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

Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 2.3.17
By angelamontana

Posted: February 3, 2017

Hyalite reservoir- ice is about 10-12 inches thick. Fishing has been best early in the morning and when the sun goes down. Try jigging a maggot very shallow on the weeds or next to the dam start shallow and work your way towards deeper water to find fish. Grayling may be caught in shallow water in the far back and cutthroat have been fishing well on the north end on the deeper sections.

Ennis- Ice is about 12-14 inches thick. fishing has been good in the mornings close to the dam but be careful because ice strength can vary so close to a dam. Jigs tipped with maggots and worms seem to do well as well as tip ups with small minnows. Trout generally stick close to the ice so start shallow and work down the water column. Try an egg as whitefish are spawning.

Ponds in town- Bozeman beach has been popular for trout and seems to fish well in the morning. The Bozeman pond fishes well mostly during night hours. A jig with a grub attached will usually pull some fish up. Try a spoon or Swedish pimple for some larger fish.

Holder lake- ice is about 13 inches thick. Fishing has been good for perch on the back end of the lake jigging wax worms on the bottom.

Madison river- fishing is good throughout beartrap canyon. Watch out for heavy winds and shelf ice. Nymphing is best with small bright midge patterns. Try a chartreuse egg and a small pink lightning bug in front of and behind rocks and through seams.

Butte Fishing:
Georgetown is frozen solid and ice fishermen are plying the water through little round holes, with good success. Flies will work under the ice! Use hot bead scuds and sow bugs, prince nymphs and other small beadheads or leaches.

The Clark is probably your best bet to find fish rising consistently in the winter below Missoula. On warmer afternoons, look to the slicks and inside eddy line for fish up feeding on them. But the best bet will be to nymph, and perhaps streamer fish. As for what nymphs to use, try a San Juan Worm with a prince to start (or any of your favorite nymphs).
Look for soft seams and back eddies and don’t count out dead water. We’ve noticed some days they want pink bling, other days it’s a brown, black, or tan rubber legs… in the winter experiment a bit – both in the type of water to fish and the pattern selections.

Above all exercise caution on the ice.