Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report Bob Ward's Sports and Outdoors

Bozeman Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 2.24.17
By angelamontana

Posted: February 24, 2017

Bozeman Fishing

Hyalite reservoir- ice is starting to break up. This makes the ice very dangerous and unstable. That said, Fishing has been best early in the morning and when the sun goes down. Try jigging a maggot very shallow on the weeds or next to the dam start shallow and work your way towards deeper water to find fish.

Ennis- Ice is about 11 inches thick. fishing has been good in the mornings close to the dam but be careful because ice strength can vary so close to a dam and its constantly weakening with this warm weather. Jigs tipped with maggots and worms seem to do well, as well as spoons with scent.. Trout generally stick close to the ice so start shallow and work down the water column. Try an egg also as whitefish are spawning.

Ponds in town- Bozeman beach has been popular for trout and perch  and seems to fish well in the morning. The Bozeman pond fishes well mostly during night hours. A jig with a grub attached will usually pull some fish up. Try a spoon or Swedish pimple for some larger fish.

Madison river- fishing is good throughout bear trap canyon. Watch out for heavy winds and shelf ice. Nymphing is best with small bright midge patterns. Try a chartreuse egg and a small pink lightning bug in front of and behind rocks and through seams as well as a heavy crayfish, stonefly or streamer dead drifted through deep pools. On the upper Madison fishing has been great with the same nymphs producing. You can have some good luck with streamers up there now. Try a bright pattern.

Gallatin- The fishing has been decent the past few sunny days. fish can still be caught in the canyon with a Rubberlegs pattern or small midge. On sunny calm days keep your small dry fly box handy as some midges have been hatching.  Use stealth and approach fish carefully as they are mostly in calm, deep water. Watch for shelf ice as it weakens as well.


Butte Fishing

Georgetown is frozen solid and ice fishermen are plying the water through little round holes, with good success. Flies will work under the ice! Use hot bead scuds and sow bugs, prince nymphs and other small beadheads or leaches.

The Clark is probably your best bet to find fish rising consistently in the winter below Missoula.  On warmer afternoons, look to the slicks and inside eddy line for fish up feeding on them.  But the best bet will be to nymph, and perhaps streamer fish. As for what nymphs to use, try a San Juan Worm with a prince to start (or any of your favorite nymphs).

Look for soft seams and back eddies and don’t count out dead water. We’ve noticed some days they want pink bling, other days it’s a brown, black, or tan rubber legs… in the winter experiment a bit – both in the type of water to fish and the pattern selections.

Above all exercise caution on the ice.

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