If Your Fished Out, Check Out Bridger: Butte And Bozeman Outdoor Report
By Matt Schauer

Posted: December 15, 2012

Hello, Angie here from Bob Ward & Sons, over BUTTE & BOZEMAN way…here’s what’s FISHIN!

BOZEMAN got a little more snow overnight, but nothing to fret about…there’s some ice buildup in the upper stretch of the GALLATIN but the Valley is fishing like a Champ! Keep an eye on the deep holes with a steady (but not swift!) current, so food can be brought to the fish, & you’ll have your ideal spot! Midge Clusters are the trick right now, so get out your Griffiths Gnats & go for it! Streamer options include Black Buggers or Sculpzillas Micro Zonkers in Grey or Brown, or anything in the darker grey-black color range. The LOWER MADISON reports a little slush, but MOSTLY good stuff going on…Nymphing is really the best choice, so try a big bug on top like a Crayfish, Yuk Bug, or Sculpin, then use a small pink lightning bug, Baetis Nymph or Egg Pattern dropper…Midges have been reported by Bear Trap, so wait for a milder afternoon & get on over for a little winter dry fly action! On the UPPER MADISON, you want to look for the slower deeps around Ennis, drop in a Purple Hurless or Lightning Bug, or a Red Copper Johnson…or stick to stripping Hairly Sculpins or Fatheads in blacks, whites or olives. The YELLOWSTONE is reporting fish sipping Midges in the back eddies on milder afternoons, or swing a Copper Zonker, Leech Pattern or a Flash Fry Whitefish…all have been working!

Take a break & ski yourself some WICKED powder at Bridger Bowl this weekend…they are bragging of the best opening month they’ve had in years! They have a settled base of 45″, & have managed to rack up the powder in the past 48 hrs, so THIS might be a solid option if you are MOMENTARILY fished out!

BUTTE has snow & freezing rain conditions today, but the overall forecast shows a warming trend (into the 30’s) for next week…ice conditions continue to be stable at GEORGETOWN LAKE this week, & the fishing has been steady as a result! The bay areas around Denton’s Point or at Red Bridge have been excellent for rainbow hybrids or brookies. Windy conditions exist on the East Side of the Divide, making DELMOE less than a favorable spot…the anglers who persevered found moderate to good conditions, & success was had with Vertical Rapalla Jigs or the Northland Tackle #3 Buckshot Spoons…or that perennial favorite, chartreuse Glo Hooks tipped with maggots. CLARK CANYON is still frozen only around the edges, so not a good ICE spot yet…if we DO indeed get the warmer weather forecast, we won’t see CLARK CANYON iced up for a bit yet. Slushy conditions are reported on BIG HOLE thru the weekend, but into next week, we should see some bugs in the afternoons…Cluster Midges or Griffiths Gnats are possibilities here! The BEAVERHEAD has lots of freezing going on, with low visibility on the Lower, & the Dam to Pipe Organ is now closed, so you might give it a pass this week…the JEFF has the same sort of conditions, ice shelves & lousy clarity…if you just gotta go, deaddrifting Streamers might be the best shot at anything on either of these two rivers!

Stop by Saturday morning at the stores for our 3-hour Sale, followed by a 1-day Sale with the best prices since Black Friday on the sporting items you need to complete your shopping! Santa loves you sporting types & Bob Wards has the best of everything on your list! Meantime, stay tuned for more fishing advice straight from me to you, next week!