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Montana Fishing Reports

Bozeman, Montana, weather forecast
Upper Madison - Very Good
The Upper has been steady as she goes. The fishing is best in the morning right now and things are really slowing down around 2-3pm. The fish are opportunistic right now and are looking for a big meal down under from time to time so try big nymphs or streamers trailed by a small attractor nymph when down under. Dry fly fishing has been hit or miss - good some days and nothing but dinks on other days. Small terrestrials, hoppers, ants and beetles are worth trying.

Lower Madison - Fair
The Lower is still too warm for good fishing besides maybe some night fishing or just after dawn. As nights grow longer that shoud change in the next few weeks.

Yellowstone River - Very Good
The Yellowstone is maintaining good water temperatures. As the river compresses more trout are moving into the faster tailouts and riffles so avoid too much time in the slow frog water. Hoppers are just starting to get the trout excited and standard fair on nypmhs is always a producer.

Gallatin - Very Good
The Gallatin is dropping and fishing well. Early morning or evening fishing is the most productive. Trout are getting spookier so stealthy approaches and finer tippets are a good idea.

Boulder - Good
The Boulder is too low to float right now and the water is gin clear. Fishing can be good with a careful presentation and care taken not to spook fish. Dry fly fishing has been good with longer casts.

Jefferson - Good
The Jefferson is fishing well higher up if you get a crack of dawn start. Hoppers on some days and big trout during low light on streamers.

East Gallatin - Very Good
The East is low and the trico hatches in the morning are bringing up trout. The fishing is very technical and spring creek like right now but a nice challenge over rising trout.

Ruby River - Good
The Ruby is hit or miss lately. Some days they are on hoppers and eating big streamers and other days it is very tough. The water temps are warming in the middle of the day so early morning fishing is best.

Missouri - Very Good
The Missouri near Craig is still fishing well. Early morning starts are advised to catch the trico hatches.

Lakes -Red Hot
Stillwaters are really on fire right now. This is the peak time to catch the gulpers on Hebgen and Ennis lakes over the trico and callibaetis hatches.

Spring Creeks -Good
Spring creeks are as technical as they get right now. The hatches are sparse in late summer and fish are focusing on terrestrials but not so much that they let their gaurd down. Expect a hefty dose of frustration with a few blinding moments of success.

Other fisheries - Red Hot
All of the smaller waters in Montana are offering terrific hopper fishing. This is a great time to get off the beaten path and find fish that haven't seen flies. If you do you will be greatly rewarded with some epic dry fly fishing.

Yellowstone Park - Very Good
The East side of the park is still fishing the best. Hoppers and other terrestrials are the name of the game. The Lamar, Yellowstone, Slough and Gardiner are all producing. It pays to hike a bit to get away from the roads.

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Montana Fishing Report

Upper Madison River
Lower Madison River
Yellowstone River
Gallatin River
East Gallatin River
Missouri River
Jefferson River
Boulder River
Ruby River
Stillwater River
Spring Creeks
Other Waters

Montana River Flows

Upper Madison
Lower Madison
East Gallatin
Missouri/ Townsend
Missouri/ Holter Dam
Yellowstone/ Livingston
Yellowstone/ Gardiner
Lamar River
Willow Creek

Snowpack Levels
Montana Fishing Report Overview
Rivers in Southwest Montana continue to be productive and so far it looks like we will be avoiding any type of river closures. The hot summer has brought some rivers to lower levels but many are still maintaining very good flows with cool water temperatures. 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 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 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.