Bozeman Summer Dries – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Bozeman Summer Dries

Westslope Cutthroat Trout

The dry fly fishing has started to get good here around SW Montana over the last week. Whether it’s Spruce Moths on the Gallatin or Hoppers on the Yellowstone, fish are starting to look up, as is the weather for the rest of the week. The hatches of aquatic insects have really started to diminish, which typically means attractor dries and hoppers are the way to go. This year, the rivers are relatively low and clear which makes for great visibility form the fish’s perspective and it’s been great to see them looking up, rather than down.

I’ve been fishing the Yellowstone the last few days and although the fishing hasn’t been “off the hook,” it’s hard to beat the experience of watching fish come up to a big dry on a slow rise. Purples, reds, and pink flies in a size 10-12 have been my staples fished along deep seams and below drop-offs and gravel bars. Some of my favorite patterns right now include the Baby Foam, Royal Chubby Chernobyl, and Delekta’s Tan Twisted Baby. These flies sit relatively low in the water, yet are easy to see and float well.

The upper Yellowstone cutthroat fishing was really fun today as they were coming up slowly, yet decisively out of the deep seams. Right about the time I’m ready to give up on a drift, that brown shadow appears and the fly slowly goes under. There really just isn’t anything quite as cool as a Yellowstone cut, eating a dry in the sunshine. They don’t fight real well and they typically don’t get much larger than 16-18”, but they are hard to beat in terms of the rise and the beauty in hand.

Fins & Feathers guide’s have been meeting early and fishing until 2 or 3 during the hot days. As the fish have started to look up, we have seen more consistency into the early afternoons than just two weeks ago. I think that we have made it through the toughest part of the season and cooler weather and shorter days are going to do nothing except improve the fishing. The “word” around is that August is slower for most folks and we usually see fewer boats on the water during the week. So, if you want to get out and enjoy some good fishing this August, Bozeman is tough to beat with all the choices we have in the area. Our Bozeman fly shop and guides will be happy to help get you going in the right direction with the right bugs, so stop on in and check it out the next time you head out to the water.