Bob Wards Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report 9/20/14
By Kamp Cook

Posted: September 20, 2014

Check out the latest hunting and fishing news from the Bozeman and Butte areas, courtesy of our friend Ryan at Bob Wards.


Archery, upland, and backcountry rifle seasons are in full swing so if you’re in need of gear swing on in and let us help you gear up. FWP is really adamant about being bear aware this season. We’ve already had a few encounters so carry your bear spray which is on special now at Bob Ward’s.

Upcoming opening dates:

Youth Pheasant/Waterfowl weekend – September 27 – 28th

Waterfowl October 4th

General Antelope/Pheasant – October 11th

Deer only Youth 2 Day Hunt – October 16 – 17



The Lower Madison is going to be changing with fall weather rolling in. Stick to nymphs in the coolest times of the day. Crayfish patterns have been effective and even more so when combined with a smaller bead head nymph dropper.

On the Upper Madison use larger nymphs and streamers and stick below the surface unless the water temps rise. If they do it could get the BWO mayfly hatch going but otherwise dries to use would be terrestrials.

Nymphing is the best bet on the Gallatin with maybe some dry flies mixed in to switch it up. Concentrate on later times of the day as the fishing has been better later. Some patterns to try are bead head pheasant tails, purple haze, and wooly buggers.

The Yellowstone mayfly hatch has been spotty but is going to be big sooner than later, use emergers and dries and you will have some fish on. The hopper dropper combos are still getting results.

Mountain Lake and Creek water temps are cooling off and the fish are actively feeding on the surface.  Focus on dry flies and concentrate on white winged patterns.


Butte Fishing:

Fall in Montana is the best time to get out on your favorite river for fly fishing. The crowds are hunting, the water is cooling, and the big trout are looking to put on weight before the ice freezes everything up.

The Big Hole has been fishing well and several hatches are ongoing.

The Trico hatches are thick on the North Fork where the water moves a little slower and the Brookies are gobbling chum.

The mayfly and caddis hatches are good on the rest of the river. Soft hackle partridge pheasant tail and partridge pheasant tail and partridge peacock can be fished semi-wet. Cripple calibastio and blue winged flies have been fishing well with a few fish taken on October Caddis.

The Beaverhead is seeing a fair share of Mayfly and Bactis hatches also.PMD’s, BWO’s, and a few Hahogany Duns are entering the big Browns and Rainbows. Yellow and Black Streamers and Sulpin Streamers are catching some Fish. Light Cahill and parachute BWO’s are filling mayfly imitations.

The Ruby Tailwater has been good fishing along the reservoir and dam. Terrestrials like bees and ants have been fishing well. Nymph fishing is always good.

Georgetown Reservoir dams have been great for baitfishing this month. Fish are definitely hungry for nightcrawlers and marshmallow rigs and Powerbait pellets. Or regular powerbait has been effective for trout. Orange and Orange Glitter is the best color combination.