Bozeman Fishing Update | July 8, 2016
The fishing around Bozeman continues to be very solid, despite the hot weather of late June and relatively low stream flows. The key to success on our guided trips of late has been heading out early in the mornings. Those early morning hours are simply the time to be out on the water as this is when you will find the most insect activity and the most feeding trout.
As we move into the “full-on” summer season here in Southwest Montana, the hatches become sparse as the temperatures increase. Those early morning hours and cooler days are when an angler can expect to see Caddis, Trico’s, PMD’s, and Yellow Sallies. Roll over a few rocks on the banks of any big river right now and you’ll find some weird looking Golden Stones scrambling for the shade. These “nocturnal stones” have poorly developed wings and are a trout favorite. There is plenty of insect life out right now to keep the fish active during the coolest parts of the days.
The morning water temperatures are the coolest of the day, especially during really warm periods like we had been experiencing up until a few days ago. As water temperatures increase, the trout’s metabolism slows way down due to less available dissolved oxygen. They typically move to faster runs and riffles and feed much less aggressively once the water temperatures reach the low 70’s for sustained periods. This is something we typically experience throughout the summer months, regardless of water levels as our days are very long here in the northern latitudes. The key to angling success right now is to get on the water early and to expect to fish until early afternoon. As I write this, I can just see the sky starting to light up in the east at around 4:45 this morning. We have been meeting our clients around 6 am and getting back to the shop by 3 most days. The days typically start with nymphing or streamer fishing the first couple of hours and then we switch to dries, as the sun gets higher in the sky.
This is a great time of year to fish in Bozeman as we have so much diversity in terms of water and literally hundred of miles of water to choose from. When one river becomes too dirty or too warm, there are always a few others to choose from that will continue to fish well for those anglers that are willing to hit the water early.