Monthly Archives: August 2015

Gallatin River Fishing Report 08/23/2015


Hello, Will here with Grizzly Outfitters river shop. September will be here soon and that means cooler nights and shorter days. No need to get out with the sunrise, a 9am start will do just fine. We aren’t seeing a ton of bugs hatching these days but anglers continue to bring fish up on a variety of flies. Small hoppers, think #14 morrish, have been working well in the meadow stretches and small parachutes and spruce moths are still getting it done in the canyon. Nymph fishing will be good with many of the usual suspects, knotty girls, soft hackle pheasnt tails, zebra midges, and of course lightning bugs our all on the menu.

Cooler weather and a slow down in hatches means tougher fishing, for the most part…. The streamer fishing on the Gallatin is often overlooked but can produce some of the best action of the year. You usually won’t catch as many fish as you would with the nymph rig but the ones you do are usually quality and you may even find the ever elusive 20″ or bigger Gallatin Brown. They do exist! For the Gallatin I usually don’t fish the big junk that we like to throw over on the Madison. Near Nuff sculpins, bow river buggers, sparkle minnows, and zonkers are all good options but don’t be afraid to branch out. Try to get your fly down deep where the sculpin dwell then twitch it just enough to keep it from getting snagged. Experiment with different strips, twitches and dead drifts till you find whats working and remember, when it comes to streamer fishing some days are just better than others.

However you chose to fish out on the Gallatin be courteous to your fellow angler, give em some elbow room and say hello when your passing by.


big brown

Fishing Report 8/17/2015



Gallatin River-

River Conditions are back to what we like to see after last weeks mud plugs.  Still having fun throwing spruce moths and smaller baetis patterns.  If you aren’t seeing any surface action try dropping a size 16 lightning bug or three dollar dip and be ready to rip some lip!

Hoot Owl restrictions are still in effect below Four Corners and for the entire East Gallatin.  This means that fishing is closed from 2pm – 12am due to high water temperatures.


Upper Madison-

The Upper Madison has provided some of the most consistent fishing in the area.  Recently however the fish have been changing their diet seemingly daily.  Bring your strongest nymph game with you as the dry fly action has been a bit spotty.  Be ready to wave your magic hand over you box in fly choice.  With finicky fish you may have a pattern that works for a bit and then stops entirely.  Don’t be afraid to change bugs frequently.  We suggest trying a Girdle bug with a Zebra Midge training about 16-18 inches behind.  Best chance for dry action has been in the evenings.  Still a few Spruce Moths hanging out in the area and smaller baetis sizes 18-22.


Lower Madison-

HOOT OWL IN EFFECT.  CLOSED TO FISHING FROM 2PM – 12AM.  Due to high water temps and fishes inability to bounce back after being caught we suggest finding other water.  Let these fish be so we are able to fish them when the water returns to non-lethal temperatures.

Best for Bikini hatch between 10am and 4pm. Don’t forget your Chaco’s, sunscreen, and floatable cooler!



This has been a difficult river this summer.  The high volume of heavy rains this summer has meant mud plugs on the Yellowstone.  When we have had a couple of clear days the fishing has been incredibly though.  Hopper bite is still on in this area and has been best earlier in the day.  We suggest a smaller Para-Hopper in size 12-16.  Still not picking ’em up? Try a classic hopper-dropper rig with a flashy nymph.  We like a gold Lightning bug in size 16.


With the recent fires in the area a great deal of smoke is hanging around all of these rivers.  Come in to the shop to pick up a Buff.  Wearing this can allow you to breath a little easier and will cut down on the headaches that can come along with the smoke.  Be sure to stay plenty hydrated!

As always for a more accurate daily report please feel free to give us a call or stop by the shop and pick our brains!  We are always happy to help!


Fish on!


Gallatin River Fishing Report 8/11/2015

Hello fishing World,

Will here with Grizzly Outfitters River Shop, August has arrived and that means cooler nights, shorter days and Spruce Moths! The Moth fishing has been a bit off and on so far this season but that should change soon. This morning we found hundreds of them flying around the shop and the fish are definitely taking notice. Spruce Moths range from size 10 all the way down to 16 and are usually somewhere between off white and tan in terms of color. We usually recommend having a couple different options to try, a snowshoe spruce in a 14 or a fathead in a size 12 will get it done most of the time.

We are seeing the tail end of a lot of our summer/spring hatches which means when the moths aren’t out the dry fly action can be spotty. There are a few yellow sallies bouncing around and the fish have been keying in on the nymphs when they’re present. If you’re fishing south of Big Sky or in YNP you may want to try a small hopper. A size 12 Morrish Hopper in pink is a great fly for fishing the upper stretches of the Gallatin.

When the sun is high and the fish just aren’t looking up, go below the surface. Nymph fishing has been good to great as of late. The rains that come through usually push a little mud through the river and can sometimes leave it a greenish tint for a couple of days. This is a great time to fish Nymphs or Streamers and is often the best time to chase bigger fish. Psycho Prince Nymphs, Rubberlegs, Lighting Bugs, Shop Vacs, Zebra Midges and Pheasant Tails have all been getting it done lately. Take the time to adjust your depth, add split shot if needed and you will get into some fish! A Near-Nuff Sculpin or an Olive Wooly Bugger bounced off the bottom can move em when nothing else will…

As always stop by the shop or give us a call for a more up to date report, we have one of the best fly selections in town and pride ourselves on keeping the good stuff in stock while the fishing is on. As always happy fishing and tight lines!


Gallatin River Fishing Report 8/3/2015

Will here with an update on our favorite local freestone. The Gallatin is low and clear this season but remains one of the best options in the state for cold water and willing trout. Last weeks rain gave us a nice increase in flows but the river is now back around 500 CFS, what does this mean for the fishing? BE STEALTHY! The Gallatin is not typically a match the hatch stream it’s much more important to dial in your presentation, try running a 10ft leader tapered down to 5x and make that drift perfect! This is the type of fishing where a good pair of polarized sunglasses can make or break the day, being able to see the fish and put the fly right in front will greatly increase your chances of hooking up. Swing by the river shop and check out the new Smith Chroma Pop. Compare them to a pair of glass lenses and let us know what you think!

The warmer weather this week has led to the emergence of our favorite terrestrial bug, the spruce moth! This protein packed bug brings fish up to the surface with reckless abandon and can bring some of the best dry fly action of the season. We have the best moth selection in Big Sky and pride ourselves on keeping these crucial flies in stock while the fishing is hot. Try fishing a size 14 in the mornings when the naturals are out then switch to a 10 or a 12 for searching in the afternoon. Don’t be afraid to skate, skitter and sink that moth. Spruce moths aren’t made for the water and when they fall in they usually don’t make it to long, big wary trout will often wait for them to sink before they strike.

For Nymph fishing the usual suspects will get the job done, Pat’s rubber legs pearl, lightning bugs and psycho princes are few good ones to try. Tapering down to 5x fluourocarbon is important in this low clear water even when you’re fishing down deep.

Happy fishing and tight lines!