Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 4.20.18
By angelamontana

Posted: April 20, 2018

Bozeman Fishing:

Gallatin: Nymphing remains solid with Rubberlegs and other stonefly nymphs as well as small attractors like Copper Johns and Little Green Machines, Firebead Ray Charles’ have been a good second fly. San Juan Worms, buggers and small sculpins have been working well too, especially when it warms up a little and the water gets a little color to it.

Lower Madison: Depending on the day and the area, the fish are still on the spring bugs program looking for one or two combos including a crawdad, San Juan Worm, Ray Charles or other scud/sowbug imitations, midge pupa or Hare’s Ear. Midges are still the priority and are coming off heavily. Crawfish have been particularly good now that the fish are more active.

Upper Madison: Eggs and flashy San Juan Worms are a good place to start with fly selection. Stonefly nymphs, Midge pupas and Baetis nymphs are also solid choices if they aren’t eating the pink stuff. Midges and Baetis are hatching and it seems pretty important to have a good selection of emergers and adults when the hatches get going. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a fish or two prospecting a large skwalla, dropping a small midge below this will definitely produce fish.

Yellowstone: Purple Haze’s, Parachute Adams and Royal Wulff’s have been working if the fish are willing to rise. Nymphing has been good with a number of flies including a Rubberlegs, Wooly Buggers, small sculpin patterns, San Juan Worms, Midge pupa, Baetis nymphs, or Firebead Rainbow Weight fly’s. The majority of fish are still in the deep holes and soft inside corners or soft banks.

 

Butte Fishing:

Receding ice has provided great bank fishing on the Ruby Reservoir & Clark Canyon Reservoir. Anglers are fishing night crawlers & marshmallows about a foot off the bottom & catching fish cruising the open water. Crystal minnows, wooly buggers, & scuds are providing some action for the fly anglers. The road going into Delmo is muddy at best with deep snow in the shaded areas making driving impossible except by 4-wheelers.

The Beaverhead has been running clear for the most part below Pipe Organ Bridge. Anglers casting mepps on panther martin lures are hooking up some nice fish. Fly anglers are sticking to conventional streamers, beadhead nymphs, & midges on warmer days. Zebra midges, hot pink ray Charles, & prince nymphs are good bets. PMD’s & march browns provide some surface activity.

The Bighole River is coming up in level but running clear this week. Spinners & crank baits are working well. White fish flies are catching plenty of brooke trout on the Upper & near Dickie Bridge. Mdges, beadheads, san juan worms, purple prince nymphs are good choices.