Spring Break Fly Fishing in Bozeman – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Spring Break Fly Fishing in Bozeman

Spring Break 2018 is officially here in Bozeman! You are unlikely to run into hordes of college kids crowding the Bozeman Beach this week, but the local breweries and distilleries will be happenings. Mojitos and sunblock will still be on the minds of Spring Breakers in Big Sky this week, regardless of whether its tropical or not. Bozeman attracts visitors this time of year for the skiing at Bridger and Big Sky, but more and more folks are starting to realize that the fly fishing around Bozeman is just starting to get really good as well.

Narrowing down the choices for a great day on the water this time of year is often part of the fun in that there is great fishing to be had in every direction. So, we decided to call out a few areas in particular to help get you going in the right direction this week, along with a few tips for success.

Fly fishing the Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley with Fins & Feathers fly fishing guide service .

3) The upper Yellowstone River can offer some terrific wade-fishing this time of year in the Paradise Valley stretches. Public access points are plentiful between Pine Creek and Carbella on the Yellowstone River. Lower water flows make for easy wading throughout this stretch of the river during the pre-runoff season. Nymphing with standard attractors such as Prince Nymphs and Pheasant Tail Variations on a tandem rig behind Stonefly nymph this time of year is typically productive during the non-hatch periods. Cloudy, mild days are bringing heavy Midge hatches and BWO’s aren’t too far behind.

Fly Fishing the Lower Madison River with Fins & Feathers of Bozeman's fly fishing guide service.

2) The lower Madison River is our go-to choice this time of year as its close to Bozeman and has some terrific fishing this time of year. Heading up into the Beartrap is a great idea on those days when the wind isn’t blowing too bad. Typical fishing on the lower Madsion right now is done with tandem nymph rigs consisting of a Crayfish pattern for the lead fly, followed by and egg pattern of some sort as the dropper. Fish can be found throughout the river right now, in just about every type of holding water as well. Rainbows are starting to spawn, so be mindful of avoiding shallow areas with pea gravel bottoms. The dry fly angler can expect to find rising fish out there on cloudy days this time of year during some of the most prolific Midge hatches around,

A terrific upper Madison River Brown Trout with Bozeman fly fishing guides at Fins & Feathers

1) The upper Madison River is starting to fish really well now as winter starts to give way to spring. Rainbow trout are spawning, so be mindful of where you walk, avoiding shallow areas with fine gravel bottoms. Nymphing with San Juan Worms or a Golden Stone Nymph is very effective on the Upper Madison River in the springtime. Dropper choices are usually along the lines of an egg pattern variation, but Midge and Baetis nymph patterns can work particularly well. Focusing on the river around Ennis and $3 Bridge is a great way to narrow down the choices when it comes to picking a spot for the day. Dry fly fishing is typically less productive than nymphing on the upper Madison River this time of year but expect to see rising fish during Midge hatches in the eddies behind mid-river boulders.

We hope that this helps get you mind working on some fly fishing plans around Bozeman this coming week as the forecast is looking ideal for spring fly fishing. Our Bozeman fly shop is open every day, we sell MT Fishing Licenses (Buy Online Too!), have rental gear, and offer guided fly-fishing trips in Bozeman at a discounted rate through March. Stop in and see us the next time you are passing through 4-Corners for up to date fishing reports, a great selection of flies, and friendly advice. Enjoy the water this spring!