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Bozeman Fly Fishing Overview

It is a winter wonderland in Bozeman, Montana today. What happened to fall? Came and went quicker than we could have ever believed. As for the fly fishing? Cold days make for often tough conditions for anglers but great for our trout. Our fly fishing guides have been on the water daily for the last week and have seen it on all on the rivers and streams near Bozeman: snow, sun, good dry fly fishing, great nymphing, and even a hopper eating trout or twelve.

Anglers planning fly fishing trips to Montana in late October should be prepared for whatever mother nature has in store. Anglers should also expect strong hatches, opportunities to catch some of the largest trout of the year, and solitude on the water.

Looking ahead, anglers looking forward to Bozeman fly fishing trips will find the best conditions and success on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks. Anglers booking Missouri River fly fishing trips will enjoy some great dry fly fishing and streamer fishing on the Missouri River. Probably no better place for November fly fishing trips than the Missouri River.

Hatches will remain strong through the first half of the month. BWOs and midges will be the name of the game. Winter weather will come and go and overcast calmer days will make for the best fly fishing conditions. But you can’t control the weather, so you’ll just have to go to know!

We will continue to update our Bozeman fly fishing reports through the end of November. Then we will turn our sights to 2020.

Still taking trip bookings for November 2019 Montana fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company and our fly fishing guides. Wide open calendars for most of our guides and still some great fly fishing to be had. See you on the water.

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Report

In spite of winter weather, the fly fishing has been excellent on the Yellowstone River this fall. Our anglers and guides have enjoyed great fly fishing over the last week from Emigrant all the way down stream to Columbus. The brown trout featured in the picture is a great Yellowstone brown trout caught by one of our anglers on October 25th. It devoured a hopper. One of many from what will likely be the last day of good hopper fishing for 2019. It snowed 6 inches the following night.

BWO and midge fishing has been excellent with the colder weather. Nymphing in the morning and dry dropper fishing in the afternoon has been productive. Rubber legs, pheasant tails, a variety of Parachute dries, and a few zebra midges is probably all you need right now. Streamer fishing has been fair in the mornings on smaller buggers.

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report

Late October is a special time on the Missouri River. Strong hatches of BWOs, low angling pressure, and good streamer fishing make for memorable days on the water. Hard to imagine a better place to be an angler in the late fall than the mighty Missouri River.

Dry fly fishing has been and will remain excellent through the first half of November. BWOs are the main attraction with good hatches daily and pods of rising trout eager to eat a well presented fly. Nymphing on the upper river has been good but not as good as previous years. Streamer fishing has been consistently good. We’ll take it.

Our fly fishing guides consider the Missouri River to be the best option for anglers planning a late fall Montana fly fishing trip. The lower elevation of the surrounding area compared to our home base in Bozeman makes for reliably better weather and fly fishing conditions. The Missouri River is also a tailwater, which means less water temperature variation, more consistent hatches, and more dynamic fishing opportunities as the mercury plummets on our freestone rivers.

Madison River Fly Fishing Report

Conditions in the Madison River valley can best be described as rugged in the late fall. Days are often cold and windy. This can translate into tough fly fishing conditions for anglers. The nice days are great. Nymphing and streamer fishing can be excellent, with some good dry fly fishing on calmer edges and pools with BWOs. But from here on out we would recommend to not “forget the forecast” but rather know the forecast and head to another Bozeman area river or to the Missouri River if weather conditions are tough on the Madison River.

Paradise Valley Spring Creek Fly Fishing Report

Challenging but rewarding. Fall on the spring creeks can be described as nothing short of technical, but good hatches of midges and BWOs have made for high-quality sight fishing on a daily basis. We were treated to 5 hours of non-stop dry fly fishing just yesterday. BWOs were size 16-20 but the fish preferred the 20-22 size flies. Good nymphing in the morning with midges and BWO nymphs. Best wade fishing option close to Bozeman from now through the early spring.

Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing Report

Just about closed for the season. November 3rd is the last day to fish in Yellowstone National Park. Still time to catch the fish of the year on the Madison River.

General Late-Season Fly Fishing Note

Our guides’ advice:  Do not under estimate the elements and be prepared for the north wind to kick up anytime. Be cautious rowing and wading and check boats ramps for ice before putting in. Stay warm and stay safe in the colder weather.