The BEST time on the water is now!!! Our waters are always changing in Montana. This year’s winter snow melt and thunderstorms took a tad longer than normal to flush out our watersheds. As the water levels lower and clear, get your rods, boats, flies, and spinners wet.
YELLOWSTONE RIVER Hallelujah, the river is fishable! I traveled the entire length of the river from Gardiner to Livingston and saw almost no fishing pressure, but the water is clear enough to fish. The water is still high and a tad dangerous. Hydraulics are still present. Fish will be near the bank. The Big Bugs are above Gardiner, but the fish will still be looking. Basic Caddis, PMDs, and attractors will do the trick. Use a dropper off your surface presentations. Copper Johns and Lightening bugs are a good choice. Streamers like Zonkers and Wooly Buggers are the ticket. Remember that Black Flies Matter!
GALLATIN RIVER The water is still about 300 CFS high but the water is clear and fishable. When I drove from Gallatin Gateway to Yellowstone Park, I saw less than a dozen fishermen. Most were rookies that could not cast very well. Above Taylors Fork, the river looks great. Fishing in the Park looked perfect. Use basic surface flies and adapt as you see active fish. A few Salmon Flies are still popping up. Golden Stones are around as well. Use attractor stimulators and add a dropper to encourage bites. Stay close to the bank or fish structure that you can safely reach. Using the Big stonefly nymphs is still a good idea. I found several big bugs under one rock that I turned over. The Pats Brown Rubber legs, or the Tur Blossom will do the deal.
MADISON RIVER/ UPPPER Oh Yea! Almost anything in your box is on the menu! There are still a few Salmon flies and other fishermen may Bug you. The Guide Hatch is heavy From Lyons Bridge down to Ennis! Walk / wade guides were also heavy at Raynold’s Pass and below Hegben Dam. I saw no fishermen along the Madison in Yellowstone Park, but the tourist traffic was backed up several blocks in West Yellowstone.
LOWER The Hoot Owl restriction is in effect until August 15th.
Please practice proper Catch and Release techniques.
For more Montana Grant, find him fishing at www.montanagrantfishing.com.