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

Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 5.13.16
By angelamontana

Posted: May 13, 2016


Upper Madison

The upper Madison has been fishing well higher up, particularly above the west fork. Dry fly action has been picking up, and fish are keying in on Blue Winged Olives and Midges, mainly on those higher sections of the river. We’ve even heard some reports of strikes on Chubbies. Nymphing has been great as well, so try using a mayfly nymph trailing behind a stonefly. The fish have started chasing streamers as well, so stripping or swinging a sculpin pattern or a whitefish imitation is worth a try. With the nymphs, smaller the better and don’t forget your split shot.

Lower Madison

After this weeks flow mishap, water has been slowly coming back to more productive and consistent. But, flows are still a bit high so watch your step! While the fish typically aren’t feeding until the evening, they will take an emerger trailing a stonefly or crawfish/san juan combo. If the fish aren’t taking your fly, try throwing a small stimulator or a mayfly, as your fly may be just getting lost in the masses. Streamer fishing will also pick up, so stripping a woolybugger or sculpzilla may be worth a go.


Everything down stream from Taylors Fork is still intermittent at best, but has been producing some fish at least. Upstream from the taylors for is still very cold, and still no dries have been seen. Mayflies and worms trailing a stonefly will be the way to go. Smaller nymph patterns recommended.


Still fairly blown out. While there are better options out there, you may just be surprised with a nice fish if you’re willing to stick it out. If you are insistent on fishing here , stick to the banks, throwing big dark streamers, like a Galloups Boogie Man or Dungeon, Or a Coffeys Sparkle Minnow in Brown.



Fishing on the Big Hole slowed this past week due to spring run-off and muddy conditions. Yellow and white or yellow and black streamers were enticing a few browns. San Juan worms were effective but light colored Golden Stone fly nymphs were a good choice.

The Jefferson River is seeing a few may fly hatches. Soft hackle pheasant tails in size 16, and march browns have been effective flies. Small midges and beadhead nymphs are also great choices. Brown Trout or Rainbow Rapalas are great lures for spin fishermen as well as Panther Martin lures. Green and black or yellow and black are good colors.  Bait fishermen are welcomed on the Jefferson and night crawlers are the preferred bait.

The Beaverhead is fishing fair this week. Blue Wing Olivers and PMD’s in size 14 or 16 are a good bet. Maralsum Streamers and Wooly Buggers are great choices.

Bank fishing on the Ruby, Clark Canyon, or Delmo Reservoir has been good. Spin fishermen and bait fishermen are catching daily limits.