September 1st Fly Fishing Report
This August just happened to be one of the wettest, coolest we have seen in years and the Bozeman area waters have appreciated the mild nature of the weather. Bugs, both aquatic and terrestrial have been abundant. As a result, fishing was exceptional all month. We did not see any hoot owl restrictions on the Yellowstone, Gallatin, or Madison much to the surprise of many of our shop staff. These conditions provided for one of the better terrestrial fishing seasons possibly ever! We are fully expecting the good fishing to continue with cool nights and this upcoming weeks warm high temperatures. If you plan on hitting any of the main rivers be sure to have a box packed to the gills with hoppers, ants, and attractor dries. If the surface fishing is slow in the mornings don’t be afraid to drop some caddis, mayfly, and general nymphs such as the prince to keep yourself occupied throughout the entire day.
The Gallatin has seen fewer numbers of spruce moths in the canyon but they will still work in some of the heavily wooded areas. Ants have been working well through all reaches of the gally, as have attractor dries such as purple haze and small stimulators. Oh. Tricos as well. Have a few trico spinners ready to go if you can’t get fish to take anything else. Nymphing has been successful with flies such as the Pat’s Rubberlegs, Hares Ear, Lil’ Spanker, and CDC Pheasant Tail. With highs in the mid 80’s this week expect streamer fishing to be a bit slow until the weekend where some clouds and rain are predicted.
The lower Madison has been fishing well after about 11am with hopper patterns. Nymphing and streamer fishing has remained tough in this section of river with the amount of weeds still around. Once the high temperatures dip expect both of these methods to pick up significantly. When hopper fishing slows in the evening try tossing some, caddis and small stimulators.
Fishing the upper Madison has been solid throughout the day. Nymphing in the morning or cruising a hopper dropper has picked up a bunch of fish. Once the sun is high you will likely be able to cut the dropper and just cruise a tan, pink, or purple hopper. Streamer fishing has been good in the evening and when we see some decent cloud cover. There have been a few flying ants around and when they hit the water fish will key in on them. Make sure you have some fat bodied ants to match this hatch if you find yourself swarmed by these terrestrials. Caddis dries have been working well in the evenings.
Yellowstone River reports have remained very good with fish still focused on eating hoppers. This will be the best when the sun is high and hot. A few tricos have been out and about and you may see fish picking these off in slower moving slicks. Streamer fishing has been okay and is worth a shot when hoppers don’t seem to be working as well. If you are set on fishing dry flies go to an ant or attractor dry fly pattern Nymphing has still been producing a ton of whitefish. If this is up your alley then get after is with some caddis and mayfly nymph patterns. Expect some caddis out in the evening so be ready with a few different caddis patterns like the tan elk hair, Corn Fed Caddis, or Parachute Caddis.
Overall, Southwest Montana has fished very well and seems like it will continue to do so. If you haven’t had the chance to get out it’s not too late! The fishing consistency around Bozeman has led to great angler success. Swing by our Bozeman fly shop for all of the current intel! Tight lines!