The Gallatin is fishable in the Canyon still but most other sections have ice flows that are going to make fishing hard. The Canyon gets the least amount of ice due to the speed of the water. It’s time to fish small winter stoneflies. The adults are only about an inch in length. You can match this with a worm or caddis nymph. Size 18 or 20 Mayfly nymphs are also a good dropper this time of year. Another plus about fishing in the Canyon is you are near your vehicle when you need to warm up. With the couple of warmer days this week, fishing should get a little better.
Madison River: Upper
The Upper Madison is pretty slushy all the way up to Raynolds Pass but should be pretty clear right below the dam. There have been good midge hatches coming off between the lakes and up around Raynold’s. The river gets pretty icy lower down, so you’ll want to head up high for the best fishing. Nymphing is best for numbers with midges, worms, rubberlegs, eggs all taking fish. Streamer fishing isn’t great with the water being too cold for fish to chase much.
Madison River: Lower
There isn’t much water from Warm Springs down to the Headwaters that is fishable. This cold spell has really built up some ice. To fish the Lower you will need to head into Beartrap or to below the Dam. The Dam has been fishing good with the classic tail water patterns. Scuds, shrimp, Ray Charles and Zebra midges. Small eggs and Mayfly nymphs are working too. During the warmest part of the day fish are just below the surface eating. If you spot some tailing fish, lighten your rig and try some small soft hackles. Fishing should be better this week with a couple warmer days.
The Yellowstone River has plenty of ice in it at the moment and is probably not a great option until things warm up a bit.
Fishing has been good everywhere this week according to local reports.
Georgetown has been fishing well for trout and kokanee alike. Vertical jigs, glo hooks tipped with maggots, or nightcrawler rigs are producing good catches. Cocktail shrimp works well for the kokanee.
Clark Canyon has been fishing fair for ling near the dam end. Trout have been plentiful on the west end as are the fishermen. Good catches are being taken on the Red Rock end in the river channel. Maggots, grubs, and nightcrawlers are good choices.
The Ruby Reservoir has been excellent fishing this past week. Suspended bait on glow hook has produced the best results. Fishing the bottom is producing suckermeat. Maggots suspended 15 to 20 feet will bring home the trout.
Delmo Reservoir is producing a few fish on nightcrawlers and marshmallows however the fish numbers are down this winter
(Report via Ryan Corwin – Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors)