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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.