Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 5.11.18
By angelamontana

Posted: May 11, 2018

Bozeman Fishing:

Gallatin River:

After the recent rains, the water has been muddy and flowing heavily – in the last 2 weeks it has doubled to 3500+ CFS. If you like to streamer fish, this would be a good time to take big swings. In the meantime, we recommend waiting until this storm system moves out.

Recommended Flies: Pats Rubber Legs, CH Wooly Bugger Black/Olive, Hothead Worm, DB 20-Incher

Yellowstone River:

DO NOT FLOAT OR FISH – The Yellowstone is above 8 feet (15,500 CFS) in Livingston as of this morning and is extremely dangerous. There are better, and safer, options nearby!

Lower Madison:

Like most other water this time of year, the Lower Madison is rutty with mud and high from spring runoff. With that being said: we are seeing good dry-bites on Elk Hair Caddis, and if the sun comes out you can fish an emerger with a lot of success. Fins slow moving pockets!

Recommended Flies: Soft Hackle, BWO Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis Brown or Black, Natural Zonker

Upper Madison:

The further you go up river, the better the water clarity (and the fishing!) will be. You will find all-day success on bigger Nymphs like the Pat’s, and will get dry fly eats with smaller BWO’s.

Recommended Flies: Pat’s Rubber Legs, BWO Emerger, BWO (16), Elk Hair Caddis Brown or Black, CH Wooly Bugger Black/Olive


Butte Fishing:

The rivers of Southwest Montana are blown out presently & running mud & silt. The Big Hole is will over 5000cfs which puts the Jefferson & Missouri rivers very high as well. The Big Hole is fishable by boat & fly fishermen. They’re doing fair on large streamers & midge patterns, both dry & wet. Yellow & white six dungeons, yellow/green new age, or root bur buggers. Most beadheads or san juan worm patterns have been promising as well.

The lower Beaverhead & Jefferson rivers are running chocolate milk right now & are better left alone until they clear up.

Most anglers are bank fishing the Ruby or Clark Canyon Reservoirs this week. Georgetown & Delmo are still frozen & inaccessible. Beaver Cut & below Canyon Ferry at Gates of the Mountains are seeing the most activity. Spawn bays are big.