Big Game General opens this weekend! Check your gear list and pick up anything that’s missing or needs replacing at Bob Ward’s! Remember to double check regulations and sync your GPS with the latest maps.
With the cooler nights and shorter days, we are seeing more activity from brown trout. They are chasing streamers from the headwaters all the way up to Big Sky. Fishing medium sized 3 inch streamers will get consistent action but some of the larger browns are also hitting big articulated streamers as well. Bwo’s are showing in some sections of the Gallatin. Bring a few Purple Hazes’ for some of the last dry fly fishing of the season. The nymphing has really turned on with fish starting to hold in those predictable winter holding spots. Look for the foam seam lines.
Madison River: Upper
The Valley Gardens area and in between the lakes has been fishing good but there are droves of fisherman in these spots. The rest of the upper has far fewer people and the fishing has been just as good. Three Dollar bridge has had great fishing and has not had as much fishing pressure as some of the other areas. More fish have started to chase down streamers with the cooler weather. Nymphing with stoneflies and mayflies will continue to be good the entire length of the river. Dead drifting a small streamer with a dropper under an indicator should get you into some action as well.
Madison River: Lower
The flow from Ennis Dam has changed three times in the last week and this has slowed the fishing. The fish here are greatly affected by the river flow and a few days with consistent river flow should pick the fishing back up. Crayfish patterns have been a steady option, with worms and small may fly imitations picking up fish as well. Dry fly fishing has been consistent midday on the edges with pseudos. Look for blue wing olives on cool cloudy days. Fish olive streamers at a fast pace and focus fishing them on the buckets from bank to bank.
Recent rain sent a little bit of color through the Yellowstone lately but the river should still fish alright. Streamer fishing has been ideal on cloudy cool days. Try small dark olive patterns fished with a slow retrieve for consistent action. Bwo’s are out and fish are looking up at them. October caddis, Tricos & Blue wings are probably going to be the most prevalent bug life. Putting some nymphs down deep in the buckets has started to work well this week. Try some stoneflies, Zonkers and Zurdlers.
The cooler weather this week will hopefully kick start the big fall Baetis hatch on the Missouri. So far it has been the small Pseudos’ that are popping off but we are forecasted for more of the cooler weather coming over the next week. The steamer fishing has finally started to get good on the Missouri with browns and rainbows both going after the meat. If this isn’t your preferred method and you haven’t come across any Bwo’s yet, get out the nymph box. The classics like Scuds and Ray Charles’ will consistently bring in fish.
Sizable hatches or trico and drakes were found on the Big Hole this past week. Jerry Creek to George Grant was backing with fish eagerly gulping everything that was flying. Many of the fisherman caught up in the frenzy are grabbing up these flies to hit the river again this week. Caddis flies are still a great option as well.
Clark Canyon and the Ruby Reservior have been fishing very slowly. Lots of boats without many fish. Harrison Reservoir has been somewhat better.
Not much to report on the other rivers this week as Hoot Owl restrictions have kept a damper on the fishing.
(Report by Ryan Corwin – Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors)