Bozeman Fly Fishing Summary
May is here and the fly fishing in Montana has been great. Between the excellent fishing the past few weeks on the Missouri River and the prolific Mother’s Day Caddis hatch on the Yellowstone, our anglers and Montana fly fishing guides have been spoiled rotten. May is always a rollercoaster ride with rivers going up and down, clear and muddy, but we’ve be treated to a great one so far in 2019.
As for consistency, the Missouri River and the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks will be the best bet for anglers through the end of the month. Yellowstone National Park will be open for fishing on May 25th and we expect the Firehole River and many of the lakes to be fishing well right out of the gate. The Dearborn River as well as many of our smaller tributaries will open as well. Still plenty of time to plan a Montana fly fishing trip before the end of the month. The sun is shining, fish are rising, and life is good in Big Sky Country!
Missouri River Fly Fishing Report
No better place to be right now through the end of the month in Montana. River flows are well below what we saw last year and the fishing has been nothing short of excellent. Nymphing has been far and away the most productive tactic, but the dry fly fishing has had its moments, particularly from Craig and downstream. BWO hatches have been strong and March Browns have been flying around with them. The first caddis hatches should pick up any day now and really bring the fish to the top. In the meanwhile, pick your favorite bobber and sowbugs and enjoy some great action on the Missouri River.
Madison River Fly Fishing Report
We had a great run from April through early May on the Madison River, seeing great numbers of larger than your average fish on a daily basis. Flows have started to creep up and the tributaries have started to mud up a bit. What does this mean? Not much short term, the fishing will continue to be great with large stonefly nymphs, worms, and streamers being the top producers. Looking forward through the end of the month, there is still a considerable amount of snow in the hills that will push through. The Lower Madison River will become a better option from late-May through early June.
Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Report
The Yellowstone River was the place to be this April and early May. Between BWOs, March Browns, Skwalas, and most recently the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch, our anglers had some of the best early season dry fly fishing ever. The Yellowstone gave it up and stayed more or less fishable for most of the spring. Now runoff is here and the Yellowstone River is running high and muddy. How high will it go? How long will it last? Too early to know but we bet the river will be running green and our anglers will be fishing salmonflies sometime the first week of July. In the meantime there are better places to fish. Floaters will want to exercise extreme caution on the Yellowstone River from now until flows subside.
Paradise Valley Spring Creek Fly Fishing Report
Steady is the best way to describe the fly fishing on DePuy’s, Armstrong, and Nelson’s Spring Creeks now through the end of the month. A mishmash of bugs will keep fish looking up most days. BWOs, midges, caddis, and an odd ant or two will be on the menu. Fish the small and emerging, crippled, or spent. Nymphing with midges and small PTs has been extremely productive and will only continue to be. 6x tippet is mandatory for consistent action.