MT FWP announced that there will be restrictions on angling times to coolest parts of the day. The affected waters include the upper Big Hole, lower Madison, Smith, Dearborn, and Sun rivers where fishing will be prohibited between 2 p.m. and midnight. Signs explaining the local restrictions will be posted at fishing access sites.
The upper Madison still has some great fishing. The best times to hit the waters is the early to mid mornings and late evenings once the temps are cooling again. The hatches are not as heavy as they were but you can’t go wrong if you have PMD’s, caddis flies, and yellow humpies. Definitely throw some larger attractor flies even try some smaller nymph droppers. If you are nymphing try some darker rubber legs patterns.
The Lower Madison waters are getting very warm and it is starting to stress the fish. Hit the water early in the morning with some large attractor flies. As usual, the crayfish and sculpin patterns work well on this stretch with a small nymph dropper.
Yellowstone still has some fantastic fishing. Try dry flies in the mid to late morning. Also streamers (large stonefly and sculpin patterns) with a bead headed nymph through out the day.
On the Gallatin River terrestrials; ants, beetles, bees, and hoppers, are a great option. If you want to do some streamer fishing it is best early and late in the day.
The Big Hole River has slowed somewhat this past week. A few anglers are reporting that they are catching some nice fish. Whitefish are biting near Dickey Bridge and fly anglers are reporting good success drifting a large Purple Parachute with a Purple Prince dropper.
Hoot Owl floating restrictions on the Big Hole River went into effect Monday July 22nd. No floating is allowed on the upper Big Hole river from its headwaters to Dickey Bridge from 2 pm to midnight. This closure is also in effect on the Madison Rive r from Ennis Dam to the mouth.
Fishermen trolling Rapala Fire Crawdad Jointed Shad Raps in Size 7 are reporting good catches on Georgetown Lake. Bait fishermen casting nightcrawlers with marshmallows also are reporting good numbers of fish.
Caddis flies in Brown or tan, Goddard Caddis, or Hemmingway Caddis are fishing well on the Upper Ruby River. Mosquitos and Adams have been working well also.
With the first hay cutting out of the way or well underway in South West Montana, watch this week for grasshopper action on the rivers and streams. We are seeing a few of the larger hoppers appearing in the area. Hopper action should pick up greatly the next few weeks.
(Report by Ryan Corwin – Bob Ward and Sons; Cover Photo: lastbestoutfitters.com)