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.
The south end of the reservoir in general is better fishing and is a little bit easier to fish from the bank. The little creek that dumps into the lake right at the boat launch parking lot does bring a lot of fish in, but due to the easy access it gets a ton of pressure. My best advice? Spend some time either in a boat cruising around or walking the shoreline to find some good looking spots. Fishing Hyalite from the shore is a good option, but it’s even better from a boat. Belly boats work fine, as do canoes, drift boats, john boats… Anything that floats.
I was up there yesterday afternoon with guide Ken Stock and a buddy. The fishing was a bit slow and the weather looked like it was about to turn nasty. Still, we managed to boat a couple small brook trout and two decent sized grayling. The grayling are always fun to catch and I don’t think you can find a prettier freshwater fish when their dorsal fin lights up. Rod and Pam fished the reservoir earlier this week and Pam landed this nice grayling:
There is still a lot of places you can go in the rivers, but fishing the lakes won’t be a bad idea for a while.