Beating the Heat
Southwest Montana is in the middle of the first big heat wave of the summer. Currently it’s 98 degrees here in Downtown Bozeman and it feels much hotter. Water flows are low and river temps are on the rise.
A rise in water temperature is bad for fishing in a couple of ways. Trout don’t like warm water and they won’t eat as readily as the temp climbs. If they aren’t comfortable they just don’t want to be messed with. They may sink down to the lowest holes or cluster around springs in an attempt to stay cool.
Water temps over 72 or so degrees can be dangerous to the fish. They can barely survive at that temp, and when they get caught, played, handled out of water and then released the odds are very good they won’t make it. Trout mortality rates go through the roof once the water hits a certain point.
It also reaches a point where FWP starts mandating closures. If water temps hit a certain point and stay there or higher for a set period, they will either close a river altogether or institute a “Hoot Owl Closure”. Generally, a Hoot Owl Closure shuts a river down to fishing from 2pm to midnight. These aren’t too bad since they still allow you fish in the cool of the morning.
Yellowstone River Update
One of the rivers in the area that we have been asked most about in the past few weeks is the Yellowstone. It certainly has the reputation and it lives up to it's name most days. In the past two weeks it has gone from high and super dirty to clear and fishing really well. Like all the rivers in the Bozeman area it has been dropping pretty steadily every day, it hasn't stabilized yet. This steep drop of flows isn't really great for the fish, as they are constantly being forced to find new homes and cover. Once the flows are level for a couple days they'll feel more at home.
The Salmonfly hatch is pretty much over this year, but you still might find a few big bugs crawling around the willows and bushes along the banks from Yankee Jim upstream. Going up into the Park could be a really good option if you want to throw big dries to hungry fish. Right on the tail of the Salmonflies are the Golden Stones, and there were a lot on the water last week up high.
Pic of the Day: Boats on Main
Summer is here! You can tell by the parade of guide boats up and down Main Street every morning. It's gerat to be able to park a truck and trailer without dealing with the traffic we get later in the day. With this nice weather and great fishing we have had a lot of trips going out lately. This morning we had 14 boats leave the shop!
Yellowstone River 6/21
Update on Yellowstone River
The Yellowstone Is Fishing
The Yellowstone is fishing again. After what seemed like a pretty long while, everything is good once again. It was just a few days ago that it really started to clear up and fish well. The caddis and PMDs are starting to really pop, and the salmonflies are out in full force. The big bugs are the big news over here, and they are moving up river at a rapid pace. Like everywhere else this year, they won't be around too long!
If nothing is happening on top then nymphing and streamer fishing is really good. Ladd got his clients onto this nice brown with sparkle minnows and McCune's sculpins dead drifted under a strike indicator:
Salmonfly season is upon us here in the Greater Yellowstone area. The shop has been buzzing with anticipation for quite some time now. Hero stories of trout eating big dryflies with reckless abandon on the local waters have finally started to be the main topic of conversation. It’s very exciting, but as a shop guy in the middle of his nine-day workweek, it can make you start to go crazy. I knew I wasn’t going to survive another day in the shop without getting out myself for at least a couple hours.
Happy Father's Day
The fishing is just rocking right now in Montana. Hope everyone gets after them this weekend and to make it easier for you MT FWP is offering a free fishing this weekend. That means anybody in Montana can fish without purchasing a fishing license on Saturday and Sunday as a Father's Day gift! Pretty cool chance to get out and spend some time with Dad on the water.
There is nothing quite like a morning on the river in Montana. Patrick recently spent a couple days fishing the Upper Madison, including spending a night out under the stars. He woke up to this one morning:
Kid's Camp Starting Soon
Do you have kids that want to learn to fish? We have the perfect option for you: The Bozeman Angler Summer Kid's Camp. This camp is designed to teach kids how to fish in a fun and no pressure kind of way. They will learn the basics of fly fishing including:
-Tying a Fly
-Fighting and Playing Fish
Salmonfly season is upon us! The West side and the Big Hole have had great hatches this year and now it's our turn. Reports have been coming in of people seeing a couple here and there on the Madison but they haven't really popped in any great numbers yet. With conditions being what they are, it won't be long now. As in, it could be today. Or tomorrow. Or really any day next week. Stay tuned for the latest...
Need to stock up on some patterns? Come check out our selection of flies. We've got dries, nymphs, everything you possibly might need. You don't want to be caught without the flies you need when the big bugs are hatching. This hatch is one of those that anglers all over the world look forward to and it pays to be ready for it.
Keep an eye on our blog, fishing reports, and Facebook page to stay on top of the latest on the hatch and where the bugs are! Call the shop at 406-587-9111 for the latest info.