Gallatin River Fly Fishing Reports
Gallatin River Fishing Report 12/12/2020
The Gallatin fishes well when it is clear from ice and slush. Fishing in the afternoon will provide the best window. There could be some ice or slush in the system starting today but if you are able to find some open water, nymphing will be the most productive. Fishing a black or brown Pat's Rubber leg with a Prince nymph, Lightning Bug, Zebra Midge, or San Juan worm should get the fish biting. Fly selection is fairly similar until Spring time comes back around but until then, we will settle with what the rivers have to offer. The best fishing will be found throughout the canyon stretch. This area has more current, and some creeks that keep it relatively clear from as much ice or slush forming compared to other streams.
Have you heard about the Patagonia Upcycled Wader Program?
COVID 19 COMMUNICATIONS – Nov. 22, 2020
- Store capacity is limited to 5 guests
- Face coverings are mandatory – we have them available if needed.
- Respect social distancing and use provided hand sanitizer.
- In-store license sales are temporarily suspended (buy online at fwp.mt.gov)
- Order online (select pickup at checkout) or over the phone for Curbside Service
- Private shopping is available in 30 minute time-slots, book online for free.
- Buy Flies online and save 20% (enter code "FLIES_20" at checkout in the Discount Code field)
Fins & Feathers is a full-service Bozeman fly shop and Montana fly fishing outfitter. Gallatin River fly fishing trips are available year-round with our Bozeman fly fishing guides.
Gallatin River Webcam - Located at Karst, which is about 1/2 way between Bozeman and Big Sky on HWY 191.
The Gallatin should be fishing well this week with the warmer weather. Don't be surprised if it starts showing some color tomorrow or the next day. As the snow melts the river should get that nice Gallatin green going which almost always means good top fly fishing with rubberlegs and worms. A red copper john, or a zebra midge will be your better options for bottom flies. Streamer fishing with smaller dark streamers should also improve especially in the valley. As the temps increase keep a keen eye out for skwala and BWO adults as these will start to pop off over the next few weeks. Should be a decent amount of adult midges as well so be prepared for that.
Recommended Guided Trips
Half-Day Guided Trip
Looking for a quick introduction to fly fishing or only have a few hours to get out on the water with one of our fly fishing guides? A half-day float on the lower Madison is likely to be the perfect choice.
- Half-Day Trips Are 3-4 Hours in Duration
- 1-2 Anglers Maximum Per Guide/Boat
- Half-Day Float Trips On The Lower Madison River Only
- Ideal For Families With Small Children (6+ Years Old)
- Fishing Licenses and Gratuities Are Not Included
- Tackle and Drinks are Include
- Waders and Boots are available for rent ($25 per person) or purchase - we recommend bringing your own or pack light rain pants if the forecast calls for rain as we rarely need waders during the guide season.
Montana Fly Fishing Packages
Fins & Feathers of Bozeman’s Montana fly fishing packages offer convenience and value by bundling our guided services together with lodging options in Bozeman. Check out the example pricing - based on double occupancy in the rooms and with one of our Bozeman fly fishing guides. Email us or fill out our contact form to make a reservation and confirm availability.
Please note that availability is extremely limited during the summer, we strongly encourage you to make reservations sooner, rather than later. Our deposit policy is the "friendliest in the industry" in that we don't require payment ($1.00) at booking and all reservations can be cancelled - with no penalty up to 10 days prior to your scheduled arrival date.
These rates are guaranteed until June 1, 2022 and are likely to increase as availability decreases in both rooms and our guides fly fishing servicesLearn More
Fishing Licenses and Shuttle Info
Fins & Feathers is a full-service Bozeman fly shop and Montana fly fishing outfitter. Gallatin River fly fishing trips are available year-round with our Bozeman fly fishing guides. Montana fishing licenses are available for purchase online at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks & in our Bozeman Fly Shop (some exceptions may apply). If you are planning to fish in the headwaters of the Gallatin River area above Taylor's Fork (approx. 1 mile upstream); be aware that most of this is in Yellowstone National Park which requires a separate fishing license and is seasonally open to fishing according to YNP regulations.
Fishing from a boat is not allowed on the Gallatin River from the headwaters downstream to the confluence of the West (main-stem) and East Gallatin River, however it is permissible to use a boat/craft for access for wade-fishing in this stretch of the river. Fishing from a boat is allowed downstream of this point to the rivers mouth. Bob's Shuttle provides shuttle service (seasonal) between Manhattan and Three Forks on the Gallatin River and can be reached at 406-595-0587 via voice or text. In general, shuttles should be arrange the day prior or before 9 am the morning of your departure.
Gallatin River Overview
The Gallatin River is one of the more scenic, blue-ribbon trout waters found in the Bozeman area. The river changes in character from a small mountain stream near its headwaters in Yellowstone National Park to a medium-sized, classic western river once it flows into the Gallatin Valley. The middle portion of the river flows through the Gallatin Canyon and is characterized by pocket water and swift currents. Once it leaves the canyon stretch, the river slows its pace with much of the trout water being found in a classic riffle, pool, and run water types. The Gallatin River is noted for having very clean, cold water throughout its course and served as the setting in which much of "A River Runs Through It" was filmed.