Fishing Reports

Updated July 29, 2016

The Bozeman area is officially in the dog days of summer. The middle of the day is certainly hot and dry, and fishing is tough. However, fishing is still prime early in the morning and later in the evening. Getting out early and staying out late is the way to do it during this time of year. The middle of the day? Take a siesta or go join the tubing crowd on a local river. Another thing: Everybody and his brother is going to be fishing the best looking spots this time of year with a lightning bug or a spruce moth. At this point in the summer, fish are feeling pressured and are beginning to get picky on some patterns. How to cope with this? Fish some spots that you may not think will hold fish: the shallow riffles, the too-fast currents, the stuff that gets overlooked. Additionally, don't be afraid to try some flies that you may not think of using otherwise. Leech on the Madison when everybody is fishing a yellow sally? Why not? Old classics like a royal wulff on the Gallatin when everybody is fishing a spruce moth? Go for it! You might be surprised. Finally, several rivers are still on Hoot Owl restrictions put in place by Montana FWP. Basically, you are not allowed to fish after 2 p.m. each day on the affected rivers (Lower Madison, Lower Gallatin, and East Gallatin, to name a few). Catching fish while they are under high stress of high water temperatures puts them at risk of dying, which isn't a good thing. So, for now, stick to the open sections of river; they're fishing better anyway. For more information on these closures, see the Montana FWP Waterbody Restrictions page. Anyway, let's get down to business. Here's what's happening per river.
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