Montana Fly Fishing Guided Trips, Guide School, Fly Shop Big Sky MT

Big Sky and Southwestern Montana Fly Fishing Reports

Gallatin River Fishing ReportClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Gallatin River Fishing Report

3/14

Don't forget that the 2019 fishing season started on March 1st. Please don't forget to purchase a license before heading out. 

Weather forecast is looking great for the foreseeable future with highs near the flyshop in the 30s and 40s. Fishing has been fairly good, but water and fly selection have been important. Fish are holding in slower water. The biggest challenge is getting to the water from your vehicle due to the amount of snow that is on the ground. As more anglers hit the water more trail systems will begin to emerge making getting to the river easier. We are starting to get into that window where rainbows are going to begin staging in preparation for spawning. 

There is a significant amount of snow between parking spots and the river and a good amount of shelf ice to contend with. Easiest access right now on the Gallatin is from the intersection of Hwy 191 and Lone Mountain Trail dowstream about 10 or so miles. Downstream of that you'll run into more ice buildup and colder water temperatures. Above that is mostly locked up with the exception of a couple miles downstream of Snowflake Spring just downstream of the Yellowstone Park border. If at any point the air temperature jumps into the 40s we may start to see a significant amount of floating ice and potentially some bigger ice events. 

Nymphing has been quite good as long as you find where the fish are. Slow water is certainly important, but it doesn't necessarily have to be deep. The stonefly bite hasn't been as consistent, but fish have been more keyed in on a variety of red nymphs and worms.  

The water that tends to hold the most fish in our experience is slow water with a small amount of current that is 3-5' deep on average. There is usually a faster current nearby that moves food through constantly.  

In the event you find some risers it's always good to have a small midge pattern nearby. Better yet, have a dry fly rod pre-rigged so you don't have to change your rig in the cold and you don't miss out on the often fleeting moments of fish rising in winter. Hopefully we'll start to see some baetis action by the end of the month.

A good weather station to check the weather near the fly shop here.

Winter Fishing On the Gallatin.  The Gallatin Canyon is one of the best winter fisheries in the area.  An abundance of natural springs keeps the majority of the Gallatin free of ice and fishing well.  Need a break from skiing at Big Sky?  We have fly fishing guides available all year long.  Winter Safety Tips

Check out our "YouTube Channel" for up to date video fishing reports, fly tying and other information. 

Our Fly Fishing Guide School has helped lots of anglers achieve their dream of being a fishing guide.  With monthly schools throughout the spring, summer and fall, there is likely a week of fishing that will fit your schedule. 

Even the NY Times has caught wind of the growth of women in the fly fishing industry.  Gain the skills to fish confidently on your own in our Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School

Updated reports for the Gallatin River coming to you from our backyard in beautiful Big Sky, Montana.

FLY OF THE WEEK

One of our favorite caddis dry fly patterns. It sits low in the surface film leaving a more natural silhouette, floats well and the pink post and elk hair wing make it highly visible. Great for small dry/dropper rigs and works well as a spruce moth. The recipe included is for the tan version, but can be modified to a variety of caddis and small stoneflies.

Hook: Standard fly hook, sizes 12-18

Thread: 8/0 or 70 denier tan

Body: Pheasant tail fibers (Ringneck or golden pheasant)

Rib: Tan thread

Post: Pink Widow's Web or Para Wing Post

Thorax: Hare's mask dubbing, lighter color

Hackle: Barred ginger, cree or grizzly/brown combo

Check out our new fly tying how-to videos on our blog or Follow us on YouTube.

Upper Madison River Fishing ReportClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Upper Madison River Fishing Report

3/14

Don't forget to purchase your 2019 fishing license!

Fishing from Quake Lake down to about Lyons has been quite good as of late for the few that have made the journey. Still lots of snow to work around a lack of parking space. A good amount of midge activity has made for some good dry fly fishing. Rainbows are starting to stage in preparation for the upcoming spawning season. As fish start to pair up and prepare redds please give them a wide berth. 

Below Quake you'll have a bunch of snow to contend with. If you have access to snowshoes, snowmobiles or other tools to help you get to the river by all means. If not, you'll just have to trudge through some deep snow to get to the river and back. Looks like snowfall is going to slow down for the time being, so the more people that get in there to fish the easier access will become. In between the lakes right next to the highway, Raynolds Pass, Pine Butte, Lyons Bridge, etc. are some of the easiest access points. $3 Bridge is doable, but you'll have to walk, ski, snowshoe or snowmobile from the highway about 1/2 mile on snowmobile packed road. 

Fish primarily rely on midges for food this time of year. Patterns in the 18-20 range tend to work best in a variety of colors. This is a good time of year to look for fish feeding on the surface as well. Sometimes their relatively easy to full with a small dry fly, but other times they want a single midge immitation in the right size. Having a variety of midge clusters, single midges and emerger patterns will give you the edge when focusing on these fish. A Pat's Rubber Legs is never a bad idea, but don't rely on them solely this time of year. 

This part of the world is isolated, so best to fish with a buddy and have a plan if somebody falls in the water. Hypothermia can set in very fast in sub-freezing conditions and you are often a long ways from help on the upper. Staying close to the vehicle and making sure you have a way to shed wet clothes and warm up are important this time of year. 

Flies.  Harrops Cluster Midge, Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midge, Flash Bang Midge, Green Machine, Pat's Rubberlegs.   

Winter Fishing On The Madison.  One of our favorite rivers in the winter.  Minimal pressure and great fishing.  Our Madison River guides are ready to show you what the river has to offer all winter long.  Winter Fishing Tips.  If winter isn't your thing, we're booking 2019 madison river guides right now.    

New to the Madison?  We have guides with 25 plus years experience fishing the Madison ready to share their knowledge with you.  We offer full day float and walk-wade trips on the Madison River. Don’t need a guide? We have the flies and info to help you be successful on a DIY mission.     

Check out our "YouTube Channel" for up to date video fishing reports, fly tying and other information. 

Our Fly Fishing Guide School has helped lots of anglers achieve their dream of being a fishing guide.  With monthly schools throughout the spring, summer and fall, there is likely a week of fishing that will fit your schedule. 

Even the NY Times has caught wind of the growth of women in the fly fishing industry.  Gain the skills to fish confidently on your own in our Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School

Thanks for checking out our Madison River Fishing Report brought to you from Big Sky, MT.

Lower Madison River Fishing ReportClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Lower Madison River Fishing Report

3/15

It's time to purchase a new fishing license for 2019. 2018 season licenses expired February 28th.

This warmer weather is going to improve both fishing and access over the coming days. The river from Ennis Dam to Warmsprings has been the most fishable as of late, but ice is receding quickly below that point. As of last week Lower Beartrap road was walk/ski in only. Maybe that's been cleared by now, but have not heard that yet. 

As for patterns, it's going to be a pretty typical winter mix of stuff like Zebras, hot bead flies, scuds, soft hackles, etc. The midge dry and nymph fishing will likely improve with warmer temps and it will not be long before a few baetis start to pop off. At least some by the end of the month are expected. 

As with most rivers location is critical to success in winter. Trout tend to pod up in slow and sometime deeper water in winter. Once you find one of those spots try to remember it for future reference as spots that hold fish remain pretty consistent over time. 

Fish rely mostly on smaller foods like midge larvae and mayfly nymphs. That being said brighter colored flies tend to be quite productive in winter as well, such as pinks, oranges and purples. Fish can occasionally be caught on streamers and dries in the winter, but you have to be patient and manage your expectations. 

The section of the Madison downstream of Ennis Lake is what most people refer to as the Lower Madison. This can be a really good option for winter fly fishing in SW Montana. It's a bit of a hike from Big Sky, but a really quick trip for those in Bozeman, Belgrade or Ennis. 

Always good to check the weather before you go, including the wind forecast. Best fishing tends to be in the afternoon, so no need to get an early start.  

Winter fishing the Lower Madison. 

One of the best options during winter months.  Floatable if weather permits, but plenty of walk wade access to great water.  Give us a call for more information or to have one of our guides show you the ropes.  (406)995-2290    

Check out our "YouTube Channel" for up to date video fishing reports, fly tying and other information. 

Our Fly Fishing Guide School has helped lots of anglers achieve their dream of being a fishing guide.  With monthly schools throughout the spring, summer and fall, there is likely a week of fishing that will fit your schedule.

Even the NY Times has caught wind of the growth of women in the fly fishing industry.  Gain the skills to fish confidently on your own in our Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School

Thanks for checking out our Lower Madison River Fishing Report brought to you from beautiful Big Sky, Montana. Also serving Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman, the Missouri River, and locations in between.

Yellowstone River Fishing ReportClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Yellowstone River Fishing Report

3/15

Don't forget to purchase a 2019 fishing license. 

Still not a lot of easily accessible open water on the Yellowstone. Best options are going to be near Gardner with some warmer water feeding in there. A warmer forecast for the next few days should do some quick work on access points and burn up some of the ice along the banks in the valley. 

If the Stone isn't fishable, the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks are usually your best choice in the winter.  The warming huts at Depuy's and Armstrongs will certainly make for more enjoyable fishing, as will the inexpensive rod fees.   

New to the Yellowstone?  Winter fishing trips on one of the Paradise Valley Spring creeks are a favorite of our guides in the winter.  With decent dry fly fishing and warming huts, either Depuy's, Armstrongs or Nelson Spring Creeks are hard to beat. 

Want to fish the Yellowstone summer 2019?  We're ready to book trips for 2019, just give us a call at the shop.      

Check out our "YouTube Channel" for up to date video fishing reports, fly tying and other information. 

Our Fly Fishing Guide School has helped lots of anglers achieve their dream of being a fishing guide.  With monthly schools throughout the spring, summer and fall, there is likely a week of fishing that will fit your schedule. 

Even the NY Times has caught wind of the growth of women in the fly fishing industry.  Gain the skills to fish confidently on your own in our Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School

Thanks for checking out our Montana fly fishing report for the Yellowstone River Fishing Report brought to you from beautiful Big Sky, Montana. Also serving Bozeman, Ennis, West Yellowstone, Belgrade and Livingston, Montana.

Yellowstone National Park Fishing Report


Yellowstone National Park Fishing Report

The park will reopen to fishing on Saturday May 25th 2019! The Firehole, Madison and Gibbon Rivers will likely be the best fishing options right out of the gate.

We had a great season in Yellowstone National Park.  Early season caddis on the Firehole, terrestrials and Drakes in the Lamar Valley for eager cutties,  and bruiser browns on the Madison.  If fishing in Yellowstone is on your bucket list, give us a call and book Yellowstone Fly Fishing Trip for 2019.    

Looking for a Bozeman based Montana fly fishing adventure? You’ve come to the right place! Our fly shop located one hour south of the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and a great many of our guides live within minutes of the airport we are an easy choice. Check out our guided fly fishing trips or if you’re looking for a lodging and fishing package. Feel free to email us at gallatinriverguides@gmail.com or drop us a line at 406-995-2290. Open 7 days a week!   

Check out our "YouTube Channel" for up to date video fishing reports, fly tying and other information. 

Our Fly Fishing Guide School has helped lots of anglers achieve their dream of being a fishing guide.  With monthly schools throughout the spring, summer and fall, there is likely a week of fishing that will fit your schedule. 

Even the NY Times has caught wind of the growth of women in the fly fishing industry.  Gain the skills to fish confidently on your own in our Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School