Bozeman Area Fishing Update and Outlook – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Bozeman Area Fishing Update and Outlook

Memorial Day weekend has arrived and with it the rain and cold. High temperatures are only in the 50's for the 3 day weekend and the forecast calls for socked in conditions until Tuesday. This is the current fishing conditions by river and outlook for the summer.

Fishing Outlook

Overall, current snowpack and future conditions are shaping up to keep water levels and temperatures much higher and cooler respectively. So far our snowpack has melted in 2-3 day increments followed by cool and wet conditions. This gradual runoff is ideal to keep streams running cool throughout the entire summer. Last year by June 7th we had reached peak flows on both the Yellowstone and the Gallatin. This year, we have had two minor runoff periods both of which have been slowed significantly by cool temperatures and precipitation which has even added to our snow water equivalent. Considering how mild winter felt and the drought conditions we faced in the 2021 season our 2022 outlook is feeling pretty darn bright. So what does this mean for fishing this summer? Rivers full of cool water and happy trout. Happy trout translate to great fishing and happy anglers. Continue reading for current river conditions and snowpack.

Montana Snotel

Montana SNOTEL 5/28/22

As of May 28th 2022, all of our Bozeman area river drainages are sitting at or above average snowpack for May 28th since 1991. As I stand in front of the computer and write this, it rains on the streets of Four Corners. Rain here hopefully translates to snow in the high country. The 10 Day forecast shows high temperatures no greater than 71 degrees and precipitation again next weekend. Given no drastic changes occur, our snowpack will stick around for a while.

Fishing Reports

Yellowstone River

Blown out and muddy.

Gallatin River

Blown out and muddy.

Upper Madison

Not blown out, but not clear. This river is rising rapidly and will likely have very little clarity below the West Fork, above should be better but don't expect clear water. The best option for fishing will be black or yellow streamer, large stonefly nymphs or worms.

Lower Madison

The lower Madison is the best fishing option in the area. They are slowly releasing water from the dam, but this river will have the best clarity around by far. Little yellow sally nymphs have worked great along with crayfish and worms. A few fish have been tricked by little yellow sally dry flies. Streamer fishing can also be productive as the river flows are increased using large black and yellow streamers. Read the full report.

Bighorn River

Great fly fishing option. Read the full report.

Missouri River

The MO is also a top tier fly fishing option at the moment. Read the full report.

Spring Creeks

If you can get a rod, this will be one of the best fishing options around. Read the full report.

Freestone rivers appear to be out of the question for while but if you want to get your fly fishing fix, head to a nearby tailwater, spring creek, lake or pond. Drop by our Bozeman fly shop to get all the gear your need to hit the river and browse Bozeman's best fly selection.