Bozeman Area Fishing Update | Late August
Whew!, what an August it has been thus far. This cool, wet summer has led to the best August fishing we have seen in years.
Last year, we saw the Upper Madison remain cool, with Hebgen Dam being fixed, and the grasshopper fishing was good to great. The hopper fishing this year has been nothing short of stellar. Recently, we’ve had the luxury of bigger is better. We’ve been fishing the biggest hopper patterns we can find and putting some of the river’s biggest fish in the net, during the heat of the day. After cold nights, the hopper fishing can take a bit to get going, but when it does, get ready to set the hook.
Much of the same has been happening on the Yellowstone River. Although we’ve had some slow days when the river is off-color, stripping dark-colored streamers off the bank has put some bend in the rods and fish in the net. Ant patterns have also been crushing it over there.
The Gallatin River is currently hosting Bozeman’s favorite hatch – Spruce Moths. During the late morning, fish have been violently attacking the moths that fall from the overhanging trees. Road construction has lessened traffic in the canyon, so if you can stomache the delays, the river will likely be less crowded than expected. Beetles and ants have been working in the afternoons, as have Parachute Adams to imitate the continuing PMD and Red Quill hatches. Spinner falls have fish slurping near the banks during the mornings and evenings. Beetles and ants are our go to during non-hatch periods in the afternoons.
Lake fishing has been really good on Hebgen Lake, Quake Lake, Ennis Lake and others. Calibaetis and Tricos are hatching, and fishing keep looking up for ants later in the day.
The northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park is still seeing some hatches and terrestrial fishing is at its peak, same with the Yellowstone River in the park.
We’re getting close to our last shot at fishing small streams before Fall hits. Now is a great time to go explore that fishy-looking creek with a lightweight rod, bear spray and a box full of terrestrials and attractor dry flies.
And if you really have the urge to catch a huge trout on a tiny fly, make the drive to the Missouri. Tricos are still going in the mornings. And while the fishing can be tough, it is equally, if not more, rewarding.
Now is the time to get out on the river. This stellar fishing can’t last much longer. Or maybe it will.