Stillwater River Fly Fishing Guides
Floating and fly fishing the Stillwater River with our professional guides is the ultimate whitewater fly fishing trip for anglers that enjoy fast-paced fly fishing in a world-class scenic setting. Floating the Stillwater River requires strong rowing skills and knowledge of the river to navigate the many rapids and hazards found on its length. Our Stillwater River fly fishing guides have the experience to provide anglers with a fun and safe fly fishing trip on Montana’s Stillwater River. Our guides use high-end rafts outfitted with fishing frames to float and fly fish the Stillwater River.
Due to the unique nature of fly fishing on the Stillwater River, fly fishing guides with the experience to navigate the river are in short supply and high demand. Anglers are encouraged to book their trips well in advance, for best guide availability.
Stillwater River Fly Fishing Trips
Fly fishing trips on the Stillwater River offer anglers some of the best fly fishing in Montana during the summer season. Anglers can expect great dry fly fishing from mid-July into early-September. Strong hatches of stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies, and terrestrials keep the wild Stillwater River trout on the feed. At its best the action of the Stillwater River is non-stop and anglers can expect a productive trip for brown trout and rainbow trout.
We offer Full Day Float Fly Fishing Trips on the Stillwater River. Anglers can expect to float an 8-14 mile stretch of water, with opportunities to wade fish throughout the day. Fly fishing the Stillwater River is also a great part of a Custom Trip or Bozeman Fly Fishing Trip. Our guides emphasize learning, safety, and having fun on every trip.
Our Stillwater River fly fishing trips generally focus on the river upstream of Absorakee, MT in July and downstream of Absorkee, MT in August and September. The float season on the Stillwater River for fly fishing trips generally runs from July 10th through September 15th. All Stillwater River fly fishing trips are subject to safe flows.
Stillwater River Fly Fishing Outfitting
Our outfitter operates out of our home base in Bozeman, MT. The Stillwater River is about a 2 hour drive from Bozeman, one of our longer trip commutes. We generally ask anglers to meet our guides at 6 or 6:30AM for Stillwater River fly fishing trips.
Fly fishing the Stillwater River is also a great option for anglers in Livingston, MT and Billings, MT. For these anglers our guides can meet locally in Livingston, MT or in Columbus, MT at a local fly shop near the river. Anglers interested in Stillwater River fly fishing trips with our outfitter and guides are encouraged to contact us to book a trip or learn more.
Winter Fly Fishing with the Montana Angling Company
The snow is falling, midges are hatching, trout are rising, and there isn’t another angler around. Winter fly fishing in Montana is an unique experience that can make for special days on the water, when conditions are right. Winter in Montana should not be underestimated and anglers should expect consistently cold, windy, and snowy conditions.
While we would not recommend planning a trip to Montana for the sole purpose of fly fishing during the winter months, if you find yourself in skiing in Bozeman, MT or are a local angler, conditions regularly present themselves that make for quality fly fishing. The flexibility to pick and choose your dates is key to a successful and fun day spent winter fly fishing.
- Anglers fly fishing during the winter months will enjoy unique scenery and solitude on our Montana rivers
- Mild winter weather makes for great angling conditions and consistently good fly fishing on the Gallatin River, Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, Madison River, and Missouri River
- We offer Winter Guide Trip Specials at a discounted rate with our professional fly fishing guides
What to Expect
Anglers fly fishing in Montana during the months of December, January, and February should expect winter conditions that make for often tough angling conditions. Luckily for anglers high pressure systems are common and make for conditions ideal for great winter fly fishing. Temperatures above 10F and winds below 20mph make for comfortable and productive angling. Good gear goes a long way during the winter. Gore-tex waders and outerwear, quality insulation layers, and wool socks are recommended.
Where to Fly Fish during the Winter
Anglers will find the best fly fishing in Montana during the winter season on rivers and streams that offer consistently open water in spite of cold temperatures. Many of our larger rivers like the Yellowstone River experience significant ice formation and damming making for limited access and angling. Floating is also largely impossible due to frozen boat ramps but wading is still an optional on many local waters. It is always best to play it safe during the winter, know before you go.
The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks offer the best winter fly fishing for anglers in Bozeman, Montana. DePuy’s Spring Creek, Armstrong Spring Creek, and Nelson’s Spring Creek all offer near constant water temperatures throughout the winter making for consistently great fly fishing. Midge hatch under the right conditions, making for some dry fly fishing opportunities. While the fly fishing is always technical on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, the lack of pressure during the winter makes for forgiving conditions and some of the best catch rates of the year.
The Gallatin River is another great wade fishing option for anglers in Bozeman and Big Sky. Geothermal hot springs near Big Sky mean open water and above freezing water temperatures down stream of town center. Even on the coldest of days anglers can expect good fly fishing for trout.
The Madison River offers good winter fly fishing opportunities both close to Bozeman on the lower river as well as near Ennis, MT on the upper river. The fast current means open water during all but the coldest of stretches. Anglers will find the most success in the Bear Trap Canyon as well as the upper wade-only stretch from Pine Butte upstream to Hebgen Lake. Anglers wanting to access the Madison River near Three Dollar Bridge should expect a significant hike through deep snow and our guides strongly recommend snow shoes.
The Missouri River near Craig, MT is another great winter fly fishing option for anglers in Montana. For anglers wanting to float and fly fish during the winter will find the Missouri River is often the only option. The upper river from the Dam to Craig is often accessible and anglers can expect reliably good fly fishing throughout the winter. Wade fishing is also a good option when flows are below 4000CFS.
Winter Fly Fishing Tactics
Anglers will find nymphing is the most productive tactic on all of our Montana rivers during the winter. Hatches are few and far between making for limited dry fly fishing opportunities. Cold water temperatures mean our wild trout are generally not willing to chase a streamer. Most trout will hold in deep and slow runs that are ideal for nymphing. Expect to have success with both a dead drifted indicator rig and euro-nymphing techniques.
Targeting reliable holding water with midge, stonefly, worm, and bright attractor nymphs will be productive. Pink tends to be a favorite color. Our trout have a tendency to “pod up” during the winter months as ideal habitat becomes concentrated. Expect to find multiple trout where you first find one and seek out similar water for the best success.
Anglers unfamiliar with euro-nymphing techniques should consider the winter to be an ideal time to learn and experiment with this tactic. The lack of fly line and changes in distance while casting limit ice formation on the rod guides, a common frustration while fly fishing in sub-freezing temperatures. The ability to manually manipulate your flies and detect soft subtle takes is another advantage. Anglers wanting to learn more should check out the Modern Nymphing Video Series that can be ordered on DVD or online on Vimeo.
Winter Fly Fishing Trips in Montana
Anglers interested in a Montana fly fishing trip with our professional guides will enjoy our Winter Guide Trip Special. Our discounted rate accounts for often shorter days and winter conditions. Winter Trips are a perfect “day-off” from skiing at Big Sky Resort or Bridger Bowl. Winter trips are also great for local anglers wanting to learn more about fly fishing our Montana rivers during the winter months safely and productively.
All winter trips are subject to cancellation due to unsafe weather and conditions. We generally wait to finalize bookings on all winter trips 72 hours prior to the date of your trip, for the most up to date forecast.
We would encourage anglers interested in a winter fly fishing trip with our Montana fly fishing guides to contact us and learn more.
Spring Fly Fishing with the Montana Angling Company
Spring in Montana means it is time to dust off the fly rods, renew fishing licenses, and head to the river for the start of a new fly fishing season. March 1st is the kickoff of the official fishing season in Montana. Our anglers and Montana fly fishing guides are always eager after a long winter to enjoy some great Spring fly fishing. By the middle of March, winter’s grasp loosens on our Montana rivers and anglers can expect improving conditions through April and into May.
Spring is a favorite season for fly fishing in Montana for many anglers. Spring offers the great combination of strong hatches, consistently good fly fishing, and solitude on our blue ribbon rivers. April is a great month for fly fishing the rivers near Bozeman, MT. May is the peak of the spring fly fishing season and anglers will be treated to some of the best fly fishing of the season on the Missouri River. For dry fly anglers, this is can’t miss fly fishing.
- April is one of the best times of year to fly fish in Montana for anglers that value solitude on the water
- The Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch is early May on the Yellowstone River is one of the best hatches in Montana
- May fly fishing on the Missouri River in Craig, MT kicks off the prime dry fly fishing season
- Winter Guide Trip Specials run through the end of March. Spring Guide Trip Specials run through the month of April
What to Expect
Anglers fly fishing in Montana during the spring months of March, April, and May can expect great fly fishing across all of our Montana rivers with conditions that improve and peak by early May. Winter weather is to be expected through mid-March and is common through the end of April. By May conditions are consistently favorable, but cold temperatures and snow are always a possibility. Waders are strongly recommended for all spring fly fishing trips in Montana.
Anglers fly fishing in March can look forward to wide open rivers with low angling pressure. The quality of the fly fishing in March is largely dictated by weather conditions. Generally warmer weather and low wind will make for the most productive days. Hatches of midges are often strong and by the end of the month anglers can expect the first appearance of blue winged olive (BWO) mayflies.
By April, the fly fishing in Montana is consistent and hatches of midges and BWOs are in full swing. Anglers can expect quality dry fly fishing most afternoons on the rivers in Bozeman, MT and the Missouri River. Solitude on our blue ribbon waters is plentiful and anglers can expect favorable conditions most day but should be prepared for late-season winter weather.
May marks the beginning of the prime fly fishing season, May 1-October 31, in Montana and the peak of the spring fly fishing season. By the first of the month dry fly fishing is as good as it gets and anglers will enjoy some of the best hatches of the season. BWOs hatch in full force through the middle of the month and the Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch pops on the Yellowstone River usually by the 10th of May. On the Missouri River anglers will enjoy some of the best fly fishing of the year. The dry fly fishing is excellent, catch rates are high, and the trout are some of the largest average size in Montana.
Where to Fly Fish in Montana
Spring fly fishing in Montana is great on all of our area rivers, but conditions on individual rivers and streams fluctuate over the course of the spring season. Anglers will have the best success wade fishing on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks in March, as near constant temperature water makes for reliable fly fishing regardless of weather and conditions. Wade fishing on the Gallatin River and Madison River is also another good bet in March. By the end of the month floating on the Madison River, Missouri River, and Yellowstone River is often a good option when boat ramps become accessible as ice thaws with warming temperatures.
Anglers will find similarly good fly fishing in April on all of our Montana rivers. Wade fishing and float fishing are both productive options. Dry fly fishing improves through the end of the month and anglers will find good hatches of BWOs and Midges on the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers daily. On the Madison River and can expect some BWOs but the main event for dry fly anglers is the Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch which generally kicks off on the Lower Madison River by April 25th and the Upper Madison River shortly thereafter.
The Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch on the Yellowstone River is a noteworthy annual event in May and marks some of the best early season dry fly fishing of the year. Anglers that are able to time the hatch will encounter blizzards of bugs and pods of actively feeding trout. The window is limited and run-off often cuts the hatch short but anglers will be rewarded with some truly great fly fishing.
For most anglers and our Montana fly fishing guides, May fly fishing in Montana is all about the Missouri River tailwater in Craig, MT. The fishing is as good and consistent as it gets. Thick hatches of BWOs, Mother’s Day Caddis, and March Browns makes for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. The productivity can be staggering at times and some of the biggest trout of year are landed every year by our anglers on May fly fishing trips on the Missouri River.
Spring Fly Fishing Tactics in Montana
Spring is the start of quality hatches and dry fly fishing in Montana for the season. Hatches of midges start by mid-March followed by BWOs in April, Skwala stoneflies, and the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch and March Browns in May. Dry fly fishing is great during all of these hatches. Anglers will find the most success late-morning through the evening each day. Both sight fishing and blind fishing can be productive during all of these hatches and anglers will find success with good presentation and flies matched to size and color.
Nymphing is consistently productive throughout the spring fly fishing season in Montana and will account for the greatest quantity of trout caught by anglers. Midges, sow bugs, and scuds will be productive on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks and the Missouri River early in the spring. Stoneflies, caddisflies, pheasant tails, and #12-16 attractor nymphs will be productive on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers from early April through early May. Sowbugs are king on the Missouri River for nymph anglers in May. Often fly fishing with a tandem rig consisting of a #14 sowbug to a #16 sowbug is all you need, all month long.
Spring is one of the best seasons for streamer fishing in Montana. As water temperatures warm into May the bite improves and our trout become more willing to chase large streamer patterns. On the Madison River some of the biggest trout of the year will come to hand in April. Large flashy sculpin and baitfish imitations work well, especially as flows increase with spring run-off.
Spring Fly Fishing Trips in Montana
Spring has sprung in Montana and anglers will enjoy Spring fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company. Winter Trip Special Rates run through the end of March and Spring Trip Special Rates run through the end of April. Anglers will enjoy discounted guide trip rates that account for often shorter days on the water and variable conditions compared to the prime fly fishing season. Anglers will also enjoy great fly fishing and true solitude on the water with Spring fly fishing trips in Montana.
May fly fishing trips on the Missouri River are a favorite amongst our longtime anglers and professional guides. Anglers will be treated to the combination of great dry fly fishing, high catch rates, and consistent angling conditions on one of Montana’s most scenic blue ribbon rivers. Many of our Montana fly fishing guides book well in advanced as does lodging with our partner lodge, the Missouri River Ranch. We recommend booking trips 4-8 months in advanced for prime dates and guide availability.
Anglers interested in spring fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company are encouraged to contact our outfitter and learn more.
Montana Fly Fishing in February
Disclaimer: February fly fishing in Montana is full on winter fly fishing. Cold hands and feet are a guarantee. Anglers fly fishing in February should expect temperatures well below freezing, snow, and often tough angling conditions.
Anglers should expect challenging but rewarding fly fishing in February. While winter weather is tough, high pressure systems make for often favorable conditions and good fly fishing throughout the winter in Bozeman, MT. We would not recommend planning a Montana fly fishing trip during the winter months, but if you find yourself in Bozeman and want to go fly fishing there are options.
Winter fly fishing trips are a great “off day” activity for skiers at Big Sky Resort or Bridger Bowl. Fly fishing on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks and the Gallatin River can be great when conditions are right. We encourage anglers interested in February fly fishing trips to contact us for more information.
What to Expect in February
Anglers should expect winter conditions throughout the month of February in Montana. Cold temperatures and snow are to be expected. High pressure systems often make for warm and clear conditions, best suited for fly fishing. Anglers that have the flexibility to pick and choose their dates to fish will enjoy the best fishing.
Good gear is a must for winter fly fishing. Gore-tex waders and outwear matched with quality insulation layers are recommended. Staying dry is the key to staying warm.
Where to Fly Fish in February
Anglers should focus their efforts in February on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks and the Gallatin River in Montana. Both offer the great fly fishing throughout the winter, when conditions are right.
Near-constant temperatures and flows on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks make for reliable angling even during the toughest of weather. The quality of fly fishing will only be limited by what you, as the angler, can handle. The Gallatin River runs ice-free through all but the coldest of weeks. The best fly fishing will be found downstream of Big Sky in the Gallatin Canyon.
February Fly Fishing Tactics
Nymphing will be the most productive tactic for fly fishing in Montana in February. Stonefly nymphs, midges, and worms will be the most productive. Flashy and brightly colored patterns will induce strikes.
Anglers should focus on deep, slow runs. Our trout group up in the runs during the winter months and anglers should expect to find multiple holding in each hole. Patience will be rewarded, take your time and work each run diligently.
February Fly Fishing Trips
Winter fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company are the best way for anglers to enjoy fly fishing in Feberaury in Montana. Anglers in Bozeman, MT will enjoy great fly fishing, pending favorable conditions, with our professional fly fishing guides. Anglers interested are encourage to contact us to learn more about winter fly fishing trips.
The Best Dry Fly Fishing in Montana
Montana is a paradise for dry fly fishing. Anglers will find strong hatches and rising trout throughout the Montana fly fishing season. World-famous hatches of mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, terrestrials, and midges on our blue ribbon rivers draw anglers from all over the world to experience dry fly fishing in Montana.
The quality of hatches in Montana is largely determined by when and where you are fly fishing. Our Guide to Dry Fly Fishing in Montana draws on the experience of our Montana fly fishing guides and outfitter that spend their time on the water teaching and sharing with anglers the best dry fly fishing in Montana.
Anglers interested in Montana dry fly fishing should also check out our Top 5 Hatches to Fly Fish in Montana.
- Consistent hatches from April-October make for great dry fly fishing in Montana during the prime season
- Freestone rivers including the Yellowstone River and Madison River offer great hatches of stoneflies, caddisflies, terrestrials, and mayflies throughout the summer season that make for great attractor dry fly fishing well suited for anglers of all skill levels.
- The Missouri River tailwater in Craig, MT offers technical dry fly fishing and sight fishing for trophy trout throughout the season. The dry fly fishing is challenging yet rewarding, perfect for advanced and expert anglers.
- The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks and Yellowstone National Park are perfect for dry fly anglers that enjoy wade fishing.
When to Dry Fly Fish in Montana
Dry fly fishing in Montana is good throughout the prime fishing season from April through October. Anglers will find the same hatches, at the same time of year, on most of our rivers. When an angler chooses to dry fly fish in Montana should largely be determined by the experience of each hatch.
During the spring, anglers can count on good hatches of Blue Winged Olives (BWOs) in April, followed by the Mother’s Day Caddis and March Brown hatches in May. The BWO and March Brown hatch are classic mayflies that make for reliably good and technical dry fly fishing. The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is one of the largest hatches by biomass, often resulting in a blizzard of bugs and huge numbers of actively feeding fish.
June, July, and August comprise the classic summer dry fly fishing season. Montana’s famous stonefly hatches of salmonflies and golden stones generally kick-off mid-June and last into late July. Anglers will also find good hatches of Pale Morning Dun (PMD) mayflies, Western Green Drakes, summer caddisflies, and little yellow sally stoneflies coinciding with these hatches. Many of the largest trout of the year are caught on our freestone rivers during the salmonfly hatch. The evening caddis dry fly bite can be excellent. By August terrestrials make up most of the menu for our wild trout. Dry fly fishing with hoppers, ants, and beetles is often some of the most fun and productive fly fishing of the year.
Fall dry fly hatches generally mirror the spring hatches. Anglers will find good terrestrial fishing through mid-September, but by the end of the month hatches of BWOs and caddis are in full swing. Anglers will encounter both small tan caddis #14-18 as well as the larger October Caddis #8-12. Isolated hatches of Grey Drakes, Callibaetis, and Midges round out the fall dry fly fishing fare. The combination of strong hatches and low angling pressure makes October one of the best months to dry fly fish in Montana.
Where to Dry Fly Fish in Montana
All of our Montana Rivers offer great dry fly fishing for anglers throughout the Montana fly fishing season and make for unique angling experiences. Each river has its own character and charm as well as strong hatches. Freestone rivers generally offer more forgiving conditions and the best stonefly hatches in Montana. Tailwater rivers boast the most prolific hatches and challenging yet rewarding dry fly fishing.
Anglers in Bozeman, MT will be treated to great dry fly fishing on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, Gallatin River, and smaller freestone rivers throughout the early spring, summer, and fall fly fishing seasons. Run-off makes for tough conditions from mid-May through mid-June, but is followed by some of the best hatches of the year. The annual salmonfly hatch is in full swing by late June on the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers followed by the rest of the summer hatches. These rivers offer what is likely the best hopper fishing in Montana in August through mid-September.
Missouri River anglers can expect quality tailwater fishing all throughout the season in Craig, MT. The Holter Dam tailwater section is not as susceptible to run-off as the Bozeman area freestone rivers and anglers will find good hatches of March Browns in late May followed by summer caddisflies and PMDs in early June. The PMD hatch on the Missouri River in June is one of Montana’s best hatches. The dry fly fishing is often technical and demanding, but committed dry fly anglers will be rewarded with shots at trophy brown and rainbow trout.
By late July the PMD hatch fades and Trico hatches pick-up. This hatch is best described as “smoke on the water” and anglers will find huge numbers of trout rising daily. This is likely the most technical dry fly fishing of the season and best suited for advanced and expert anglers. Hopper and terrestrial fishing is good from August through mid-September. Fall hatches of BWOs, Callibaetis, October Caddis, smaller tan caddis, and midges close out the season. Fall is a favorite time to dry fly fish on the Missouri River for many of our long-time Montana fishing guides and anglers.
Montana Dry Fly Fishing Tactics
Choosing the right water to fish is the first step for dry fly anglers. The time of year and daily conditions should dictate which river, stream, or lake to fish. Trout will also hold and feed in different water types depending on the hatch and the stage of life. Expect to find trout feeding in slack water during mayfly and midge hatches and faster water during stonefly and caddis hatches. Trout will generally feed in progressively faster water as a hatch progresses.
Choosing the correct fly pattern is the next challenge. This step is often over emphasized and not as critical as anglers make it out to be. Matching the hatch can be simplified to size, color, silhouette, and stage of life. Identify the hatch and match correspondingly. While learning scientific names of varying mayflies and caddisflies can be rewarding and might impress your angling buddies, all the trout care about is if an offering generally resembles food. Presentation is what catches fish, not flies.
The best advice for successful dry fly fishing is to make your first cast count. Trout that are feeding on the surface are often most willing to eat the first time a fly is presented to them and progressively less likely with each following presentation. Anglers dry fly fishing to actively feeding fish should take their time, set up well, false cast until distance and angles are appropriate, present the fly with appropriate slack, and mend as needed to correct for currents. Mastering the reach cast should be the next step in the learning progression for a dry fly angler. Hook sets should be quick and sharp, but often delayed. Sometimes the take happens quickly. Sometimes painfully slowly. Watch them eat and then set.
The dead drift presentation accounts for 90% or more of all trout caught by dry fly anglers in Montana. Anglers should always start with a dead drift presentation before trying to skitter, swing, twitch, or stip. If you notice several takes coinciding with mending and moving the fly, then it is time to switch it up. Mayflies and midges are almost always best presented with a dead drift. Caddisflies, stoneflies, and terrestrials are quite capable of moving on the water’s surface. Anglers will find moving a dry fly imitation is, at times, more effective.
Montana Dry Fly Fishing Trips
Our Montana fly fishing guides and outfitter are all passionate dry fly anglers. The world-class dry fly fishing in Montana is one of the main reasons we are drawn to fly fish in the Big Sky State. Our Montana fly fishing trips are dry fly focused and we consider it our job to teach anglers the art of dry fly fishing. While there are times conditions demand alternate tactics, anglers can generally expect great dry fly fishing throughout the season on our Montana fly fishing trips.
For anglers that prefer to dry fly fish, we can custom fit your trip itinerary to match you with the best dry fly fishing hatches and opportunities. Anglers interested in dry fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company are encouraged to contact us to learn more about our Montana fly fishing trips.
Montana Fly Fishing in January
Disclaimer: January fly fishing in Montana is full on winter fly fishing. Cold hands and feet are a guarantee. Anglers fly fishing in January should expect temperatures well below freezing, snow, and often tough angling conditions.
All of that being said there can be some great fly fishing opportunities as well. I often tell a story about a 3-night overnight fly fishing trip on the Missouri River I went on with some friends years ago. We fished and camped on the river each day and each night. Temperatures were between 25-45F, weather was mild, the fly fishing was great, and we didn’t encounter another angler.
While I wouldn’t recommend planning a Montana fly fishing trip for January, we often get windows of 3-5 days throughout the winter that make for good fly fishing conditions. The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks offer the most consistent fly fishing for anglers in Bozeman, MT during the winter months. Many of our larger rivers are well frozen by January, but high-pressure systems often make for open water and float fishing options.
Anglers interested in winter fly fishing trips in January should contact us for more information. Winter fly fishing at our special rate can be a fun “off day activity” for skiers at Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl. These trips are always weather-dependent, but when conditions are right the fly fishing can be great.
- Special rates for Winter Fly Fishing Trips
- Great fly fishing on DePuy’s Spring Creek and the Gallatin River (weather dependent)
- Float fishing on the Missouri River and Madison River, pending favorable weather and access
- Incredible scenery and solitude on our rivers only found during the winter months
What to Expect in January
Anglers should keep all expectations realistic for fly fishing in January in Montana. Often the conditions make for tough fishing. Expect shorter days and challenging but rewarding fly fishing. High pressure systems will make for the best angling conditions.
Good gear goes a long way for winter fly fishing trips in Montana. Gore-tex waders and outerwear, down insulation, and good wool socks are worth every penny. We recommend preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
Where to Fly Fish in January
For anglers fly fishing in Montana in January, we recommend focusing your effort on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks and the Gallatin River. These fisheries offer good access and often great fly fishing throughout the winter months. The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks run near-constant temperature year round making for great fly fishing regardless of weather. Natural hot springs pour into the Gallatin River near Big Sky, MT making for great fly fishing downstream and through the Gallatin Canyon.
January Fly Fishing Tactics
Nymphing will be the most productive tactic for fly fishing in January. Most trout will be holding in deep, slow runs, and feeding only sporadically. Midges, worms, and stonefly nymphs will be the top producers. Flashy and brightly colored flies will often induce a strike. Anglers should expect to find trout podded up during the winter, and if you find one expect more.
January Fly Fishing Trips
January fly fishing trips with our Montana fly fishing guides are great for anglers visiting Bozeman, MT during the winter season. Anglers will enjoy our special winter rate with every trip and can expect good fly fishing, when conditions are favorable. Anglers interested in Montana fly fishing trips in January are encouraged to contact us and learn more about winter fly fishing.