Gallatin is Smokey But Still Fishing Well: Butte and Bozeman Outdoor Report
By Matt Schauer

Posted: September 1, 2012

Hi, it’s Angie here from Bob Ward & Sons! There’s plenty of good fishin’ in the BUTTE & BOZEMAN areas, if you just stay away from the SMOKE!

We’re hearing the CLARK’S CANYON fire, near CLARK CANYON RESERVOIR, is 80% contained & expected to be 100% by Saturday, so other than some SMOKY residue, access should be clear to get to the RESERVOIR…the usual Lake fishin’ is in effect here, with Wooly Buggers, Leeches, & Sheep Creeks as the best choices right now…the BEAVERHEAD RIVER will produce w/terrestrials, like Ants & Hoppers, or work in a Caddis Pupa or a PMD…reports are that Crane Flies are tapering off…best spots seem to be Hannebury on down! GEORGETOWN is hazy from the Sand Basin fire, though that one is totally contained SW of PBurg…try Zebra Midges or Lightning Bugs here…the BIG HOLE is slowing for Tricos but still going strong with terrestrials, not to mention Caddis Emergers…on the JEFFERSON, Tricos were the performing bug all week, followed by Chubbies & Caddis, but the river IS low due to irrigation use, so of course the temps are warm…& the haze from the Whitehall 19 MILE fire is thick, so use caution! As of Friday, this fire is just a couple miles from the Interstate, & heading SW, so before heading over this way from Butte & points west of Whitehall, please check online for the latest closures & reports.

Near BOZEMAN, HYALITE’S not going to be feasible over the weekend due to a fire in the Canyon, so skip the Reservoir and the Creek…access is going to be limited or impossible anyway…that’s a heartbreaker! Head to the GALLATIN instead…the fishing is GREAT in the Valley, though let’s face it….it’s gonna be SMOKY anywhere you go in the Gallatin Valley this weekend unless we get a substantial bit of wind. If you fish the Valley, go with terrestrials like a Morrish Hopper or a Ninja Cicada in a 14, or try a Wulffs or a Parachute Adams in the morning & get a nymph game on for the afternoon. You’ll have to fight the last bit of the Tube-ers on the LOWER MADISON for this final giant weekend of summer, but morning fishing is GRAND.  Try a Chubby in a neutral color with a Crayfish dropper, or a Crayfish on its own are good choices! Don’t be afraid to fish your Mud Bugs with a little action on the line…twitching them thru a bucket might draw strikes from the fish ignoring the dead drift. The UPPER MADISON has had steady terrestrial action, try an Amys Ant or a Fat Head Beetle Pattern in a 14-16 in the area above Lyons. Between Varney & Ennis, the wade traffic is up, but the area’s very productive for nymphing, so don’t miss out…try a Stonefly with a small Baetis Emerger dropper, we’ve heard of success with these! The YELLOWSTONE is solid thru town, much better than the reports we’ve heard from both up high and down lower! The Whitefish Bite is on with Beadheads, but Trout will eat Beadheads too, so try ’em! It’s a couple weeks out from the maniac Fall catches on the STONE, but that’ll happen, just you wait! We’ll be here to tell you when!

Avoid the smoke getting in your eyes and come on into our BUTTE or BOZEMAN stores for the BIG Labor Day Sale…Rods & Reel Combos are highlighted, or get yourself some LAYERS for the chill in the morning air at the best clearance clothing sale we’ve had in forever! Wherever you travel this weekend, stay safe and avoid the fires, & enjoy your last long weekend of summer! I’ll have MORE next week!