Gallatin River Fishing Report by Gallatin River Guides 1.21.18
By angelamontana

Posted: January 25, 2018

Gallatin River Guides has this week’s fishing report for you here:

Should be a good window through the middle of the week to get out on the Gallatin. May take a while for some days to warm up, but highs look to mostly be in the high 20s and low 30s for the week. And more clouds in the sky should make trout a little less shy. Give us a shout at 406-995-2290 if you need more info to get you out on the water this week.

Great week for a mid day Half Day Walk Wade on the Gallatin and we have some of our best guides chomping at at the bit to take you out.

We have seen a good amount of midges, and fish willing to eat on the surface over the last few weeks, but the most productive fishing has been subsurface with small Rubber Legs, worms, eggs and bigger midge larvae. Think red for wormy looking stuff. Best fishing from Big Sky north to about Lava Lake. Below that there are opportunities as well, but more ice to contend with and colder water temps. Some folks are struggling to find fish, but mostly due to water and fly selection. Once you find a good number of fish and the right bugs you’re golden.

Interested in winter fly fishing, but worried about safety on the river? Check out Pat’s latest article for Explore Big .Sky

Fishing the canyon in winter requires some effort for sure. You have limited sun (assuming it’s a sunny day), limited access and walking to and from the river can be a chore. Not to mention all the gear you have to wear and the additional prep work.

If it’s a sunny day you have to consider if you’re favorite piece of water is in the sun or not. Sometimes fish need the sun in winter to become more active, but it also means you are more likely to spook them. If you can keep your body in the shadows, but cast to water that is exposed to sunlight you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Although there are many pullouts in the canyon, some of our favorite campgrounds and sneaky access points are covered in snow and not accessible. And not all water is equal, ever, but especially in winter. There are spots where fish pod up and there is a lot of water that is mostly void of fish. To be successful in winter you need to find where the high concentrations of fish are hanging out.

We also recommend wadering up at home or here at the shop before heading out. You’ll stay warmer if you do. And boots tend to fish a little tighter in winter, so if they’re dry or frozen you may need to pour some warm water on them to get the day started. Also, it feels nice to have warm boots on right out of the gate!
Find up to date weather reports here

Smaller Pat’s Rubber Legs, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Lighting Bugs, Midge patterns have been producing. Highly recommend keeping the Rubber Legs or similar pattern as your point fly and playing around with smaller droppers.
Streamers – Smaller is better, slowly stripped or swung. Slow is key.
Dries – Griffiths Gnat.

(feature photo via Gallatin River Guides)


Mega Prince
Mega Prince

Dai-Riki #280 6-12
Black 6/0
Copper or Nickel
Brown Grizzly Marabou andBarred Crazy Legs Olive/Green Flake
Antenna and Legs
Barred Crazy Legs, Olive Green Flake
Peacock Herl
Brassie or Medium Copper Wire
Hungarian Partridge
Turkey Biots White