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Bozeman, MT Fly Fishing Report 10/24/18

Angler with a Missouri River brown trout caught in the fall

Bozeman Fly Fishing Overview

Fall has settled in all around Bozeman, Montana and fly fishing has been solid on all of our area waters. Angling traffic has been light on the Yellowstone River, Missouri River, and Madison River. Weather has been great. Perfect combination for Fall guided fly fishing trips. Our anglers and Bozeman fly fishing guides having been making the most of their opportunities and have been treated to some great days of dry fly fishing. Hatches of BWOs, midges, caddis, and lingering terrestrials have kept our trout looking up and on the feed. Still a few more weeks of fly fishing left for the season. Time to make the most of it before the snow starts to pile up.

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Report

Late October is one of our favorite times to be on the Yellowstone River. Very quiet and very fishy. We’ve been mostly fishing close to Livingston, MT and have seen rock solid nymphing with buggers and larger attractor nymphs. Look for this to continue well into November. The sunnier weather is always a trade off on theYellowstone River as it makes for comfortable floating but thin hatches and a weak streamer bite. Larger parachute style flies with dropper nymphs have been productive but the consistent hatches of BWOs we saw earlier this month are all but gone. Clouds and crummy weather make for great dry fly fishing. Sun and blue skies make for great floating. Still a few hoppers bouncing around the banks and still a few fish looking for it.

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report

After spending most of the month guiding anglers on the Missouri River I can confidently say the fishing has been rock solid but not easy. What does this mean? You’ve got to be better than your average angler to really get into them right now. This is one of our favorite times of year on the Missouri River because there a bunch of different ways to catch fish whether is be nymphing, dry fly fishing, or streamer fishing, but you’ve got to know when, where, and how to employ each tactic effectively to keep rods bent. Nymphing has been consistently good from the Dam all the way down through Craig and beyond. Deep in the mornings (4-6ft) and shallow in the afternoons (6-24in)has been the ticket. The past few weeks treated our anglers and fly fishing guides to some of the finest dry fly fishing of the year. Caddis small and big, BWOs, midge clusters, and terrestrials all caught fish. As we move later into the month look for the variety to thin and the fish to really key in on the larger BWOs. Thinner hatches on sunny days. Streamer bite has been fair but will only improve. Head below Craig and you’ll likely have the whole place to yourself.

Madison River Fly Fishing Report

The Madison River is always a great fall fly fishing option near Bozeman, Montana and we’ve seen consistently good fishing for the past few weeks and look for this to continue into November. Sunny weather has made for thin hatches but comfortable days. Nymphing has been king with light tippets and smaller flies turning in the best results. We like the worm up top and thin and flashy #18-22mayfly/midge imitations trailed behind. Great time of year to get out and wade fish. Streamer fishing has been tougher on sunny days but look for the bite to improve as inevitably the weather starts to turn in the coming weeks. Then it will be game on.

Paradise Valley Spring Creek Fly Fishing Report

Probably your best option for great wade fishing close to Bozeman from now through next April. Hatches have been thin with the sunny weather but getting going around 12:30 and lasting until 3:30. Mix of BWOs, midges, and a few rogue PMDs and caddis sprinkled in. Plenty of targets to throw your dry flies at. Our fly fishing guides and anglers have been enjoying great nymphing in the early AM with midges, sows, and scuds, followed by a few great hours of dry fly action.

Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing Report

Just a little bit of time left before the end of the YNP fly fishing season closes on November 4th. But still lots of great fly fishing to be had. The Madison River and its tributaries is where most of the action is at. Lots of anglers but lots of big brown trout moving through the system still on their annual run. Some will swing, some will strip, and some will nymph for them. It all works. Just be respectful of other anglers. We like to skip the circus and instead head to the Firehole River. Good hatches and lots of open water. Things have started to cool down on the Yellowstone River, Lamar River, Soda Butte Creek, Slough Creek and their many tributaries. Still some fish to be caught but the window of good action has gotten short. And as always: bring your bear spray with you and leave your felt boots at home.

Notes From Downstream

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