Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 4.12.19
By angelamontana

Posted: April 12, 2019


Deer/Elk: Super tag due on June 28

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

Bozeman Fishing:

Gallatin: The canyon and upper valley have been fishing the best lately. Small, dark stonefly nymphs and San Juan Worms have been getting a lot of attention lately. Larger midge patterns have also been taking a lot of fish in the Gallatin as have nymphs like Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns and Lightning Bugs.

Lower Madison: Stay Crayfish, worms, and scud/sowbugs patterns pink in color and in large sizes like #14 have been some of the most productive. Overall the Lower has been inconsistent, fishing well one day and poorly the next. It has a slight green tinge to it and Warm Springs Creek and Cherry Creek are dumping a little bit of brown into the river.

Upper Madison: The nymphing has been solid with small stonefly patterns, San Juan Worms, midge pupa and baetis nymphs. Small, natural patterns fished slow seems to be the ticket. The spawning activity hasn’t been heavy yet but will soon pick up as it gets warmer.

Spring Creek: Top producers will be Ray Charles, Eggs, Midge Pupas and Baetis Nymphs. Midges and Baetis are still the main hatches to prepare for. Emergers, Cripples and Adults are all important stages to match.

Yellowstone River: Nymphing with a small stonefly nymph, bugger, or San Juan worm trailed by a smaller attractor like a Copper John, Pheasant Tail or Little Green Machine will produce fish most of the day. The streamer bite has been ok with small patterns fished slow. It should improve as the water warms a little more.

Butte Fishing:

Rock Creek is perhaps the best option in the Clark Fork drainage for consistent winter and early spring angling. During this time of year, trout are more and more concentrated in the deeper runs and out of the long shallows they inhabit throughout the summer and fall. Nymphing and swinging are the name of the game, but do not rule out rising fish during midge hatches on warmer days, especially when the sun is on the water.

BEST TECHNIQUES – Streamers, nymphs, san juan worms.  Be ready for high, off-color water. If you know someone with a boat, float season may very well be upon us. The hatches are little black and little brown stoneflies, midges. Good fly patterns are

NYMPHS – Pat’s Rubber Legs, brown, #6; Hare’s Ear Nymph, #10-14; Pheasant Tail Nymph, #14-18; Pink San Juan Worm, #8-10; Montana Prince, tan, #12-16

DRIES – BWO’s, #16-20; Purple Haze, #10-18

STREAMERS – Sparkle Minnow #6 in Olive; Zonkers #6, 8 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow; Kreelex Fly #6 in Copper/Gold, Gold/Silver, or Purple/Silver.

OUR TIPS OF THE WEEK: The lake is iced over. Check out nearby Rock Creek or Flint Creek on warmer days. *The lake is CLOSED from April 1 to May 18th*

7 DAY OUTLOOK: The lake is iced over. 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. *The lake is CLOSED from April 1 to May 18