Big Sky and Southwestern Montana Fly Fishing Reports

Gallatin RiverClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Gallatin River Fishing Report

Great fishing conditions this week!  The lower canyon has had ice in the mornings, but as you get towards Big Sky the river has been ice free and has been fishing well.  Temps for the week are holding in the high 20's and low 30's, which is great for fishing in the winter.  11-3 has been the warmest part of the day, and will be the best time to fish.    

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. 

An effective rig to play with is an inline indicator rig with the strike indicator 2-4' feet from the first fly and the dropper about 12-16" below the point fly. For the point fly it's hard to go wrong with a Pat's Rubber Leg in 8-12 in black or coffee/black with a dropper in the 16-20 range. Zebra midges or your favorite midge pattern are great options. 

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. 

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. 2019 Guide School dates and info can be found here.    

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

The T Midge is a great alternative to the ever-popular Zebra Midge. Has the white wing that so many anglers find crucial to smaller patterns in SW Montana and and has a little extra flash with the addition of the Krystal Flash. This makes a great winter dry/dropper pattern as well as the glass bead will not as easily pull down a smaller dry fly compared to the tungsten headed Zebra Midges.

Hook: Scud/Pupae hook #18-22

Bead: Black opaque glass bead

Thread: Black 8/0 or 70 denier

Body: Black thread

Rib: Pearl or olive Krystal Flash and small copper wire

Wing: White antron or Zelon

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

Upper Madison RiverClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Upper Madison River Fishing Report

12/9/18

Great fishing weather this week on the Upper.  Temps in the high 20's and the chance of some clouds could bring out some midges and hopefully a few fish eating on the surface.  Mostly a midge game this time of year but a stonefly as your lead fly can also produce some fish.  The water down towards Ennis is likely slushy and full of ice, but your best fishing will be closer to Hebgen Dam and the Walk Wade access areas like Raynolds.  Shorten your indicator depth to 3-4 feet and enjoy the solitude of winter fishing.     

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, 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. Learn more here.    

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 RiverClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Lower Madison River Fishing Report

12/9 - Great weather this week.  There may be some ice around, but the temps look great for early afternoon fishing.  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. 

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. 

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.  

Have you been hearing about two-handed spey rods or know a fishing buddy that fish’s a spey rod for trout and want to learn more? Check out this article written by GRG’s Assistant Manager Shane Stalling that aims at demystifying this rapidly growing fly fishing niche.

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. Learn more here.    

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 RiverClick Here for Current Stream Flow


Yellowstone River Fishing Report

12/9/18

Likely a good amount of ice in spots, but with these warmer days you can probably find some open water and do well with midges and stoneflies.  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. Learn more here.    

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


Yellowstone National Park Fishing Report

Closed until Spring 2019! 

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 [email protected] 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. Learn more here.    

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