Hello, Angie here from Bob Ward & Sons, & we’ve got your ICE all over, over BUTTE & BOZEMAN way…
The anglers in the BOZEMAN area are all excited about what’s going on up at HYALITE… 4 – 5″ & a bit thicker around the parking lot by the Dam, which for now seems to be the hot (or COLD!) spot—one angler said he found the EVENING fishing best & caught his fill of Brookies & Cutthroat…HEBGEN has 6-7″ EXCEPT at the Dam & Grayling Arm, where there are springs that keep the water too warm…the Ponds around Bozeman town are frozen but the ice is THIN, so be cautious if planning a quick trip to any of these! If you’re interested in what the rivers are doing, best bets are still either the UPPER or the LOWER MADISON…both are strong for Streamer bite yet, so strip a Black Leech or a Silveys Sculpin on the UPPER, or try Brown Flash Fry or Buggers on the LOWER…mid-Valley is the ONLY place for open water on the GALLATIN, & fish are biting the cluster rigs, so try a Griffiths Gnat here…the YELLOWSTONE has open water only above Yankee Jim, & is fishing well in the afternoons mostly with Delektible Brownstones, Crayfish or Olive or Rusty Orange Rubberlegs…otherwise you’re gonna find icy, slushy conditions, so use the usual winter caution on these rivers!
BUTTE anglers have had some amazing success at GEORGETOWN LAKE this week, with some arguing for Comers as the best place, & others like Piney Point or Dentons better…but all agree that 6:00 a.m. is the winning start time, and fish on thru to mid-morning for sweet results! Swedish Pimples with Rocker droppers, tipped with a maggot was a favorite combo…DELMOE’s sporting a decent 7-8″ of ice, & you can’t beat Chartreuse Glo Hooks tipped with maggots. CLARK CANYON has 8+” of ice & folks are pulling out browns and rainbows all over! Other than the BEAVERHEAD, which has some open water and decent Nymphing going on, the other area rivers like the BIG HOLE are iced up & not productive, or like the JEFFERSON, slushy, windy and not productive…BEAVERHEAD has also been seeing a bit of Streamer Bite, so take your smaller, bright colored uglies and see what you can strip out of the river this weekend!
Pop on into the stores where it’s always warm, and let us know how the ice has been treating you! Happy New Year to all our friends and neighbors from your Bob Wards, & we’ll talk to you next week in 2013!