5 Flies for Bozeman Fly Fishing this Winter – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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5 Flies for Bozeman Fly Fishing this Winter

Winter fly selections don’t need to be complicated for the various fly fishing opportunities around Bozeman. Cold water temperatures reduce the activity of just about everything that lives in the rivers and streams of Southwest Montana. Trout move to the slower portions of a runs and the deep holes where they can easily hold while burning little energy. Knowing this and having a basic assortment of essential, winter flies will make for some successful Montana fly fishing days this winter.

  1. Don’t leave home without a Beadhead Prince Nymph! This uber-effective generic fly imitates everything from a Caddis Pupa to a small Stonefly nymph. It works a s a great lead fly on the Gallatin, Yellowstone, and Madison Rivers throughout the winter months.
  2. The Griffith’s Gnat is an absolute must have dry fly Montana fly fishing in the winter. Hatching Midges will provide the majority of dry fly opportunities from December through February on the small streams and rivers around Bozeman, Montana. The Griffith’s Gnat works great as a cluster of Midges during prolific hatch periods.
  3. Although the Brown Trout are finishing up their annual spawning season, there will be a few stragglers well into the first of the year on the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Madison Rivers. Rainbow Trout will start to move into spawning areas in February with some early spawn activity beginning as soon as January. So, egg patterns are also a must have for winter fly fishing around Bozeman.
  4. Midge Pupa and Larvae patterns are essential for sub-surface fly fishing on the upper and lower Madison River in the winter. A Black Zebra Midge in a size 18 is always close at hand for use as a dropper in deep water.
  5. Streamer fly fishing is typically slower from November through February on the rivers around Bozeman. However, a Brown Wooly Bugger is effective whether you fish it on the swing, stripped, or dead-drifted under an indicator.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything we take with us as we head out to the water this winter. However, it’s a great starting point for anglers that are looking to start building up their fly selections with useful patterns. Fins & Feathers of Bozeman’s fly shop is open year-round and our staff is on the waters around Bozeman throughout the winter. Stop in and see us before you head out and we’ll help you find these and other patterns that will make your winter fly fishing around Bozeman more successful