Bozeman, Montana is the trout capital of the west. While those may be fighting words in most fly fishing circles, we have compiled the evidence, ran the numbers, and found it to be true. At least in our opinion. Bozeman is our first choice for any fly fishing trip. There is no shortage of other great places to go and rivers to see but what anglers will find in Bozeman is the ultimate base camp for their fly fishing adventures. Here are our top 5 reasons to fly fish in Bozeman, Montana.
1. Unmatched Variety
Here are a few of the blue ribbon rivers and streams anglers can fly fish on a day trip from Bozeman, MT: the Yellowstone River, the Madison River, the Gallatin River, the Missouri River, the Jefferson River, the Boulder River, the Stillwater River, DePuy’s Spring Creek, Armstrong’s Spring Creek, Nelson’s Spring Creek, the Lamar River, Soda Butte Creek, the Gardner River, the Firehole River, and the Gibbon River. And that is just the start of it. There are literally hundreds of miles of blue ribbon water available to anglers in Bozeman. If you came to fish for a whole year you could never see the same water twice. Our multi-day guided fly fishing packages allow anglers to get a taste of the best fishing in the Bozeman area, but it would take lifetimes to see it all. I’d put the number of wild trout within an hour radius of town up against anywhere in the country.
2. Dry Fly Paradise
While we appreciate all forms of fly fishing and use all tactics over the course of a season to catch trout, we, like most anglers, have a special place in our heart for dry fly fishing. And we sure get to do a lot of it in Bozeman, Montana. Some years our guides are able to fish nothing but dry flies (plus or minus a dropper at times) from late June through early October. The hatches of caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies, and terrestrials are prolific and consistent across all of our rivers. There are almost always a few trout looking up even on the slowest of days, all season long. From the technical waters of the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks to the hopper fishing on the Yellowstone River, there is something for every dry fly fanatic’s fancy inBozeman, MT.
3. Four Season Fly Fishing
Winter in Montana is the real deal. There is no denying that. But for hardcore fly anglers, the fishing doesn’t stop when the snow stacks up and the mercury drops. There are plenty of opportunities for flyfishing all year long in Bozeman, MT. Summer, fall, and spring opportunities are obvious, but winter offers unique fly fishing experiences. Especially for anglers that value solitude. Close by the Gallatin and Madison River offer great fly fishing and open water on all but the coldest of days. You’ll even find a few rising to midges here and there. DePuy’s Spring Creek is just a short drive away and even offers a winter season pass for access to the creek. Phenomenal fishing at a reasonable price for local anglers. And they keep the fires of the warming huts lit all winter long. While we do love skiing, like most anglers we need our fishing fix every once in a while and can find it all winter long in Bozeman, Montana.
4. Lodging and Après
While the blue ribbon waters, high trout per mile numbers, and great fly fishing are what drive anglers to Bozeman, we feel there is more to fly fishing than just the fishing. Part of this is lodging and dining. And when it comes to the après fishing experience, Bozeman has everywhere beat. From high-end lodges to hip boutique hotels, there is a lodging option for every angler. Take a walk down Main Street and anglers will find a vibrant bar and restaurant scene. Fly fishing is hard work. Treat yourself after your day on the water to a drink and dinner at one of the many local watering holes. People in Montana are as friendly as they come. Pony up, meet the locals, and enjoy the best après fly fishing in the west.
5. There’s Something for Everyone
We are fly fishing fanatics and sharing fly fishing in Montana with our anglers is our passion. We invite everyone to join us on a fly fishing trip to Bozeman, MT, seasoned and novice anglers alike. Even the non-angler in your family or group. While we would hope they would consider joining you for a day, we have begrudgingly accepted fly fishing isn’t for everyone. And Bozeman, MT is the ultimate basecamp for the angler and non-angler alike. You can enjoy world class fly fishing, while your non-angling friends and family can enjoy many different non-angling options. Bozeman activities include whitewater rafting, hiking, visiting the Museum of the Rockies, playing golf, soaking in natural hot springs, visiting Yellowstone National Park, horse back riding, grabbing a beer at one of the many craft breweries, or even just reading a book at a local coffee shop. While we can’t hope to understand why anyone wouldn’t like fly fishing, we can provide them with great alternative options! And Bozeman has something for everyone.