Gallatin River Fishing Report
The Gallatin remains low and clear and is fishing well for most of its length. The ice shelves are fairly manageable on the lower water and the river through most of the valley is still fishing well. Mild days are even producing some risers over the midge hatch. As things warm up look for more surface activity. Nymphing is always a safe bet and it pays to skip a lot of water and jump from one deep run to another. Look for steady currents that aren’t too strong but still enough to bring food to trout. Slow water that is 3-6 feet deep and located just below a riffle is always a good bet. Nymphing stone fly nymphs trailed by a baetis nymph or midge larva is always a good bet, egg patterns and worms are always good flies to try as well.
The Month Ahead:
The Gallatin fishes well all winter and gets better as we move into the spring. Don’t focus on the fast water as the fish will have moved into the slower and deeper runs. There are several springs near the Big Sky junction that keep the upper canyon waters ice free and this is a great place to fish during the colder months. During cold snaps the valley waters as well as the lower end of the canyon develop slush and big ice shelves. If you find icy conditions just keep driving upstream towards Big Sky. Upstream of Big Sky ice is also a problem so the 15-20 miles from Big Sky down is the best on the coldest days. Nymphing smaller patterns and eggs is the big producer.
Long Term Fishing Forecast:
As the daily temps rise the fishing will improve in the Gallatin. Moving into March & April will produce a little more variety as the baetis mayflies become active again.