Good Winter Fishing
Winter fishing around Bozeman can always be tough because many times there just aren’t any “easy options” as local rivers get covered with ice shelves and mid-stream flows are often choked with floating ice debris. When the temperatures rise above freezing, it’s not uncommon to see some of the lower strecthes of these rivers get a little colored with a rapid melt of low elevation snow. But, there are options out there just about everyday of the year for those that really want to get their feet wet.
The last week has been perfect for winter conditions as daytime temps have been near or slightly above freezing and the nights have been relatively mild. When this happens, there is very little floating ice and no anchor ice on the majority of local rivers. Trout feed freely in the deeper pools and slower runs on a variety of nymphs, especially small golden stones, midges, and generic attractor patterns. We are starting to see some midge activity and this will only get better in January and February with rising fish being a real possibility on calm, cloudy days both on the rivers and spring creeks.
So, watch the fishng reports and don’t hesitate to give it a go when it looks like the highs will be in the mid-30’s with little wind as these can be amazing days on the water. Remember that fresh snow takes more locals to the ski hills than the rivers and solitude is usually just a few minutes drive away!