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

Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 8.12.16
By angelamontana

Posted: August 12, 2016


Gallatin-  As of 7/01/16 there is a Hoot Owl closure in effect From Shed’s bridge to the confluence of the Missouri. the fish are getting wise to many spruce moth patterns so covering water is the best bet when fishing moths. The water is extremely clear so downsize your leader and tippet. Nocturnal stonefly’s are active so using a chubby at the very beginning and end of the day should work well. PMD’s and caddis are coming off all day so dropping a soft hackle underneath a dry fly is a good bet.

Flies- olive elk hair caddis #12-14 purple haze #16-18 chubby Chernobyl #8-10 pheasant tail soft hack #14-16 hares ear #14-18

Upper Madison- PMD’s and yellow sallies are prevalent hatches right now. Hoppers are starting to show so a hopper dropper rig is a great bet. Try using a pheasant tail or hares ear. There are a few spruce moths showing so try a bigger caddis to imitate these bugs. Streamers in both very bright and very dark colors are working well too.

Flies-  Elk Hair Caddis: 14-16-18 moorish hopper tan #8-12 Chubby Orange: 8-10-12-14 pheasant tail #12-16 hares ear #14-18

Lower Madison-  As of 6/30/16 there has been a Hoot Owl closure on the Lower Madison, fishing is allowed from midnight until 2pm. The Bikini hatch is in full swing. The only reason to fish the lower is if you can very early in the morning. Fighting fish in warm water can increase mortality rates significantly.

Yellowstone-  **As of 8/08 Hoot Owl closures have been moved down river to Springdale fishing access down to the confluence of the Clark Fork.** The best fishing appears to be above yankee Jim canyon. Hoppers, caddis and PMD’s are all good patterns to try. This time of year a hopper dropper rig is a great bet as you can cover multiple water depths. A lightning bug or small stonefly imitation would make a great dropper. The river is still warm so fighting fish can be harmful mid-day, luckily the best hatches are in the evenings anyways with caddis and PMD’s. Streamers are picking fish up as well

Flies-  Elk Hair Caddis Olive & Tan 12-18 Griffith’s Nat: 18-20-22  Yellow Stimulator: 10-12-14-16 Copper  Bob red, yellow, lime, copper: 12-16 olive/white zonker   Large black sex dungeon



Drought conditions have placed more restrictions on the rivers in Southwest Montana limiting fishing access. Warm water temps have pushed the bigger trout to deeper and cooler water for better living conditions.

Grasshopper conditions are good on the Big Hole, Jefferson, and Ruby Rivers. Size 12 patterns are the most effective presently.

The Beaverhead has been better fishing because of dam regulated water levels. Caddis Mosquito and terrestrial patterns have been good. Golden stone nymphs in size 8 or 10 have shown promise as a dropper.

The lower Big Hole, Beaverhead, and Ruby Rivers have been reassigned Hoot Owl restrictions so check the Fish and Wildlife website for current restrictions.

Reservior fishing has been fair at Delmo, Harrison Lake, Clark Canyon, and Georgetown Reservior. A variety of crankbaits, lures and baits are suggested.