The streams and reservoirs of Southwestern Montana near Butte are providing excellent fishing opportunities. Many of the locals are heading out to the Missouri, Hauser, Canyon Ferry as well as the local favorites.
The rivers around Butte have been running pretty muddy with the present warming trend. Wooly buggers, and brightly colored streamers are best choices with the murky conditions. In clearer tailwaters, beadhead nymphs such as pheasant tail or flashback princes are excellent choices. March and April are excellent months for small blue winged Olives and Marched Browns.
The Jefferson was good fishing last week for bait casters drifting night crawlers in the deeper pocket waters. Bright Rapalas have had some success in the muddy waters as well.
The Beaverhead has had similar stream characteristics as the Big Hole and Jefferson. Stock yourself with a spring fly assortment and you should have a great day of fishing.
The anglers are reporting seeing faster waters and some more color to the water due to the snow melt stirring things up. This weekend will be a little cooler but not enough for the water to clear.
On the Upper Madison we’re still hearing of good results using a stone fly nymph trailing a midge larva or bead head nymphs. Don’t forget, the Blue Winged Olives are just starting to hatch, you might get some good action on those too.
The Lower Madison as with the upper is seeing the BWO hatch and dry flies have been effective in luring the fish in the evening and on shadier days. If BWOs aren’t working try throwing some sculpins, worms and crayfish.
Over on the Yellowstone some hatches are happening, but nymphing is still your best bet. Stonefly nymphs with a beadhead or midge larvae will help avoid a letdown.
Gallatin River Fish are not picky, eating a variety of nymphs now including stoneflies, midges, baetis, and all-around attractor nymphs like princes and pheasant tails.