Early May Bozeman Area Fishing Report – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Early May Bozeman Area Fishing Report

Fly fishing our Bozeman area rivers has been pretty darn good the last few weeks and we are expecting some great fishing prior to the bulk of runoff. Bugs are really starting to hatch and dry fly action is picking up in our area. Here are full reports and outlook for each of our rivers!

Yellowstone River

The stone was dropping and clearing the last few days but went up a good bit yesterday when the Lamar shop up by 1000cfs. There is still 1.5-2 feet of visibility in town but expect this to decrease as the mud from the Lamar moves down river and will be colored up by the end of the day. Fishing had been picking up over there and the streamer fishing had been getting hot but will likely slow again with yesterdays flow bump. Olive, black, and white streamers had all been picking up fish. Rubberlegs and worms work great on the Yellowstone River this time of the year along with caddis pupa. If you can find some fishable water the potential to catch fish is high.

Gallatin River

The Gallatin river has been dropping but gained some water last night. It had been pretty dirty but was definitely fishable. After this bump it has gained some color and will be tough to fish until it starts to drop again. Streamer action was okay but nymphing with a stonefly nymph and a worm had been the best option by far. You will still be able to catch some fish if the gally clears up a bit the The Gallatin is definitely not the best nearby fishing option and probably won’t be until we get past the majority of run-off.

Upper Madison

The upper Madison has been a little bit inconsistent. One day the fishing can be great but the next can be significantly slower. This river is still a much better option than either the Gallatin or the Yellowstone. Stonefly nymphs have been incredibly effective along with caddis pupa and large mayfly nymphs. Nymphing has still been the best option with how cold the water has been recently. Some March browns and caddis have been out and about but the fish have barely been rising to them. Once the the water temps come up a bit the streamer fishing and dry fly action should get more consistent. White streamers like the Goldie have been most productive.

Upper Madison

Lower Madison

The lower Madison has been fishing very well as the water temps and flows have been pretty level over the last week. The caddis are coming off pretty good daily but the cool weather has them pushed up into the bushes with not many bugs on the water. Dry fly action here has been better than the other river but is by no means lights out. Evenings or overcast afternoons seem to be the best with a dark bodied caddis dry fly. Trailing an olive or bright green pupa with a beadhead from this dry has picked up a lot of fish. Nymph rigs with a crawfish or worm trailed by a large mayfly nymph, yellow sallie nymph or caddis pupa have been very effective. Streamer fishing has been okay but will improve as water temperatures rise. It seems like a black Sex dungeon or a fly with a simialr profile has been producing most fish.

Lower Madison

Weather Outlook

The forecast for this week looks overall pretty cool and pretty darn wet. We are expecting some significant rain Tuesday through Friday with some possible snow and rain tomorrow. The cool weather will bring the Yellowstone and Gallatin down and clear them up if we don’t see a ton of precipitation. As far as the Madison goes, both should remain pretty darn good throuhgout the week. Expect to fish worm patterns if we do get dumped on.

Get all of your fly fishing needs in our Bozeman fly shop or online before you hit the river this week!

Detailed Fishing Reports

Find up to date detailed fishing reports for these rivers below!