Epic week of Montana Fly Fishing – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Epic week of Montana Fly Fishing

5 days of fishing ends with a side braid of a dreadlock and a solid suspicion that there might be more tippet in my “braid” than hair. Fishing puts you in some fun places and always lands you with a great story. It’s weeks like this where I start to look a little crazy; sunburned, sunglass and wader tan lines. The worst or best part of it all is when I get this real unquestionable fish obsession look in my eyes and all I can talk about is fishing. When I sleep I’m watching a indicator or having epic dreams of the Gallatin being so clear I’m sticking my head into holes to see where the fish are. Totally normal, I promise.

Basically, I had a really good week of Montana fly fishing. We are very lucky here at Fins and Feathers as we usually get our days off in a row (Thanks Toby). This week I scored a solid 5 days of fishing, and I may or may not have fished more hours this week than worked.

Thursday and Saturday I fished the Gallatin River with Nick from our Bozeman fly shop and some of my gal fishing friends from Utah. Some of the women from Utah have never fished before and it was a blast teaching them to cast and watch them catch a fish in under an hour! Both days I fished for a few hours and were able to pull a handful out on Rubberlegs, Megaprinces, Worms, and Sowbugs. The next day my brother and dad came into town and we floated the Yellowstone.

Yvette caught her first trout on a fly rod.

Oh boy, what a day. We started throwing streamers and got four in the first 10 minutes. Due to the sudden excitement of catching fish I was quickly curbed to rowing, but it was fun to play guide for my dad who has guided for me most of my life. We pulled over and nymphed every hole possible and pulled out a lot of fish. Then, it got really, really good. Mothers Day Caddis Hatch hit like a swarming dust cloud of bugs around 4pm and the water began to boil. Just about every cast was a fish! We relentlessly left the water at sunrise because our fingers were too numb to do much fishing and it was a 12hr float day. When I stepped into my car I was covered in caddis flies and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Sunday was day 4 of fishing and I was starting to get a little sloppy due to my diet of granola bars and IPA’s. I fished the Upper Madison and had a blast, the fish were eating just about anything. My trip unfortunately got cut short when I locked my keys, phone, wallet, AND fly rod in the car at Lyons Bridge. So Grizz the dog and I ended up having to hitchhike to Ennis to find service and call a locksmith. Luckily we got a ride quickly and were able to get back into the car and fish $3 bridge for a few more hours. On our way back to Bozeman, we decided to do a quick Lower Madison float trip. The caddis hatch was remarkable. There wasn’t as many riser as there were on the Yellowstone River on Friday, but breathing in bugs and watching the occasional riser couldn’t have been a better way to start the month.

Yesterday, Yankee Jim and I took the dogs out and fished a lot of new fun places. I struggled keeping fish on for some reason… but hey, it happens. I’ll blame it on a bent hook and fishing with too long of a leader.

Don’t be afraid of the muddy water and check our fishing reports frequently. If our rivers start getting too muddy, start fishing the lakes. We’re always happy to share what we’re using and point you in the right direction towards some pretty fish.

Embrace the dirty water!

Karlie Roland