February Fishing Report
The mild winter weather has provided us with excellent conditions to get out on all of our favorite Bozeman area rivers this February. Nymph fishing to dry fly fishing for trout eating midges has been good from the Gallatin to the Upper Madison.
This winter started out aggressive with snow and freezing temperatures but has since mellowed out. These past few weeks have fished very well and given the current forecast, it looks like conditions and fishing will continue to make it worth hitting the river. Find a brief fishing report for each of our rivers below!
While we have not been to the upper in a while, due to the dam malfunction, but from what customers have told us it has fished pretty darn well. Standard winter fare has been working. Zebra Midges, San Juan Worms, Pat's Rubberlegs and King Prince nymphs have been among our favorite flies to use. The dry fly fishing can be good behind boulders but requires calm conditions and overcast can greatly help.
The lower has been fishing well. Fish are stacked up in the slow buckets and any day that is not windy has fished really well. Windy days can fish well but can make the cold feel much colder and the casting much more difficult. Midge dry fly action has been good but certainly requires a calm day. The most productive flies have been scuds, sowbugs (orange or pink or gray) and midges ( black or red). Worms can produce as well. The lower has been busy with wade anglers and boat traffic for this time of the year.
Still great fishing to be found on a large portion of the Gallatin. The canyon is usually my favorite as there is so many spots to bounce around and fish. Just below the canyon has fished well but can be busy on nice days. It's hard to beat a stonefly nymph trailed by a wine or red worm. When these aren't producing, something flashy such as a Lightning Bug or a Copper John seems to do the trick. We don't normally see as many fish rising to midges on the Gallatin but I do like to have a few Griffith's Gnats on hand just in case.
We tend to stay away from the stone in the winter for one reason in particular. Wind. It's rare to see a windless day on the Yellowstone that actually lines up with one of our days off. When you do find a relatively calm day, Pat's Rubberlegs, worms, Prince Nymphs, and soft hackles get it done.
The current conditions are great for fishing now but when we need the water, we will wish it had been cold and snowy. Nearly all of the basins in the state are well below the median Snow Water Equivalent since 1991. So not good. Do your best precipitation dance and maybe two so we don't see a repeat of the drought we experienced last summer.