Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 3.14.19
By angelamontana

Posted: March 15, 2019


Mountain Lion (with Hounds): Effective till April 14, 2019.  

Beaver (trapping): Region 3 (Bozeman) is open till April 15, 2019

Deer/Elk: Special drawing for permits due March 15, super tag June 28

Antelope: Special drawing for permits due June 1, super tag June 28


Bozeman Fishing:

Gallatin: Fishing has been great in areas that have a good amount of open water. Stonefly nymphs, midge pupas and attractor nymphs like Copper Johns and pink Lightning Bugs will be good bets.

Lower Madison: Stay just below the dam to avoid as much ice and slush as possible. San Juan Worms, scuds, sowbugs and midge pupas will all be good choices for nymphing when temperatures are back up.

Upper Madison: The Upper Madison has fished well recently but access makes it difficult. The area right around West Yellowstone has been about 20 degrees warmer than here in town, plus the water below the dam is almost always ice and slush free. San Juan Worms, midge pupas, baetis nymphs and stonefly nymphs are top choices.

Spring Creek: With the cold weather and icy conditions on the Yellowstone, a good number of fish have been entering these ice free spring creeks. Scuds, Sow Bugs and Midge Pupas are still the main fare.

Yellowstone River: The lower Yellowstone will stay pretty icy for a while but the area just below the park will provide some good fishing opportunities. The area around Gardiner has been a lot warmer than here and the Yellowstone River has been pretty ice free for a few miles below Yellowstone Park. The fish will be eating stonefly nymphs, midge pupas and general stuff like Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails.


Butte Fishing:

Fishing on the Clark Fork River is ok, double nymph rigs with something tungsten to keep it tight to the indicator so that you don’t miss strikes are the best techniques. Things are heating up. We’re going to be in the high 40’s this week! Water has bumped with all of the rain, and water temps continue to drop. The hatches are Mahoganies, BWO, Midges, october caddis. The fish are liking the Griffiths Gnat #18, mahoganies #14-16, BWO #16-18 dries. Red beadhead power worm#10, prince #12, phez tails #16, tungsten salvation nymph #14 for the nymphs. Streamers – olive or natural zonker type pattern #6, sparkle minnow #6, olive or black bead head buggers #8 Don’t forget a few big pike flies and metal leader.

The lake is still iced over at Georgetown. Ice fishing has been good. It’s going to be awhile before the lake thaws, but when it does, it’s some of the best fishing in Montana while runoff has the rivers out of shape. Not much for hatches right now due to colder fall temperatures. Damselfly nymphs, calibaetis nymphs; Olive wooly bugger, size 10; Rickard’s seal bugger, size 8-10.

Delmo Lake’s road is drifted so you’ll have to have a ATV or UTV to get in there. The fishing is pretty good with green, white, & yellow jigs. Northlang helium jigs are another good choice.