Favorite Fall Day Trips from Bozeman
Some of the many reasons that make Fall a perfect season for the avid angler include things like good roads, even if it is snowing a little, cold nights cooling off the water enough that super early mornings aren’t a necessity and shorter days so we can fish until dark and still get home at a decent hour. These are just a few of my favorites this time of year.
The first on my list is the Firehole River.
The Firehole has so many merrits this time of year I will only mention a few of the important ones to me. 1) Bugs! No matter what the weather is like, chances are you will see a decent hatch that has a good handful of fish up. The thermal activity that gives this river It’s name, warms the water to a very comfortable temp that Insects and Trout seem to enjoy as Winter’s grasp starts to tighten. Baetis, Caddis and Midges are always a possibility. 2) No matter what is hatching, a #16 Soft Hackle or #10 Wooly Bugger usually works fine. 3) Most of the time you’ll be by yourself. Most people in the area are chasing the giant Brown’s out of Hebgen Lake. Not a bad option, just doesn’t top my list. None the less, crowds are not an issue from the Falls to Old Faithful.
Second on the list is the Missouri River.
The Missouri River between Holter Dam and Cascade is a ton of fun in the Fall. 1) No matter how you like to fish, walk wade, float, Swing a two hander, Throw big Streamers for some pissed off Brown’s or just want picky fish on tiny dries, you can have a super productive day. There are so many fish that almost any program can produce some good numbers on any given day. 2) The trip north is a pretty easy one from Bozeman. It’s amost all Highway time, plenty of gas stations and places to pick up lunch and snacks or coffee and stuff. If you leave here at 6:30am, you’ll be fishing close to 9am. 3) Easy rowing for beginners. If you’ve been rowing around all the family and freinds visiting the last few months, this is the perfect opportunity to grab a buddy or two and let them row you around for a while. The shops in Craig also rent boats so a few buddies can split a boat for a small portion of what a guide trip would cost. 4) More large fish then you could imagine.
Last but not least is the Big Hole River.
The Big Hole is a beautiful river just West of Bozeman. Because of time issues I will be short with this one. 1) A ton of variety of water. Meadows up high, Bouldery Canyon in the middle and Braided down low. 2) A ton of fish. Every size and variety of fish. The chance to catch a Brown over 20″, a couple Grayling, maybe a 15″ Brookie and a mix of Rainbows is the potential every day on this river. 3) Plenty of access. There are plenty of boat ramps and camp grounds around to access every section easily.