Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward and Sons – 9.27.13
By angelamontana

Posted: September 27, 2013



Next hunting seasons coming up….

  • Pheasants Saturday October 12th
  • General Antelope Saturday October 12th
  • General Deer and Elk Saturday October 26th

Make sure you check for wolf and bear closures in your targeted hunting units.

Elk hunters: MT FWP are saying that the elk population numbers seem to be remaining stable with the highest populations in Dillon , Pioneer Mountains, and Shields Valley (access to this area is limited due to it predominately being private.) The Upper Gallatin and Paradise Valley are starting to see their populations become more stable and are not declining any more. Yes, this area was hit hard due to wolf and other predation but regulations have been changed to balance that. This is predicted to be a good year, depending of course on weather, cold weather.

Deer hunters: This area has not been hit with the EHD that has been effecting the western deer populations. The mule deer population is still down and the protection in place for them is to create a lot of permit-only areas. Be sure to check out what you can, and cannot tag.

The whitetail populations are hanging in the river bottoms but seem to be flourishing.

Antelope hunters: Numbers seem to be stable but not as good as in years past. There are the same if not a little less than last year which led to the reduction of doe tags offered. We’re hoping for a stronger year next year.


Fall is here and this means you are going to have to try a little harder to attract the fish. At this point in the year the fish are pickier and are eating less and less often, so your opportunity to get a fish on are going to be a challenge, but if you come equipped with the right flies you will see your chances increase. It’s suggested to user a longer leader now (the typical summer length is about 9 feet) you should be using a 12 foot leader for fall.

With the cooler days now the beatis hatch is just around the corner for all the rivers and streams in the area. Good fall flies include beatis, small olive Mayflies, smaller beetles, small para hoppers and winged ants (their migration will be starting soon).

The temperatures are lending to better fishing later in the day, from noon to early evening.

Nymphing is still very successful. Great nymphs to use are san juan worms, copper bob green, red attractor, rainbow warrior, hare’s ear, prince nymph flashback, zug bugs, and MRE’s. Also try casting a sculpin followed by a smaller nymph.



Cooler temperatures and rain has greatly helped the fishing conditions in Southwest Montana the past few weeks.

The Beaverhead River has been the most consistent this summer with regulated flows from Clark Canyon reservoir. Size 5 Rapalas in Rainbow, brown trout, and Gold consistently hit in many areas of the river. Golden Stonefly Nymphs and some Olive Nymphs were effective this past week. October Caddis are attracting the surface feeding trout.

Maiden Rock fishing access has been improving this past week on the Big Hole River. Spruce Moths are developing some surface action. Large Purple Haze Parachutes have been a good choice as well. Panther Martin Spinners or Countdown Rapalas are a must for spin fishermen.

Georgetown Lake has been slow this past week for all fishermen. Perhaps the barometer change this week might change that.

The Jefferson has slowed a little but bar-legged Golden Stonefly nymphs have still worked magic. Night crawlers are always a good bet if you don’t have any live grasshoppers. Black and Chartreuse Panther Martins are always a good lure.

(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward and Sons; Cover photo:

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