings anglers the full gamut of conditions and anglers should expect to change tactics throughout the day for the best success. Both wade fishing and float fishing can be productive with the low flows of fall and patience often rewards the angler that starts late and ends late, with the best bite from 11AM-6PM.
While there is still time to book an October fly fishing with our Montana fly fishing guides, guide availability is limited. We could not have asked for a better 2020 season with anglers from all over joining us for the best Montana fly fishing trips. Trip dates for 2021 are booking daily with limited availability already for prime dates on the Missouri River in May and June and in Bozeman, MT for July and August. It is never too early to plan and book your next trip. Anglers are encouraged to contact us today to learn more.
Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Report
October is a favorite month on the Yellowstone River for our anglers and Yellowstone River fly fishing guides. Anglers can expect productive nymph and streamer fishing most mornings with quality dry fly fishing on calm afternoons. Cooler overcast days make for the strongest mayfly hatches with BWOs and drakes on the menu. Warmer days limit the mayfly activity but make for often excellent late season terrestrial fishing with hoppers and beetles still on the menu. Anglers willing to commit to streamer fishing will move some of the biggest brown trout of the year. Expect the bite only to improve as we move later into October and November.
Missouri River Fly Fishing Report
No where better to fly fish in Montana in October than the Missouri River. Like the clock that keeps on ticking, the Mo has been nothing short of reliable with great nymphing on the upper river, solid streamer fishing on the whole river, and excellent dry fly and dry dropper fishing on the lower river for those willing to work at it. Fall mayflies, caddisflies, midges, and terrestrials are all still on the menu. Dry fly anglers should expect demanding conditions and spooky fish, but rewarding conditions on calm days. Streamer anglers are advised to fish the fastest water they can find and consider an intermediate line or light sink tip. Nymphers at the dam will find solid action on zebra midges (#18-22) and small BWO patterns fished deep in the morning and shallow in the afternoon. We were treated to an all-time day recently that included 6 hours of phenomenal dry fly fishing, 2 bear sightings, and a memorable morning streamer bite. No better place to fly fish than the Missouri River in October!
Madison River Fly Fishing Report
Great time of the year to be an angler on the Madison River. The whole river is fishing well from YNP to the headwaters of the Missouri River. Streamer fishing is the name of the game in the fall with both stripped, dead drifted, and dragged presentations proving productive. A great time for anglers to cross paths with some of the biggest trout of the year. Lake run fish can be found both in the braids and the Barnes Holes. Nymphing and streamer fishing are the best tactics for targeting these fish. Dry fly fishing has been relegated to slack water and slow moving drop offs, with good hatches of BWOs bringing fish to the surface daily. Still a few out there looking for the hopper…
Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing Report
Lakers in the Madison, blanket hatches on the Firehole, and Fall Drakes on the Lamar and Soda Butte. Anglers will find great fly fishing opportunities all across Yellowstone National Park right now. The perfect day:
First light swinging flies on the Madison River
Afternoon hatch on the Firehole River or Soda Butte Creek
The winds of fall are in the air and our Montana fly fishing guides are looking forward to a great month ahead full of fly fishing and having fun on the water with our anglers. We have had a great past month of hopper fishing and it looks like there is no end in sight! Looking ahead we are excited to fish with many of our long time returning anglers in Bozeman, MT and on the Missouri River.
September is always a favorite month as hopper fishing transitions to the mayfly hatches of fall, and with it comes some of the best fly fishing of the season in Montana. With cooler morning temperatures we expect the window for good dry fly fishing to be pushed later into the morning, but anglers can expect excellent nymphing and often times great streamer fishing during the morning session. By 11:30AM the dry fly bite is good with hoppers on sunny days and mayflies on cloudy days.
Hoot-owl restrictions have been lifted on the Gallatin, Jefferson, and Lower Madison Rivers. We excited to be back on these great waters with anglers soon. All 3 offer great streamer fishing through the fall and are a great day 4 or 5 option on an extended Montana fly fishing trip.
Generally anglers will find the best fly fishing in September on the rivers near Bozeman, MT through the first half of the month, but by the 15th or 20ththe Missouri River becomes the main event. The combination of lower elevation and mild late season weather as well as epic hatches of caddisflies and mayflies can make for some of the best fly fishing of the year on the Missouri River. The streamer bite is also generally strong, and anglers willing to commit to throwing buggers will often connect with truly trophy brown trout.
In Bozeman, MT anglers will have a lot to look forward to. Hopper fishing will continue to be strong on the Yellowstone River and Madison River most afternoons with the possibility of hooking into trophy trout most mornings with streamers. Wade fishing on the Gallatin and in Yellowstone National Park can also be great, with hatches of mayflies kicking off by the middle of the month. September is fly fishing in Montana at its best, with great fishing on all of our rivers and the crowds of summer a distant memory.
Our Montana fly fishing guides are just about fully booked for September and are thankful for the continued support of our anglers. We do still have a few openings the second half of the month and looking ahead into October, many of our top guides are available and ready to work. Anglers interested in a Fall fly fishing trip with the Montana Angling Company are encouraged to contact us today, to learn more and plan your next Montana fly fishing adventure. Fish On!
The sun is out and hoppers are flying in Bozeman, MT! 2020 continues to impress for anglers fly fishing with our guides in Montana as dry fly fishing with terrestrials has been rock solid on our rivers close to Bozeman, MT as well as the Missouri River. The Yellowstone River and Madison River have been the best options for anglers looking to toss hoppers for wild trout this August and anglers have seen solid catch rates in spite of the usual ebb and flow of hopper fishing. Some days have been better than others, but all good fly fishing.
There is no need to make things more complicated than fishing a dry fly or dry-dropper rig all day right now in Bozeman, MT. Hoppers, stoneflies, and ants #6-14 will all catch fish. This is a great time of year for exploring the full width of our rivers. Trout will rise anywhere you can find 1.5-6ft of moving water. Right now that is just about everywhere.
August is also always a favorite month for wade fishing. Park the boat, go for a walk and you’ll often be surprised by what you find down the side channels. Smaller rivers also offer great public access and often the opportunity to fish miles and miles of low-pressure waters. Often times anglers are surprised to find bigger than your average trout in smaller than your average streams.
Warm summer days have pushed water temps up, but conditions are holding well on most higher elevation rivers and streams. Anglers starting early have been rewarded with the best fly fishing, but the bite has held out through the late afternoon and evening.
Hopper-mania on the Yellowstone River. The bite has been rock solid through all of the different weather this August. #6-16 flies have all had there moment with #10-12 foam hoppers, fished well, remaining the trout and guide favorite. Droppers have also had their moment and will continue to looking ahead. #14-18 PTs and princes will be the best bet. Our anglers and guides have had great fishing on the Yellowstone River from Gardiner to Big Timber and beyond. Looking ahead we expect more of the same in the coming weeks.
Madison River Fly Fishing Report
Good to great on the Madison River. The ebbs and flows of the hopper fishing on the Madison River are real, but anglers willing to commit will be rewarded. Changing color, size, and profile can help, but when the trout are on it largely doesn’t matter what is on the end of your line. Getting a good drift and letting it ride go a long way. Late August is always a great time to fish a #14-18 ant in tandem with a hopper. Often the biggest fish in the river will take it over the #6 t-bone steak hopper. Nymphing and dead-drifting streamers has and will continue to be a productive back up plan through the end of August and into late-September. #2-12 sclupins followed by a #18-22 lightning bug is a good start.
Cold water is plentiful in Yellowstone National Park in August and is the best place for wade fishing near Bozeman, MT. The tributaries of the Yellowstone River in the Northeast corner are the best starting points, with great terrestrial fishing on the Soda Butte Creek, Slough Creek, and the Lamar River. Native cutthroat trout have a special place in their heart for a well presented #12-18 hopper, ant, or beetle. Hike for solitude and don’t forget your bear spray!
August is hopper season in Montana and it is shaping up to be another banner one in 2020. Our anglers and Montana fly fishing guides have enjoyed good to great hopper fishing on all of our Bozeman area rivers over the past weeks. The Yellowstone River has been fishing particularly well, in spite of the heat wave this past week. Further north, up on the Missouri River, our anglers and guides have reported challenging but rewarding dry fly fishing, with strong hatches of tricos daily and good terrestrial fishing in the afternoon with hoppers and ants.
Small stream fishing has also been excellent as of late with great hopper fishing on local freestone streams and spring creeks. August is a favorite month for wet-wading and fly fishing for our guides in Yellowstone National Park, as the Yellowstone River and tributaries offer great terrestrial fishing, cool water, and good flows through the end of the month and on into September. Dry fly nirvana most days.
Looking ahead we look for the hopper bite to only improve. As weather turns back to normal look for water temps to drop and fishing to be great throughout the day. In the meantime, better to start early and end early as things can get tough under the high afternoon sun after about 3-4PM.
The Yellowstone River has and will be the primary destination for our guides and anglers through the end of August. The hopper fishing has been solid, with good reports from anglers in Gardiner, MT all the way east of Livingston, MT and beyond. Hopper fishing rewards the committed on the Yellowstone, cut off your dropper, fish the hopper as best you can, and find your reward! Nymphing and streamer fishing has also been productive with the usual fare: stonefly nymphs, caddis nymphs, and big buggers. No better destination than the Yellowstone River for a Montana fly fishing trip during the summer months.
Madison River Fly Fishing Report
The initial push of hopper madness on the Madison River has faded and anglers will find consistently good fly fishing from first light until 3PM or so. Tougher under the high afternoon sun. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and caddis are all in play. Anglers looking for trophy trout will be best off fishing a hopper and fishing it well. It won’t happen every cast, but anglers willing to stick with it will get their shots. Nymphing has continued to remain productive with most anglers and guides opting to drift a streamer or stonefly nymph followed by something “tiny and shiny”. #16-22 lightning bugs and prince nymphs are always good bet.
Missouri River Fly Fishing Report
August is a favorite month of anglers that enjoy fly fishing the Missouri River with less crowds and honest fishing. Good casts and drifts will result in caught fish. Dragged flies and less than stellar presentation will not. Anglers can expect plenty of water to themselves during the week and plenty of rising fish. Start early and fish hard. For the truly dedicated angler that enjoys the challenge of technical fly fishing there may be no better time to fish the river than August. Terrestrial fishing continues to improve daily with hoppers, ants, and beetles all putting trout in the net.
Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing Report
August is one of the best months for fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park. Rivers are clear, flows are stable, and the terrestrial fishing can be out of this world. The Lamar Valley is where our anglers and guides will be found with excellent dry fly fishing on the Soda Butte Creek, Lamar River, and Slough Creek. Start early, go for a hike, tie on a hopper, and go fish!
The hoppers have arrived on the rivers around Bozeman, MT and August is shaping up to be another great hopper season for our anglers and Montana fly fishing guides. We have already had some great fun-filled days of trout rising to terrestrials on the Yellowstone River and Madison River and look for conditions to only improve throughout the month. Hopper fishing rewards the committed, the anglers willing to fish through the lows for the highs, and the results speak for themselves: there is likely no better time to see the largest average sized trout on dry flies than during the prime window of hopper season.
Looking ahead warm weather in the forecast will continue to mean early on and early off the river. Most of our anglers have been meeting guides between 6:00AM-7:00AM and wrapping things up before the heat of the day. The fly fishing has been excellent in the early morning hours with great dry fly fishing right out of the gate. Look for this trend to continue if the warm weather sticks around.
Flows are ideal for wade fishing many of our smaller streams and float fishing our famous blue ribbon rivers. August is always a great month for exploring new water as anglers can count on good fishing across all but the warmest of our rivers. Streamer fishing can also be great on most our rivers as limited aquatic hatches force trout to consider alternate options.
The fly fishing has been excellent so far in 2020 on all of our rivers in Bozeman, MT and we look for the trend to continue in August. Look for our guides and anglers to spend most of their days on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and in Yellowstone National Park. The Missouri River is also a great option during August and will continue to spoil anglers with challenging but rewarding dry fly fishing as tricos, hoppers, ants, and caddis are all on the menu.