Gallatin River Fly Fishing Reports
Gallatin River Fishing Report 4/18/2021
The Gallatin is running mostly clear with a slight bit of green to it. Most of the action can be found using nymphs. Natural colored rubberlegs have been a solid top fly followed by an attractor bug such as lightning bugs, prince nymphs, and copper johns. The slow and deep stretches of the river are still the best water to fish on the Gallatin. The dry fly action has been picking up on cloudy days or in shaded portions of the canyon. Midges and baetis have been working well when you can see fish rising in the slower portions of the river. The skwalas are beginning to emerge and will pick up as the days began to warm up, on the warmer days a skwala dry dropper could be an effective method of fishing. If you are streamer fishing use natural colors like olive, black and fish them slow and deep.
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
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.
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.