April 2020 Fly Fishing Overview
A lot of uncertainty in the air as we move into April 2020. Our thoughts go out to everyone during these hard times. We are hoping recently put into place shelter in place orders are able to bring about positive change in the near future and we are all able to get back to living soon. Be well and stay safe.
Our guided fly fishing trips are on hold until at least 4/10/2020 when the Montana shelter in place and closure of non-essential business directive expires. We are still open and available to book trips and talk fishing. In the meantime, local anglers will still be able to get out and enjoy some great fly fishing. We would encourage all anglers to exercise caution and follow all CDC and State guidelines if they do choose to go outside.
Things we can count on in April: strong hatches of Blue Winged Olives (BWOs), solitude on the water, and quality dry fly fishing throughout April on our rivers in Bozeman, MT. The BWO hatch is the kick-off to the Montana spring fly fishing season. Anglers will find plenty of rising fish on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and Missouri River throughout the month on a daily basis. Calm and overcast days will make for the best fishing. April fly fishing can be as good as it gets, but it’s good time of year to be the last one on the water. Have that extra cup of coffee, get out late, and stay out late.
Skwala stoneflies will also be on the menu through the month of April. Anglers that know when and where to look for them will be rewarded. By the end of the month we can expect the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch to kick off on the Madison River.
Nymphing will remain the most productive tactic most mornings. Streamer fishing will improve as water temps rise throughout the month. Dry fly and dry-dropper fishing will make for some exciting afternoons.
Our Spring Guide Trip Specials run through the month of April. It is anyone’s guess at this point if we will be back in business before the end of the month. If we are, we look forward to some great days on the water with our anglers. If not, then we will hope to see everyone in May. We are all in this together: stay local, stay apart, stay safe, and we will all be back on the water soon.
March 2020 Fly Fishing Overview
Spring seems to be right around the corner in Bozeman, MT and it is shaping up to be an excellent March for fly fishing in Montana. Winter 2020 has been snowy but mild, leaving most of our rivers open to fly fishing throughout the past few months and setting things up nicely for both float and wade fishing trips in March. Our Montana fly fishing guides couldn’t be more excited to get back out on the water with anglers this March and will be spending the next week excavating drift boats from snow drifts, rigging up new gear, and tying the last of their winter flies all in preparation for the beginning of another great Montana fly fishing season.
March fly fishing in Montana is all about the experience. While early season conditions often present themselves and anglers should expect to fish in any and all conditions, there is a certain allure to early season fly fishing. Our rivers are quiet, mountain peaks still covered in snow, and anglers can find true solitude.
Looking at the Montana Snowpack report, pictured above, all of our river basins are just at or above average. A lot can change over the next few months, but as it stands now we are looking forward to another great season with cold water and good flows on all of our Montana fly fishing rivers.
March 2020 Fly Fishing Trips
Anglers joining us on trips this March have a lot to look forward to. Thanks to a mild winter, float trips on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and the Missouri River will be good to go right out of the gate this year. Most floats will be available and we look forward to some excellent early spring midge hatches this year, which should make for some good dry fly fishing. The streamer fishing on the Yellowstone River is usually solid in March, and we expect 2020 to be no different.
Wade fishing trips on the Gallatin River and the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks will be the main focus throughout the month for our guides and anglers as they offer some of the best fly fishing of the year. Low flows on the Gallatin River make for great access, easy wading, and productive fly fishing close to Bozeman. Consistent water temperature on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks and a large seasonal influx of trout that migrate from the Yellowstone River make them a great choice for anglers interested in a truly unique fly fishing experience.
Our Winter Trip Specials run through the end of March. Same great fly fishing, with the same great guides, and all at a really great rate. We would encourage all anglers interested in Montana fly fishing trips in March and beyond to contact us today to learn more and to book your next Montana fly fishing adventure.
Guided Fly Fishing Trips on Montana’s Missouri River
Join the Montana Angling Company and our Montana fly fishing guides on the Missouri River in 2020 and enjoy blue ribbon fly fishing on Montana’s best tailwater fishery. The fly fishing on the Missouri River has been excellent the past few years and we expect the trend to continue this season. Prime dates in May, June, and July are booking quickly and we recommend anglers contact us today to plan their next Missouri River fly fishing trip.
Near-term we are looking forward to early season trips in March and April as part of our Winter and Spring Trips Specials. Great way to knock the rust off and enjoy fly fishing in solitude at a great rate.
Longer term we are looking forward to seeing long time anglers as well as new faces during the prime fly fishing season. Anglers joining us on our Missouri River fly fishing trips will have access to not only float fishing on the Missouri River, but also nearby rivers and streams including the Blackfoot River and the Dearborn River, depending on the time of year.
Adventurous anglers interested in multi-day adventures should also consider spending a day on an Adventure Trip from our Missouri River Basecamp.
Fall fly fishing trips on the Missouri River are another great option for 2020 and offer some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. Strong hatches of caddisflies and mayflies make for often all-day action.
We are proud to work with the hardest working and professional Missouri River fly fishing guides and excited to give our anglers the best Missouri River fly fishing experience in 2020. Contact us to learn more and book your next Missouri River fly fishing trip.
2020 Missouri River Fly Fishing Highlights
- Diverse trip offerings from our Missouri River Basecamp in Craig, MT: Anglers joining us on Missouri River fly fishing trips will enjoy the blue ribbon fly fishing on the Mighty ‘Mo, as well as the widest variety of trip offerings across multiple rivers. Our offerings include float fishing, wade fishing, and jet boat trips on many nearby rivers, lakes, and streams.
- May fly fishing on the Missouri River: The month of May generally boasts some of the highest catch rates for some of the largest average size trout of the season. Anglers can expect early season weather, but consistently great fly fishing. The dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing can all be excellent.
- PMD Hatch: The Pale Morning Dun (PMD) mayfly hatch is the main event on the Missouri River in June. Prime dates are June 10-June 30. Many of our guides are booked a year in advance and we encourage anglers to plan trips well ahead of time for best availability
- All-inclusive Fishing and Lodging Packages at the Missouri River Ranch: We are proud to offer our anglers all-inclusive lodging and fishing packages with the premier lodge on the Missouri River, the Missouri River Ranch. The Missouri River Ranch is under new ownership and management for 2020, and the lodge will be undergoing extensive renovations to improve and modernize an already great lodge. Anglers can expect the same great service and upgraded accommodations.
Guided Fly Fishing Trips in Bozeman, MT
Our Bozeman fly fishing guides and outfitter are looking forward to another great year of fly fishing in Montana in 2020. We have enjoyed a mild winter that has made for great Winter Special Guide Trips, and now have our sights set on the prime Spring, Summer, and Fall fly fishing seasons.
There is a lot for our anglers to look forward to in 2020. Our solid winter snowpack is shaping up to make for another year of good flows and cold water on our rivers near Bozeman, MT, and excellent fly fishing throughout the seasons. Our custom fly fishing trip offerings from our Bozeman Basecamp include new lodging packages and expanded trip destinations and types. Unique trips including our Overnight Trips and Adventure Trips, make for a one of a kind Bozeman fly fishing experience.
We are proud to work with the hardest working professional fly fishing guides in Bozeman, MT and excited to give anglers the best Montana fly fishing experience in 2020. Dates during the prime season and hatches are booking fast and we would encourage all anglers interested in a Bozeman fly fishing trip to contact us today to learn more.
2020 Bozeman Fly Fishing Highlights
- Salmonfly Hatch in Bozeman, MT: Hit the biggest hatch of the year in 2020. Best chance for catching true trophy trout on dry flies in Bozeman, MT. Prime dates available from June 25-July 10.
- Yellowstone and Madison River Float Trips: Float fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone and Madison River are the cornerstones of any Bozeman fly fishing trip. We expect both to fish well on a daily basis in 2020, and anglers will enjoy some of the best dry fly fishing of the season. July, August, and September are the best months for anglers.
- Overnight Fly Fishing Trips: Blue ribbon fly fishing and authentic riverside camping make Overnight Trips in Bozeman, MT perfect for anglers that want a truly immersive Montana fly fishing experience. Availability is limited and anglers are encouraged to contact us directly to learn more.
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.