Early April Fly Fishing Outlook – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Early April Fly Fishing Outlook

The weather is improving and the fishing is following suit. All of the Bozeman area rivers have been fishing well and they are only getting better. Warm temperatures will make some changes early on in April. Continue reading to learn what to expect next time you hit the river.

It is looking like Spring weather is finally setting in this week in the Bozeman area. High temperatures are expected to reach nearly 70 degrees by the weekend. While this typically increases angler enjoyment on the river it also can change how our rivers are fishing. With weather this warm, you can expect some runoff from low level snow hitting our rivers and an increase in bug activity. The only downside, when we go from cold to warm weather this quickly, one can also expect some significant wind speeds. Look forward to a great week of fish catching, and cold beer drinking!

Lower Madison

Already fishing well, we can expect fishing to improve on the lower Madison. This river should not be affected much by the low-level runoff and bugs have the potential to explode. The BWO's will get going a bit as soon as the water temperature hits 45 degrees. This could provide some solid dry fly fishing opportunities towards the end of the week. If we keep our fingers crossed, we may even see some march browns flying around by early next week. Both nymphing and streamer fishing will continually get better as the temps increase. Standard tailwater fare such as worms, scuds and sows, and mayfly nymphs will catch fish. On the streamer front, slim profile white or black streamers (Goldie or Peanut Envy) seem to get the most attention.

Full Lower Madison fishing report

Upper Madison

The upper is another river that shouldn't be affected much by the low-level snowmelt. After the last few days the upper Madi slowed down a bit. The water temps are in the mid 30's but will increase quickly with the given forecast. This will improve every method of fishing on the river above Ennis. BWO's are probably still a week or so out but nymphing with Rubberleg's, mayfly nymphs, worms, and eggs will get even better than it had been before the cold front. Keep your eyes and ears open for splashy rises. If you spot a splashy rise try an olive or peacock stonefly dry fly over the rise to imitate the Skwala adult you just witnessed get devoured.

Full Upper Madison fishing report

Gallatin River

The Gallatin River is one of the rivers that might gain some color this week. Fishing has been excellent lately subsurface. Worms and Rubberleg's will be the only flies an angler needs if water gets green. If not, rising temperatures will still improve the fishing conditions. Perdigons, stonefly nymphs, and flashy mayfly nymphs will be my go-to aquatic insect imitations. Keep an eye out for fish rising to BWO's or splashy skwala munchers. By the end of the week, the Gallatin should have some of the best dry fly opportunities if it doesn't gain too much color.

Full Gallatin fishing report

Yellowstone River

The Yellowstone will be the most likely river to gain color. Keep in mind that a little bit of green actually can help fishing action. Streamers will be my personal preference but the nymphing will be a more consistent fly fishing method. Black or white articulated streamers will be receiving a good amount of attention. Nymphs such as the Prince, Formerly Known as the Prince, DB Speckled Stone, Pat's Rubberleg's or Grannom Pupa have been picking up the most fish. Skwala fishing has some serious potential and even some minor BWO action.

Full Yellowstone fishing report

All of these rivers will slow down a bit if the flows spike too quickly. But once they level out or start dropping the fishing will get hot fast.

Check Montana Streamflow Here

Stop by our Bozeman fly shop before enjoying the beautiful weather and excellent fly fishing opportunities this week.