Hello fisher people!
The Gallatin is dropping fast this year and all of the hatches seem to be just a little bit ahead of schedule. You may have noticed that some fish were a little reluctant to eat dry flies after the salmon fly hatch, now that they’ve had a few days to digest they’ll be looking up for more big meals! A size 10 golden chubby is a great option for searching the fast canyon water for hungry fish. Don’t forget to fish the shallows! It’s not uncommon to see the back of a nice brown trout break the water as they move into the shallow water to feed. Mayflies and Caddis are also popping up all along the river and can make for some great action. Fast water and an abundance of bugs mean that matching the hatch is not usually necessary, try a purple haze parachute or a royal wulff cripple in a size close to the naturals and you’ll do great. CDC caddis Blooms Caddis and the classic elk hair will all take fish when the caddis flies are out. When fishing the Gallatin it’s much more important to have a good presentation then it is to match the exact hatch, focusing on that perfect drift is essential! Dry fly fishing is awesome but some days the fish just don’t want to come up to eat, that doesn’t mean they aren’t hungry. Rubberlegs, pearl lightning bugs, pheasant tails, trout crack and little green machines are just a few flies to try floating below an indicator during the heat of the day. Start with your point fly about 5 feet from the indicator and a smaller fly about 12 inches below that. Add splitshot about 8 inches above the first fly and adjust depth until you start catching fish, and remember just like with the dry it’s all about the drift! As these hot days continue many rivers will become to warm for good fishing, the Gallatin will stay cool and fish well throughout summer while other rivers shutdown to protect the fish. We are happy to call this river home and are always here at the river shop to point you in the right direction.
The Gallatin river has provided a lot of great fishing recently, with one of the best Salmon fly bites that we have seen in a couple of years. Big bugs have made there way through Big Sky and are moving into the park section of the Gallatin. While the fish are still coming up to look at your larger dry patterns the bite seems to be better on smaller Caddis and PMX patterns. With our current temperatures we suggest fishing early morning and evenings. Fishing the deeper water during the peak sun will provide your best chance of hooking up. The shade provided along a lot of the West and South fork can also create some great opportunities for fish.
Chubby Chernobyl Gold – 12-16
Angie’s Knobbler Sally – 14-16
Girdle Bug Olive/Black- 10-14
UV Sally Nymph – 14
Flows have come up a bit this week with the release of some water from the Dam. Salmon flies have worked there way up through the walk wade only section. If you are looking to keep the big bug fishing going this is where we suggest fishing. Below Lyon’s Bridge we are seeing a lot more action on Caddis, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, and Stoneflies. With the current flows fishing the middle water has lead to more hook ups. The water temperatures rise quickly in the sun so the fish are looking for the deeper cooler water to hold up in.
X-Caddis – 12-16
Clownshoe Caddis – 14-18
Yellow Stimi Chew Toy – 12 -16
UV Sally Nymph – 14
Doc’s Mothers Caddis – 14-16
Lower Madison –
With this body of water being so wide and shallow we have found that the most action has been in the early mornings as or before the sun is coming up, as well as a couple hours after the sun has set. During the peak sun light the fish are not very likely to be coming to the surface due to the warm water temperatures. We are seeing a lot of evening PMD, and Caddis hatches down from Bear Trap. We thoroughly suggest pinching your barbs if fishing in this section. The faster you can return the fish to water the better chance that fish has to recover and pinching your barb can assist you in this.
Stimulators – 10-16
Copper Bob Softy – 14-18
Purple Lightning Bugs – 14-18
Showshoe Sally – 14-16
We are still seeing some Salmon and Stone flies by Carbella. Mostly seeing shucks as apposed to actual bugs flying around, most have made there way into the park. We are very excited to see that the fish have started to look up along the banks for hoppers. The hopper bite has not been great for the last couple of years, but we have a feeling this summer that is going to change. With the early rains this summer and warm weather recently it has created the perfect storm for hoppers. We have already had good reports with guides running hopper dropper rigs and picking up a lot of fish on the surface fly. So if you heading over to the stone don’t forget to dust off those hoppers or stop into the shop and check out our large terrestrial selection.
Morrish Hopper Pink – 12 -16
BLT Flesh – 12-14
Morrish Hopper Tan – 12-16
Psycho Prince Dirty Pink – 14-16
UV Prince Purple – 12-16
Gallatin River 6-17-2015
Fishing season is upon us in Big Sky! The Gallatin is running nice and clean with flows around 1,640 cfs. What this means for us is great fishing, with water still up and those side channels flowing there are plenty of soft corners for fish to spread out. In other exciting news Salmon Flies have been spotted on the river in Big Sky and through out the canyon. Fishing larger dries such as Chubby Chernobyls, Stimulators, and of course Salmon and Stone fly patterns should produce results. We strongly suggest coming in and checking out the new selection of Salmon flies for this summer as the bite should be coming on strong over the next couple of days. One of our new favorites is the Morrish Fluttering Stone in golden. The last couple of evenings the dry fly bite has made for lights out fishing.
West and South Fork are fishing just like the main flow of the Gallatin with plenty of fun dry fly fishing.
This week the Madison has seen a lot of action. Boats are stacking up at all of launches and the walk wade section has been packed so get there early to lay claim to your favorite spots. Salmon flies are the ticket here as well. Chubby’s, Stimi Chew Toys, and Salmon fly patterns are working incredibly well. Also try dropping a caddis pupae behind to pick up those fish that just don’t seem to want to come up to feed on the surface.
The Yellowstone’s flows have dropped a great deal and waters are running with a bit of an olive color still but fishing very well. This is a river that will please all anglers from the dry fly purists to the streamer junky just looking to rip lip you will find areas to make everyone happy.
Who has the bigger smile?
Great news! The Gallatin is starting to clear here in Big Sky and the CFS is dropping daily, down to about 2,730 cfs. Above the Taylor’s Fork is back to being clear and is fishing very well. The waters get a bit muddy as you head toward Bozeman as it continues to wash down river. While there is still some color to the river fishing streamers and larger rubber legs seems to be producing some good fish. Don’t forget to put a nice flashy dropper on there. We have had luck recently with lightning bugs 16-18, Trina’s bubble back emergers 14-18, and prince nymphs 14-16. And don’t forget about worms! The Goomie Worm has been a recent favorite in the shop with all of the rains.
The West and South Fork also make for some great fishing. Easy walk from anywhere in town and very nice waters. The water is still running a little high and fast in some spots so use caution when wading. This is smaller water so having a smaller creek rod like a new Redington Butterstick or Echo Fiberglass rod can make for some really fun fishing on those smaller fish. Same patterns as the main Gallatin.
The Madison has made for some great fishing so far this spring/summer. Streamer fishing has been producing some big browns, although we have found through out the day you can have fun with dry flies as well as nymphing. Rubber legs, Wooly Buggers, and Warbirds with a flashy dropper has been working well to pick up fish.
The Yellowstone is still holding around 10,000 cfs, running fast and dirty. With flows being what they are we suggest finding another option. With the Madison and Gallatin being so close we suggest trying your luck on them instead. With a lighter snow year we do not anticipate a drawn out run off. We will keep you informed as the flows start to come down and fishing picks up.