With spring turkey season open opening April 12th and black bear just a little later, April 15th, gearing up now is advisable. This includes grabbing a copy of the regulations at your local Bob Ward’s.
Nymphing is still the name of the game. Use smaller sized stone flies like the pats stone in black body with olive legs or brown bodied with olive legs. The double bead head peacock stone black biot has been really tripping the trigger. Keep using the worm patterns. We suggest the bead head pearl power worm in purple and red. Egg patterns are still working very well along with midges and attractor nymphs. (Chironomid green and red/black, copper bobs, prince nymphs, and zug bugs are good to have with you.) The Yellowstone is still slow going but you may have some luck if you stick with it. The Upper Madison is okay but has been really windy and uncooperative in the weather. The two hot spots are the Gallatin and the Lower Madison.
Ice fishing is at a rapid conclusion with deteriorating ice conditions in Southwest Montana. On the other hand, as water opens up around a cold floating ice mass, fish are aggressively feeding in the open water.
Clark Canyon Reservior, Georgetown Lake and others are providing excellent fishing opportunities from shore. Trout have been biting on beadhead nymphs, stripped streamers and spinning gear.
The Clark Fork and Big Hole River have been good fishing the past few days for fly anglers and spin fishermen alike. Local anglers know the Big Hole is artificial lures only and catch and release until the 3rd Saturday in May.
The Beaverhead and Jefferson Rivers are open year around. The Beaverhead River is closed below the dam to Pipe Organ Bridge until the 3rd Saturday in May.
(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward & Sons)