Cold and wet the last few here on the rivers in Bozeman, MT. Translation: great fly fishing. We’ve seen great hatches of pseudos and fall drakes on the Yellowstone River and our fish continued to look up for big foam bugs through it all. The high mountains got a little taste of winter early this year, snowcapped peaks lined both the Yellowstone River Valley and Madison River Valley. Water temps have come down and flows are up a bit on all of our local rivers. Great time to get out and explore some water that you may not normally be able to in late August. Our Bozeman, Montana fly fishing guides have been spending the bulk of their time on the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and Missouri River. Hopper fishing continues to be great. The future weather forecast looks great for the upcoming weeks. Expect the good times to keep rolling through the end of September. 2018 has been a great year to be an angler in Montana. One for the books. Bookings are starting to come in for 2019. June is filling fast as always. Contact us today to book your Montana fly fishing trip.
Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Report
The Yellowstone River has continued to spoil our anglers and fly fishing guides with consistently great dry fly fishing on a daily basis. Hard to go wrong out there right now. Hoppers, beetles, and anything resembling a mayfly either 18-20 or 10-12 and probably 14-16 too have been getting gobbled up. Head up river or head down, it is all fishing well. We’ve been seeing a trend over the past few weeks of less total strikes but bigger average fish. I’ll take it. A lot of trout 15-18” turning up in our guides' nets. No surprise that we’ve had a lot of happy anglers too. Oh yeah…the nymphing and streamer bite has been ok too. You could do a lot worse than a #10 girdle bug to a #18 lightning bug under an indicator. 3.5ft to your first fly.
Madison River Fly Fishing Report
The summer of the hopper continues on the Madison River. Dead drift it, twitch it, strip it, or drown it, seems to all be working out there. Lots of good fish looking up for them. Look for the bite to continue into mid September this year. BWOs will start to show up on overcast days. Big caddis will also start flying around in the coming days. You could do worse than fishing a big hopper to a #10 or #12 caddis. Head to Beartooth Fly fishing in Cameron, MT for the best Madison River fly selection around. And great people too. Pro tip: there’s always hot coffee in the back. You’ll need it come fall. Nymphing continues to be great. You’ll find our Madison River fly fishing guides running girdle bugs, worms, sculpins, and other big junk as their top fly to smaller finesse bugs as their second fly. Try a #18 or #20 red lil’spanker next time you’re out. Streamer fishing has started to produce big brown trout all over the river. Late summer and early fall is a great time to target mid-river structure. We love seeing pics of big Madison River brown trout. Send‘em our way if you’ve got ‘em!
Missouri River Fly Fishing Report
2018 has been kind to the Missouri River. Flows were higher than we would have liked as anglers in June, but it meant the fish we able to eat, eat, eat, and grow all summer long. It is paying off in a big way now. Lots of bigger than average fish coming to the net. Nymphing on the upper river has been great. #16 seems to be the ticket for playing small ball with big fish. Caddis, scuds, sows, and PTs are all great top flies. Finesse mayflies and midges are great second flies. Or drag around a crayfish. It still works. Dryfly fishing continues to be the main attraction. Trico hatches have started to dwindle but terrestrial fishing has been great. Head below Craig for the best head hunting around. Pseudos, midges, October caddis, and callibaetis are right around the corner. Get it while the getting is good!
Yellowstone National Park
Fall drakes are popping on the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek after this last cold front. Short window to see them, but look for this only to improve/expand as we move into September. Early fall fly fishing is some of the best of the year in Yellowstone Park. The rivers of the western half of the park around Madison Junction start to fish great and angling pressure becomes more evenly dispersed. Flows are low so the wading is easy and endless. Hoppers and smaller terrestrials are still consistently catching trout all over. Our Yellowstone fly fishing guides feel that smaller is better when it comes to hoppers in the park. Try a #14 or #16 dave's hopper. No foam. Mayfly hatches on Slough Creek will start to pick up in the next week or so. Great opportunity for sight fishing to larger and smarter than your average cutthroat trout. And as always remember to bring your bear spray in, and leave your felt soles and lead shot out.