Where Do Our Fishing Reports Come From? – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Where Do Our Fishing Reports Come From?

One of the most utilized, requested, and mistrusted aspects of any fly shop is the fishing reports. Folks want to know the latest and greatest on their way to the water, but at the same time seem to think that the guys and gals in the shop are holding back or worse making it up. So, let’s talk about where the fishing reports at our Bozeman fly shop, and online, come from.

We use a combination of the following sources to make our fishing reports:

Angler Reports
The gold standard for up to date fishing report information, we use fresh reports from our shop staff, guides, and customers. Although not an official network, we know you as well as you know us, and therefore know how to cut through the BS the to the relevant information which we use for our reports.

Knowledge & Intuition
There are well over 100+ years for SW Montana fishing experience at Fins & Feathers, and we pull on that knowledge base to help create out fishing reports.

The Internet has many great resources to help decide where to go fishing. The USGS Montana Streamflow is an invaluable resource that we, and probably you, use. We also embed this information into all of our fishing reports. It is particularly useful in the summers to track mud plugs.

Weather Forecast
Although weather forecasting in Montana has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world to get right with all the mountains making their own weather and microclimates, we do consult them. The real-time reporting from NOAA stations are particularly useful. None more so to us than the Norris Hill weather station. “Is it windy on the lower Madison?” We get that question a lot, and all you need to do is jump on NOAA and get to the Norris Hill station and you will find the answer. Just remember that south and west winds are the worst on the lower Madison and that the station is located on top on the hill, so the wind on the river is generally less than the gauge is reading up on top.

Webcams have started showing up in the last couple years, and are a great resource for the obvious reason that you are getting eyes on the river without having to travel there first. The only real issue is there isn’t enough of them and most rivers don’t have any. Here are some we use:

Pine Creek – Static image. Located just upstream from Livingston, we use this one a lot in conjunction with Livingston streamflow station to tracking mud plugs. You can also navigate back through 24hrs of images.

Gardiner – Live feed. Located right up in town, this cam is awesome for checking on mud plugs coming out of the park. Check against the Corwin Spring streamflow station.

Gallatin River (Karst) – Static image. Another cam run by our friends at Montana Whitewater. The cam and the shop are located at mile maker 55 in the Gallatin Canyon (about half way up the Big Sky).

As you can see the amount of info at our disposal allows us to create and share the best and most up to date fishing reports we can. We’re here to help you enjoy your day on the water, and we take great pride in the integrity of our reports. So, if you’re on the way to the water make sure to check out the latest reports. You can also just ask us next time you’re in the shop grabbing some bugs. However you get your fishing reports from us, just know that you’re getting a honest report based on the culmination of the very best information around.