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

Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 8.24.18
By angelamontana

Posted: August 24, 2018



Opening day for archery is September 1st!

Gallatin River Fishing Report

Small Lighning Bugs, Zebra Midges and we’ll start to see more fall baetis as we move into late summer. Also, smaller Pat’s Rubber Legs are good point flies.

Dry fly fishing will be a bit more random for the remainder of the season, but there will be some good opportunities occasionally. There will be some caddis, midges and baetis off and on. Also, terrestrials and attractors will move some fish as well.

There is an unusually excessive amount of algal growth in the Gallatin this summer. Not really known what the cause is just yet. It can be found from the park boundary all the way into the canyon. Local scientists are looking into the possible cause.


Pat’s Rubber Legs, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Lighting Bugs, Midge, and Caddis patterns have been producing.
Streamers – Smaller is better, slowly stripped or swung. Slow is key.
Dries – X-Caddis, Parachute Adams, Chubbies, Royal Wulff’s, Humpy’s.

Upper Madison River Fishing Report

Early and late is the name of the game.  Midday heat has put the fish down pretty good.  Nymphing as always has been the most productive, but the nocturnal stone bite has been good early, and hoppers are turning some nice fish throughout the day.  Look for spruce moths where appropriate.  Dead drifting streamers and smaller nymphs (16-18) has been producing fish. Spankers, dips, and lightning bugs have been fishing well.  Fish have been eating streamers early am, but you have to work for it.  As always, the Madison has it’s good and bad days in August.

Lower Madison River Fishing Report

Water temperatures are still high below Ennis Lake, but if this cooler weather pattern becomes more of the norm it may not be long before we feel good about sending anglers back to the lower Madison. Until then we’d suggest leaving this one to the float tubers or get out there early until about midafternoon. The water temps stay pretty high through late evening, so mornings are best. If you head down there think hoppers and crayfish.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report

Hoppers, ants and attractors are the name of the game on the surface.  Don’t be afraid of the twitch.  Drop a small rubberlegs (nocturnal stone), or mayfly under your dry and at the very worst stay busy fighting whitey.

The Yellowstone has some very interesting (read dangerous) hydraulics this year. Numerous boats and lives have been lost this year, so If you’re not experienced on the oars, make sure you know what to look out for on your float.  Be cautious below Pine Creek.

Big hole

Temperatures have dropped quite a bit, so fishing should be good all day long dry flies and drop rigs are the way to go. Elk hair caddis, chubby Chernobyl’s and purple hazes are good dry flies. Nymphs like pheasant tails rubberlegs and lightning bugs work the best.


Butte Fishing:

The fishing this week hasn’t changed much from this past week in SW Montana. Warm afternoon temps & lower flow water have delegated early to mid-morning fishing as prim time on the Big Hole& rivers in the area. Grasshoppers, stimulators & larger caddis patterns fished with a pheasant tail dropper or other beadhead has proved most effective. Streamers worked bankside are catching some fish as well.

The Beaverhead is running cooler south of Dillon due to dam regulated flows so expect to see heavier traffic. Grasshopper activity is picking up with dries conditions however, worm imitators are a good bet as well. Try to stay more to natural colors when fishing the Beaverhead.

Hatches on the higher altitude lakes were late getting here this year & are just beginning to take off. Hemmingway caddis or other tent wing patterns are good choices. Bees, ants, or crickets can be very effective.




New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing