Gallatin River Fishing Report by Gallatin River Guides
Fishing has been great and we expect it to stay that way most days until major runoff begins. Historically speaking that generally begins during the first two weeks of May more or less, giving us about another month of good fishing. Flows and clarity will fluctuate with weather until then, but flows will remain relatively low until nighttime highs start to get into the 40s in the lower elevations in Big Sky.
Also, the river south of Big Sky has opened up. There is still a significant amount of shelf ice along the banks in many areas, which will make access challenging. It might take a bit before fish really start to move in to that stretch and spread out, but it hasn’t been fished in months.
Nymphing has been quite good as long as you find where the fish are. Slow water is certainly important, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be deep.
The water that tends to hold the most fish in our experience is slow water with a small amount of current that is 3-5′ deep on average. There is usually a faster current nearby that moves food through constantly.
In the event you find some risers it’s always good to have a small midge pattern nearby. Better yet, have a dry fly rod pre-rigged so you don’t have to change your rig in the cold and you don’t miss out on the often fleeting moments of fish rising in winter. Hopefully we’ll start to see some baetis action by the end of the month.