Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report Bob Ward's Sports and Outdoors

Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors (4.22.16)
By angelamontana

Posted: April 22, 2016

The Gallatin

The river is becoming fishable again in and above the canyon, only being slightly off colored. Below the Taylor Fork, The run off is still coming in from the Bridger’s, making the water murky and dirty. While Caddis flies aren’t starting their hatch yet, the fish are still feeding  on caddis and mayfly nymphs. Stoneflies and worms are still productive, as well as small, darker colored  streamers

Suggested Flies

Dries: Griffiths Gnat


Nymphs: WD 40

Bead Head WMD Stone-Black

Copper Bob-Red, Black, Purple

Bead Head Flashback Hares Ear,

Pat’s Stone- Olive/Black, Black/Brown, Brown Olive

Bead Head Power Worm- Red, Purple,

Streamers: Brownish Bugger

Kellers Mouthwash, Black/Red

Wooly Bugger-Black

Lower Madison

The Caddis Hatch has started! Fish have not started keying in on adults, but are going after emergers. As the hatch starts heatng up, don’t be afraid to though on something other than a caddis. Tie on a stimi Chew toy as it will give the fish something new, and they will be eager to take it. Water clarity is still low, so tie off that emerger behind a Bead Head Power worm or Pat’s stone

Suggested Flies

Dries: X Wing Caddis- Brown, Tan.

Elk Hair Caddis- Brown, Tan, Black

Stimi Chew Toy- Yellow, Tan

Nymphs: Bead Head Power Worm- Red, Pink

Pats Stone- Black/olive, Brown, Olive

copper bob- Red, Purple

Lightning bug


Streamers- Kellers Mouth Wash- Green, tan, Black

Brownish Bugger

Conehead Wooly Bugger- Black, Brown

Upper Madison

The Upper is Still Fishing Well above Hebgen and through out the Miracle Mile, While Runoff is still happening through the lower sections of the river. Full run off should be in effect within the next 2 weeks, as Quake lake starts filling with dirt. Small streamers, along with flashy nymphs behind a stonefly should work well. BWO hatches can be spotted throughout the day, so be prepaired for the possibility of dry fly fishing!

Suggested Flies

Nymphs : Bead Head Power Worm-Red, Pink, Purple

Copper Bob- Red, Pearl, Silver

Lightning Bug- Silver, Pink

Flashback Pheasant tail

Dries: Para BWO

Hi vis BWO

Griffiths Gnat

Streamers- Conehead Wooly Bugger- Black, Olive

Circus Peanut- Olive, Black

Kellers Mouth Wash- Olive, Yellow, Black

Zonker- White, Olive


Colder Temperatures have slowed down the runoff, allowing for better fishing along the banks, The Caddis Hatch has started on the Stone as well, so toss a CDC emerger in Tan Or an X wing Caddis a long the Bank, and watch for those rises! Streamers have also been productive along  the banks and drop offs.

 Suggested Flies

Dries: X Wing Caddis- Orange, Brown, Tan

Elk Hair Caddis


Griffiths Nat

Nymphs: CDC Emerger- Orange, Tan

Copper Bob-Red, Green

Lightning bug-Silver, Pearl

Bead Head Pearl Worm

Pats Stone, Olive, Black

Kaufman Stone- Golden

Prince Nymph

Prince Hairy

Flashback Hares Ear

Streamers: Zonker- Olive

Brownish Bugger

Conehead Wooly bugger- Black, olive

Circus Peanut- Black, Olive

Conehead Maribou Muddler

Butte Fishing:

Spawning trout have been the primary target for anglers this past month. With surface temperatures warming, the trout become active feeders. Combing the shoreline or feeding near the surface, ample opportunities to catch bigger trout are made available to bank fishermen and float fishermen alike. Fly fishermen are catching up to 30 or 40 fish with each outing by matching the local menu. Leech patterns such as Wooly Buggers, Hothead leeches, or dozens of others are extremely effective. San Juan worm droppers or a variety of Chironomiad patterns (zebra Midge, Olive Midge, WD40, Rainbow Warriors, Etc.) have filled anglers creels by enticing fish to strike.

Canyon Ferry, Holter, and Hauser Reservior are filled with spawning trout at present. Clark Canyon Reservoir and the Ruby should become active in the near future.

The Jefferson River, Beaverhead River and the Big Hole are fishing well to streamers and nymphs. Warmer temps are bringing on small hatches. PMD’s Blue Wing Olives, and Marsh Browns are excellent choices. Panther Martin lures and Rapalas are great for spin fisherman.