Montana Fishing Reports

Montana Fishing Report Overview

Rivers in Southwest Montana continue to be productive and cooler weather and frequent rains have kept fishing good throughout the day.  Hotter than average days can produce slow afternoon fishing but on the days when cooler weather has prevailed fishing has been good late into the afternoon.  With the exception of the tricos most of the aquatic hatches are on hold and terrestrials are now running the show.  As water levels drop trout become more concentrated and the days of blindly floating down the river randomly catching trout are over.  In August you need to have laser sharp focus and target the holding water and skip the rest.

So what is producing right now?  The Upper Madison has been lights out all season and continues to be very consistent with good flows and water temps.  The best fishing is definitely in the morning and as the day progresses the bight slowly tapers off.  The dry fly fishing has been OK in the morning with spruce moths on the upper river early but the hopper fishing hasn’t taken off yet.  The nymphing has been very, very good and the trout are moving and are opportunistic.  We have been mostly fishing a big small combo with either a stonefly or streamer on top trailed by small size 20 attractor nymphs behind.  Fluorocarbon tippet is a must and dropping down to 4 and 5x can pay off on some days.  Trout are moving into heavy water and around rocks and most of the flat riffles are not as productive as they were at higher flows.

The Yellowstone has been productive as well but some slow days are definitely been creeping in.  The Lower River has had some good hopper action; some days have been brilliant and other days really tough.  The Town stretch has been producing consistent nymphing action.  The Upper River has been the most consistent for tossing dries with trout looking for hoppers and smaller terrestrials.  On the hot days the fishing has been slowing in the early afternoon.

Other cold rivers like the Boulder and Gallatin continue to produce good wade fishing.  The cold water temps keep the trout vigorous even on the hottest of days.  The gin clear water requires longer leaders and stealth.  Trout are in shallow riffles when feeding and are looking for terrestrials, smaller is better.  Small size 20 nymphs on 5x fluorocarbon are also producing.

Another favorite of ours is the spring creeks.  Although they produce VERY challenging fishing in August, the water is nice and cold and the trout are very frisky.  You can always find some rising trout sipping on small terrestrials and if you like a challenge they are a great place to spend the day.

Finally, tricos are on in full force on many rivers and where the hatch is strong enough such as the Missouri, East Gallatin, Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake you can have a great time sight casting over rising trout.  On the lakes the callibaetis is also producing big surface eats to cruising trout.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report

- Very Good
Current Conditions: The river continues to compress and trout are moving into fast water with the high temperatures. Morning fishing has been good with small attractor dries like PMX’s. Nymphing small wooly buggers trailed by soft hackles also has been productive. It is time to skip the frog water...Read more

Upper Madison River Fishing Report

- Very Good
Current Conditions: The Upper is producing consistent fishing and is a good bet on a hot day as long as you get an early start. The morning fishing has been very good and then tapers off as the day progresses with afternoon fishing pretty slow after 2pm unless cloud cover hits. The dry fly bit is...Read more

Lower Madison River Fishing Report

- Poor
Current Conditions: The Lower Madison is known as a great spring and fall fishery but is too warm for good fishing at the moment. After a cold night the very early morning hours can produce some results but in general this is better in mid September when temps cool down. This is a wide and flat...Read more

Gallatin River Fishing Report

- Very Good
Current Conditions: The Gallatin is a solid producer right now. The best fishing is up in the canyon. In the valley a very early start is advised. Spruce moths are on the water early in the morning in the canyon before the sun hits the water. Fishing slows down after lunch and then picks up again...Read more

Spring Creeks Fishing Report

- Good
Current Conditions: The spring creeks are still productive although late summer produces some of the most technical conditions of the year. The PMDs are done and besides a few tricos there isn't a lot of aquatic hatches at the moment. Weed growth is also at its maximum producing challenging...Read more

Stillwater River Fishing Report

- Good
Current Conditions: The Stillwater River is a nice option right now and is producing good dry fly opportunities. The smaller attractor dry fly fishing has been good and hoppers are also enticing some trout. The upper water is too low to float but the lower river is still a nice option. The Month...Read more

Boulder River Fishing Report

- Good
Current Conditions: The Boulder is low and gin clear. Water temps are still good since it drains the highest mountains in the state but expect spooky trout. There are a lot of trout in skinny water in tail outs but when the go on the feed they also move into the shallow riffles. The hopper action...Read more

Jefferson River Fishing Report

- Poor
Current Conditions: The Jeff is low and warm with lots of algae now. Best to wait on this one. As we move closer to Autumn longer nights combined with a passing cold front can produce a short window of good fishing. The Month Ahead: The Jefferson is a nice fall fishery. In mid September flows bump...Read more

East Gallatin River Fishing Report

- Good
Current Conditions: The water on the East is low and the trout are spooky but the trico hatch is thick every morning and brings up some heads. It is best to arrive early since the risers go down around noon. In the afternoon you can often entice a trout up with a hopper if you are persistent...Read more

Missouri River Fishing Report

- Very Good
Current Conditions: The Missouri near Craig and Wolf creek is producing some daily morning trico action and rising trout. Terrestrials are more important after lunch and nymphing the seams and riffles also can produce with small technical patterns. The Month Ahead: The Mo won’t change too much in...Read more

Ruby River Fishing Report

- Good
Current Conditions: The Ruby is a nice option in the mid summer months. The water is low right now so the fish are packed into the buckets. Below the dam the nymph fishing is best with smaller technical spring creek style patterns on lighter flouro carbon tippet. The Month Ahead: The Ruby will be...Read more

Montana Lakes Fishing Report

- Red Hot
Current Conditions: Many of our exclusive private access lakes produce incredible fishing in August. Big trout cruise weed edges hunting both hoppers and damsel nymphs. Sight casting small nymphs or dries in the morning has been productive along with slow stripping damsel flies. In the afternoons...Read more

Other Waters Fishing Report

- Red Hot
Current Conditions: The smaller streams around Montana are a great option to get away from it all and find some off the beaten path fishing. The hopper fishing has been epic on some of our smaller stream ranch leases. These fish see few flies and motor boat several feet to inhale foam! The Month...Read more