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.
Salmonfly Celebration Tonight!
If you're in the Bozeman area tonight you should come on down to The Baxter Hotel for a Salmonfly Celebration! This event is being hosted by flyfishingreports.com, and is a great way to socialize and enjoy one of the biggest and best hatches of the year. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Madison-Gallatin Trout Unlimited chapter so you know your money is going to a good cause.
There will be $10 bottomless pint glasses, raffles, and a salmonfly dry fly tying competition. The event starts at 7pm and will go till roughly around 9. It's sure to be a good time and a good party, so come on down and enjoy!
See you there!
Pic of the Day: Sneaky Sneaky
Sometimes you have to resort to being a little sneaky to catch fish. Sometimes even when you do that they won't eat. In this picture, shop guy Ethan Markie uses a boulder as cover to cast to rising trout on the Upper Madison.
High Water Brown Trout
We have had a lot of customers somewhat concerned about the high water our local rivers are experiencing. While this does put a damper on fishing on places like the Gallatin and the Yellowstone, high water doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t fish at all. The Madison system has been really great lately, even with the high water.
Guide Ladd Hogue has been crushing it on the Lower Madison, even with the high water. Here are a couple of his clients from the past week:
Fishing the Lakes
With the current runoff situation, lots of anglers are headed to the still water fisheries around town. We are lucky to have a pretty good one reasonably close: Hyalite Reservoir. The reservoir not only holds Bozeman’s water supply, but has good populations of Yellowstone Cutthroat, brook trout, and grayling. Hyalite Creek beneath the dam is one of the most popular small creeks in the Bozeman area as well.
The reservoir gets a lot of pressure, but is large enough that there is plenty of room for everyone. This time of year a lot of people head to the inlet, and it can be one of the more productive spots. But don’t overlook elsewhere on the lake. Submerged islands, shelves, the stream bed, drop-offs, submerged trees… All these places will hold fish.
Dealing With Dirty Water
Runoff season is here. The Yellowstone hit 15,000 cfs this morning, and all the local rivers are experiencing some kind of high water. In some cases like the Madison system the high water is still pretty fishable. In other places like the Gallatin and the Yellowstone, it’s chocolate milk.
Runoff can be a bummer. A lot of our good local water isn’t fishing. But don’t fret, there are still lots of places to go. If you do your research you can almost always find clear water. The Missouri is only two and a half hours away too… If you do find yourself fishing in high, dirty water in the coming weeks, here’s a couple tips to help you out.
Eating the Chubby
Dry fly guys have had a couple months of tiny midges, mayflies and all kinds of small bugs on the local waters. There is a great sense of accomplishment in tricking a trout into eating a size 20 fly at 50 feet, dropping it right into his feeding lane and watching that big nose come up and sip it. But sometimes you just want to throw meat.
Casting big dries is the stuff of dreams for many fly fishermen. There are a lot of places where you never fish anything larger than a size 16 or so. So watching a fish just crush a big dry fly like a chubby, foam hopper or a size 8 drake is pretty incredible. That’s one of the many things that draws people to places like Bozeman.
Earlier this week Ethan and I drove up to the Three Dollar Bridge area on the Upper Madison. We were hoping to catch some decent dry fly fishing. Word on the street was that the Baetis fishing was pretty good and we did see a lot of fish rising when we first got there. The weather was a little funky and the fish were being very picky.
Wildlife on the River
It is so easy when you are out fishing to get so focused on the fly and the fish that you lose sight of everything else around you. I've written about this before, and taking the time to look around and take notice of all the wonder and beauty that surrounds you on the river. Spring is here in Montana and with it everything is green and beautiful, flowers are popping up everywhere and baby animals are everywhere.
Yesterday Ethan and I as well as my girlfriend drove to the Upper Madison. Reports have been good and all of us love that area of river up there. It is one of those that if it isn't on your bucket list it should be. The morning sky threatened storms but we decided to hit the road anyway. The drive up there is always beautiful, but it is especially pretty now with everything greening up. After a long winter with everything white (or brown in this year's case), it is always nice to see some green again. All the trees have leaves and the hillsides are starting to look quite vibrant.
On the drive we saw a lot of wildlife including elk, deer, antelope and the usual assortment of birds and what not. We even saw some baby antelope, which look so ungainly it's hard to believe they can even stand up or move at all. Fishing was a little slow to start, and rising brown trout frustrated our efforts to catch them. The rain came and went, but not before putting our GoreTex Simms jackets to the test. Weather like that makes you glad you have the good stuff.
Happy Memorial Day from all of us at The Bozeman Angler. Take a moment today and remember those who have fallen in their service to our country. We thank you for your service and sacrifice.
New Video: Tying The Perfection Loop
Fly fishing uses a lot of knots. It can be difficult to keep up with them all and learn to tie them well, especially if you're just starting out or haven't done much of your own rigging before. One of the common knots is the Perfection Loop. We use this on the end of leaders, fly lines or butt sections to use the loop to loop connection. This makes changing leaders or sometimes even tippets fast and easy. Watch as shop manager and guide Peter walks you through the knot: