Statewide Montana Fishing Report Compilation 10.20.21
By angelamontana

Posted: October 20, 2021

Please let us know if you would like to see your weekly fishing report included in this list by emailing it to us before the end of the day on Tuesday of each week here along with your business website/email address.

Fort Peck Marina (October 19, 2021)

Fort Peck Marina Update Salmon– snagging has been hit or miss but it seems like some bigger females are starting to show up and guys are snagging them. The marina bay and the damn have been the most consistent areas.

Lake Trout- The fish have starting showing up shallow on their spawning areas. Fish have been between 10-35 feet and anglers are catching them trolling cranks and spoons. This bite should continue to get better.

Pike- Fish are biting and moving back up shallow. Cranks and spoons in 5-15 feet of water have been producing good numbers and size.

Walleye– The bite has picked up a little bit still very few fish have been caught. Hopefully the walleye bite will pick up in the coming weeks.

The tackle store and Bar and Restaurant along with our campground are still open 7 days a week for all your needs.

Tongue River Marina (October 13, 2021)

No fishing report, as the Marina is closed for the season.

Yellowstone Park Fishing Reports by Jimmy’s Fly Shop (October 16,2021)

Lot’s of anglers are present on the Madison River from Baker’s Hole upstream to the Gibbon-Firehole Rivers confluence. The Firehole River continues to offer good fishing (BWOs, PM caddis, and diminishing white millers are active and soft hackled patterns are a “must have ” item), but cold weather gear is in order. So is watching road conditions as unsettled weather is coming. This really applies if you plan to fish the Lewis River brown trout run which is a lot tougher to approach than the runs up the Madison and Gardiner Rivers.

Only a few weeks remain in the 2021 fishing season.

Hell Creek Fishing Report (October 18, 2021)

MESSAGE FROM MCCONE ELECTRIC: Power Outage Planned: Thursday October 21, 2021-(weather dependent)
McCone Electric members on the Flowing Wells and Jordan substations will be out of power from 9:00 A.M to 3:00 P.M. on Thursday October 21st.
Crews will be doing a line reroute for the Highway 200 construction project, in the Little Dry area. At the same time, crews will be working on a 3-phase feeder in the Town of Jordan. Please watch for crews working around the Little Dry area, and in the Town of Jordan.
We thank you for your patience and understanding while McCone Electric crews are working on these necessary upgrades.

Montana Fly Fishing in October by Montana Angling Co. (October 2021)

October is fall fly fishing at its finest in Montana. Anglers will find great fly fishing on our blue ribbon rivers in Bozeman, MT as well as the Missouri River. Fall in Montana offers the combination of excellent fly fishing, strong hatches, beautiful scenery, and open space that makes every Montana fly fishing trip in October memorable.

Many of our long time anglers and guides consider October to be the best month for fly fishing in Montana for anglers that prefer angling on our rivers in solitude. It is not uncommon to not see another angler on a Montana fly fishing trip in October and pressure is always low on all of our rivers. Fall weather can make for variable and challenging conditions by the middle of the month but anglers can expect rewarding fly fishing regardless.

Highlights

  • Consistent conditions and low pressure on the Missouri River make for some of the best fly fishing of the season. Good hatches of caddisflies and BWOs make for great dry fly fishing most afternoons and productive nymphing and streamer fishing in the mornings.
  • The Yellowstone River near Bozeman, MT offers consistently great fly fishing along its entire length from Gardiner to Columbus, MT and true solitude on the water.
  • Seasoned anglers will enjoy rewarding fly fishing in all conditions.

What to Expect in October

October fly fishing in Montana is all about slowing down, taking it all in, and having fun while enjoying blue ribbon fly fishing in solitude. Anglers can expect low angling pressure on all of our Montana rivers and good hatches throughout the month. Fall weather can be variable throughout the month and anglers should expect any and all conditions ranging from sunny and warm to snowy and cold. Wind is the main factor that can impact the fly fishing. Calmer days will be more productive and windy days less so. Even in the most challenging of conditions and anglers can expect rewarding fly fishing opportunities.

On the Missouri River anglers can expect the most consistent conditions for fly fishing in October. The Missouri River near Craig, MT is considerably lower elevation than our Bozeman, MT area waters which means conditions are generally milder. Hatches of BWOs, midges, and caddisflies are also predictably better on the Missouri River often making for world class dry fly sight fishing on a daily basis. Angling pressure is lower on the Missouri River in October than during other prime months of the fly fishing season.

On the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and other freestone streams closer to Bozeman, MT anglers can expect true solitude on the water and great fly fishing. Conditions are generally favorable but anglers should be prepared for angling in often challenging conditions including cold, rain, snow, and wind during the month of October. The fly fishing is rewarding regardless. Consistent afternoons hatches of BWOs and fall drakes makes for great dry fly and dry-dropper fishing most days.

Where to Fly Fish in October

Anglers planning a Montana fly fishing trip in Montana should consider the Missouri River and Yellowstone River to be the two premier destinations for fly fishing in October. The Missouri River tailwater below Holter Dam offers the most consistent fly fishing, regardless of conditions, and strong hatches that makes for great dry fly fishing. The Yellowstone River offers true solitude and more than 150 miles of blue ribbon water to fly fish, which means there is always somewhere to fish and find favorable conditions near Bozeman, MT.

Other rivers in Montana including the Madison River, Jefferson River, and Gallatin River can also offer great fly fishing in October, but often challenging conditions due to Fall weather. While anglers can count on solitude and productive days when conditions are right, our Montana fly fishing guides recommend heading elsewhere on colder and windier days.

October Fly Fishing Tactics

Generally anglers can expect to employ a variety of fly fishing tactics in October in Montana. Colder mornings mean hatches often start late-morning or early afternoon. Nymphing and streamer fishing are generally productive before hatches of BWOs, midges, and caddisflies make for excellent dry fly fishing. Hopper fishing can often continue to be productive through the month on warmer days and shouldn’t be overlooked.

On the Missouri River anglers should plan on the daily pattern of nymphing and streamer fishing in the morning followed by dry fly or dry-dropper fishing in the afternoon. Strong hatches of BWOs on cold overcast days will bring huge numbers of rising fish to the surface and make for some of the best sight fishing of the year. The presentations are often technical and demanding, but make for truly rewarding fly fishing for all anglers. #16-20 BWO patterns including cripples, spinners, and emergers will be the most productive.

On our freestone rivers in Bozeman, MT anglers will find similar conditions and can expect to nymph or streamer fish in the morning and dry fly fish in the afternoon. Hatches vary significantly depending on conditions ranging from blanket hatches to non-existent and the dry fly fishing will vary accordingly. The Yellowstone River offers the most consistent hatches of BWOs throughout the month in Bozeman and anglers can expect quality dry fly fishing most afternoons on all but the windiest of days. Targeting slower water, back eddies, and mid-river seams will be the most productive.

October Fly Fishing Trips

October fly fishing trips with our Montana fly fishing guides are great for anglers that value solitude on the water and quality fly fishing, regardless of conditions. Seasoned anglers can expect success in all conditions and beginner anglers will find ample opportunity to learn and grow as anglers.

Our Missouri River fly fishing trips offer generally favorable conditions and consistent productivity. Strong fall hatches make for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. Bozeman fly fishing trips in October offer true solitude on the Yellowstone and Madison River. Conditions can vary, but anglers can expect rewarding fly fishing on every October trip.

We encourage anglers to explore all of our Montana fly fishing trip options in October. Day trips are perfect for a quick trip while our custom trips and lodging packages make for a more immersive experience. Fall fly fishing in Montana truly is classic western fly fishing at its finest.

Contact us to learn more about October fly fishing trips with the Montana Angling Company.

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (October 19, 2021)

CONDITIONS AT-A-GLANCE

Good

OUR REPORT

OUR TIPS OF THE WEEK:

1. Slowly stripping balance leeches is your best bet. Glacially slow
2. Small baitfish patterns in olive will be productive until the ice is on
3. Small chironomids drifted under an indicator are a great way to fish this time of year

7 DAY OUTLOOK:

The lake is fishing well, and will continue to until, well, the ice is back on. Give it a try. You will not regret it. There are places to find shelter during high wind events. Stop by for a visit and we can show you where to go.

Our Philipsburg location, Flint Creek Outdoors, is open 7 days a week, 7:30a-5p.  Stop in and talk to Josh for up-to-date information.

BEST TECHNIQUES:

Stripping leeches and small baitfish patterns, floating chironomids under an indicator. Stop by the shop in Philipsburg for rigging ideas and the best Georgetown Lake flies.

CONDITIONS

Good

THE HATCH

Midges

FLY PATTERNS

Balance leeches, small baitfish patterns, chironomids, ant patterns

SPECIFICS

Water Flow

Check FWP regulations for the closure on the SE shoreline of the lake.

Link to Water Flow Graph

N/A

Visibility

60″

Water temperature at mid-day

50 deg

Water Condition

Clear

Best time of day to fish

Afternoons

Best stretch

Stuart Mill Bay, Philipsburg Bay, Rainbow Bay

Best access point

Stuart Mill Bay, Philipsburg Bay, Rainbow Bay

Fish species

Rainbow and Brook Trout, Kokanee Salmon

Fishing season

See FWP regulations. Some closures apply. Georgetown Lake is closed to fishing until May 15, 2021. Try Rock Creek nearby!

Nearest airport

Missoula International

Recommended fly fishing leader

12′ 2x

Recommended fly fishing tippet

2x

Best fly fishing rod

Crisp to cast but soft enough to fight big fish.

Best floating fly line

Short head weight forward floating to quickly shoot line and turn flies over in the wind.

Best sinking fly line

Clear tip intermediate.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Montana Troutfitters (October 19, 2021)

We are seeing fall fishing conditions on the Stone. Sub-surface will be your best bet with any variety of small soft hackle droppers or you can go a little bigger with a Rubberlegs, Zirdle, Goblin or Mini Zonker. There have been mid-day Baetis hatches as well and a sporadic October Caddis sighting once in awhile. And streamers in a variety of bright & flashy colors are pretty productive .

FLY PATTERN SUGGESTIONS

Dries: Goddard Caddis: 12-14-16-18, Elk Hair Caddis, Tan: 12-14-16-18, X-Caddis, Tan: 14-16-18, Adult Caddis, Tan: 14-16, Purple Para Wolff: 12-14-16-18, CFO Ants: 12-16, Hi-Vis Adams: 16-18, Brook Sprout BWO: 20, Matt’s Midge: 20-24, Para Midge: 18-20-22

Nymphs: Rubberlegs Coffee, Turd: 6-8, Delektable Brown Stone: 6-8-10, Mega Prince: 4-6-8,Pheasant Tail: 12-18, Pearl Crystal PT: 14-16-18,Purple Berger: 12-14-16, Tungsten Sunkist: 14-16-18, Olive Soft Hackle: 18-20, Caddis Candy: 16-18, Crawling Caddis: 16-18, Hydropsyche Caddis: 12-14-16

Streamers:Silveys Sculpin Black 2, Eric’s Jealousy Black 2, Lawn Mower Black 1, Natural Copper Zonker, T&A Bunkers Olive/White, Rainbow & Whitefish: 2 Swimmin Jimmy Rainbow: 2 Sex Dungeon White, Yellow: 2 Fathead White, Yellow, Olive, Black: 2 Silvey’s Sculpin Natural, black, olive, silver:4 Circus Peanut tan, olive, black: 4 Lawn Mower yellow, white, olive: 4 Game Changer rainbow, white: 4 Erics Jealousy yellow, black, white: 4 Sculpzilla black, natural, olive, white: 4-6 Mr. Creepo black, tan: 6 Craven’s Dirty Hippie: 4 JJ Special: 4-8 Belly Ache Minnow Natural, Olive:4-6, Baby Gonga: 8

Big Hole River Fishing Report by Perfect Fly Store (October 18, 2021)

Stream levels continue to be low. The trout get a good look at your fly and it helps to use Perfect Flies which look like the real insects and other foods. There are still some good hatches taking place.

Stream Conditions: Near Melrose
Rate: 216 cfs
Level: 1.26ft
Afternoon Water Temperature: 65 degrees
Clarity: clear
Weather:

WISDOM WEATHER

Recommended Trout Flies:

Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin and Articulated streamers, size 6/4
B
lack Matuka and Olive Matuka Sculpinsize 4/6
Bl
ue-winged Olives: size 16, 18 nymph, emergers, duns and spinners

Midges: Blood, Lt. Green, Cream sizes 22, larva, pupa and adults

Green Sedge Caddis, size 14/16, larva, pupa and adults

Spotted Sedge Caddis: 14/16, larva, pupa and adults

Strategies, Techniques and Tips:
The Brown sculpin, White Belly sculpin and Articulated streamers are great flies to use at this time.
Blue-winged olives are hatching. Spotted sedge caddis are hatching. Midges are hatching.
Green Sedge Caddis are hatching.

Clark Fork River Fishing Report by Perfect Fly Store (October 18, 2021)

Stream levels remain unchanged and a little below normal in all sections. We are still receiving reports from our customers of fish being caught on several of our patterns.

Type of Stream
Freestone/Tailwater

Species
Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Bull Trout (Few)
(Wild Trout)

Size
Large

Location
Southwestern Montana

Nearest Towns
Missoula

Season
3rd Sat. May – Nov 30th (Open
year-round some areas)

Special Regulations
Clark Fork Special Regulations

Access:
Fair

Weather
National Weather Service Link

Stream Flow Data:
Real Time USGS Data (Deer Lodge)
Real Time USGS Data (Bonner)
Real Time USGS Data (below
Missoula)

Seasons:    
Fly fishing the Clark Fork River is good from March through November.
Spring:
Springtime is the best time to fish the river except when runoff from its many tributary streams affects the clarity.
Summer:
The water can get warm in some areas but it is cooled by many of the streams that flow into it.

Fall:
This is a good season and the best time for the brown trout.
Winter:
Although it is possible to catch fish during the winter in some areas, it isn’t usually very productive. .

Recommended Tackle & Gear
Fly Line:
4, 5 or 6 weight
Leaders:
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or  6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X

Tippets:
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Streamer 0-2X

Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six

Fly Reels:
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators

Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.

Gallatin River Fishing Report by Fins and Feathers (October 15, 2021)

Fins and Feathers scores the Gallatin a 4/5 for fishing.

The Gallatin has been fishing great with nymphs. The weather today is feeling very fishy. Get out there before the winter storm expected early next week. Pat’s Rubberlegs, Prince nymphs, Pearl Lightning Bugs, BWO’s nymphs and emergers, Purple Spanish Bullets, Holo Princes, and San Juan worms, have all been getting it done. There should be some fish rising to BWOs over the next few days so having some Parachute Adams in #18 couldn’t hurt. Streamer fishing has been good through the valley here with Sparkle Minnows, Pearl Necklace, and Rusty Trombones.

West Fork of the Bitterroot River Fishing Report by Orvis (October 18, 2021)

Jim Mitchell’s Tip of the Week

The West Fork is now at winter levels. Floating is not recommended on any section. This is a good time to wade. Drys with droppers and nymphing in the am. Purple Haze, Adams, Pheasant tails, Perdigons size 16/14. May fly’s in the morning Hoppers in the afternoon. Steamers are working ok

Five Day Outlook: Start later let it warm up.

Techniques & Tips: Drys with droppers or two nymphs in the am. Single small mayflys

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by The Rivers Edge (October 18, 2021)

1450 CFS @ Livingston – The changing weather conditions over the past two weeks have slowed down things on the Yellowstone. The browns are getting ready to spawn, but the warm weather after the cold snap has put a hold on things for a bit. If you’re heading to the Yellowstone, run double nymph rigs with stonefly nymphs and small, flashy droppers.

GO-TO FLIES:

Rubberlegs #6
Lightning Bug #14
Little Spanker #16
Sculpzilla, Olive/White #4
Zirdle, Natural #6

Flathead Area Fishing Reports by Snappy’s Sport Senter (October 14, 2021)

Flathead River – Whitefish are starting to be caught on the river. Small plastics on a 1/8th or 1/4th jighead seem to be the ticket. Look for deeper pockets in the river where the whitefish will stack up. We are fully stocked on anything you will need to target the fall whitefish run.
Crappie bite is heating up; using a small jig under a slip bobber fish underwater structure.
Pike continue to be caught using a spoons retrieved fairly quick, Smelt and a bobber also continues to work well!! Pike are getting more active, Focus on bigger baits. Weeds are receding and the fish will start moving into hard structure. Look for bait fish.

Loon Lake – Casting spoons have been producing some larger rainbows. Fishing has been very consistent. Powerbait remains to be the bait of choice for the stocked rainbows.

Blanchard Lake – Crappies and perch are biting great! A slip bobber on the main lake is the key to success on the colder days! Pike are being targeted with smelt under a 2” bobber.

Lake Rogers –Grayling bite has been on fire! Try balanced leeches or a small plastic under a slip bobber on the weed edges.

Echo Lake – Fish have started to move into coves to find the fall forage. Try using a weightless fluke around ambush points. Running a slip bobber and a small minnow plastic around structure can also be very effective.

Little Bitterroot – Some Rainbows starting to be caught. Trolling can be very effective this time of year. Trolling bigger spoons can lead to a huge payoff! Silver Little Cleo is the bait of choice.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Orvis (October 11, 2021)

Linehan Outfitting’s Tip of the Week

The water is gin clear on the Kootenai River. Time to start fishing 5x even to hoppers and long, drag free drifts are increasingly necessary.

Five-day outlook: Expect good fishing conditions to continue here on the Kootenai. We may see some precipitation near the weekend. Otherwise, daytime temps will hover in the 40s and baetis will be active and so will the trout.

Missouri River Fishing Report by The River’s Edge in Bozeman (October 19, 2021)

2610 CFS @ Holter – These are record-low flows for the Missouri right now, but the fish don’t seem to mind. There has been a steady hatch of BWOs in the afternoons with some cloud cover, leading to some great dry-fly fishing. Streamers and nymphs are also working well, and you definitely don’t need to get very deep to be effective.

GO-TO FLIES:

Film Critic, BWO #18
Zebra Midge, Black #18
Lightning Bug #16
Little Spanker #16
Kreelex, Silver/Gold #6

Montana Fishing Reports by East Rosebud Fly and Tackle (October 11, 2021)

Rock Creek

Rock Creek is running low at 57 CFS this week and temps are staying cool. Dry fly fishing has been good and the best hatches are happening on cloudy days. Look for Mahoganys and BWOs. If the fish aren’t looking up, a hopper dropper setup with an October Caddis, BWO, or Mahogany nymph will likely be most effective. Small streamers are also a good option.

Dries: Angel Wing Spinner Mahogany #14, Orange Stimulator #12, Film Critic BWO #18

Nymphs:  Panty Dropper BWO #18, Tungsten Copper John Chartreuse #14, Tungsten Jig Hares Ear #16, MT Prince X-Mas #14, Trina’s Bubble Back Emerger BWO #18

Streamers: Thin Mint, Grinch, Slump Buster Rust #6, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Light Olive #6, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Black

Stillwater River

The Stillwater River is currently running at 386 CFS. Fall is here to stay so nymph and streamer fishing will be most productive. Also look for small mayfly hatches in the evenings.

Dries: Purple Rainy’s Grand Hopper, Purple Haze #14, Daves Parachute BWO #16, Blonde Wulffs #16

Nymphs:  Lucent PT Purple #16, BH Holo Batman #14, Blooms Zirdle Purple #8, Half Back #8

Streamers: Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Smoke/Purple #4, Dirty Hippie Cravens Rainbow #6, The Grinch #6, Thin Mint #8

Boulder River

Fishing has been decent the past weeks with the hopper bite slowing, but smaller dry fly hatches happening. Look for BWO and Sulphur Duns and some Caddis to be hatching in the evening and early mornings. The West boulder has been a little bit more productive. Fish have been holding in the deeper, faster runs and pockets.

Dries: Purple Rainy’s Grand Hopper, Purple Haze #14, Daves Parachute BWO #16, Blonde Wulffs #16

Nymphs:  Lucent PT Purple #16, BH Holo Batman #14, Blooms Zirdle Purple #8, Half Back #8

Streamers: Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Smoke/Purple #4, Dirty Hippie Cravens Rainbow #6, The Grinch #6, Thin Mint #8

Bighorn River

Water flows are holding low and cold at 1910 CFS. As long as the wind stays down, Black and Tan Caddis and Psuedos have been showing in good numbers. The early morning nymph bite has been getting better. The classic scud and sow bug patterns with red bead heads has been moderately productive. Streamer fisherman should prepare themselves to drag some grass on the lower stretches. Cooler weather for the coming week should get the streamer bite going good!

Dries: EC Caddis Black #18, Elk Hair Caddis Black #16/#18, Elk Hair Caddis Tan #16/#18, Smoke Jumper BWO #18, Birchell’s Hatch Midge #20, Clown Shoe Caddis #16

Nymphs: Cravens JuJu Midge Flash #20,  Ray Charles Grey #18, Bighorn Baetis #18, BH Flashback Pheasant Tail

Streamers: Double Dirty Hippie-Rainbow #4, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Light Olive #6, Thin Mint #6, Drunk & Disorderly Olive/Orange #4

Yellowstone River

The Yellowstone is up in flows from last week at 1520 near Livingston. Fall is here and streamer fishing is picking up quite a bit. Early mornings and evenings are still the most productive times but mid day nymphing and dry fly action is steady as ever. That said, expect some grass to be an obstacle. Always check the flows to see if any rainstorms have muddied up the water.

Dries: Goddard Caddis #12/14, Elk Hair Caddis Tan #14/16, Purple Para Wolff #12/14, Dornans Water Walker 10-16, Galloups Ant Acid #14

Nymphs: Rubberlegs Coffee #6/8, Smethurst’s Bomb Series Stonefly #8, Pheasant Tail #14/16/18, BH Caddis Pupa #14/16, BH Caddis Pupa Hares Ear #14

Streamers: Nutcracker Natural/Yellow,/Olive, Sex Dungeon White/Yellow, Circus Peanut Tan/Olive/Black, Sculpzilla Black, Craven’s Dirty Hippie, JJ Special

Clarks Fork Yellowstone River

The Clarks Fork is running very low at 95 CFS, which has pushed trout into the deeper pockets which can be few and far between. Wade fishing can be tough with a lot of ground to cover in order to find good holding water for fish. That said, it can certainly pay off with a fish of size. If you’re up for it, throwing a hopper dropper throughout the day will be most productive. Mid afternoon Caddis have been hatching as well. Swinging a small streamer has also worked well.

Dries: CDC Caddis, Spot Light Caddis #14, Moorish Hopper Purple #10, Chubby Chernobyl Royal #10/12

Nymphs: Panty Dropper PMD #16, Lucent Pheasant Tail Red #16/14, Brillons Lucent Pheasant Tail Jig Purple #14,

Streamers: Thin Mint, Mongrel Meat Black, Grinch, Galloups Mini Sex Dungeon Black/Purple

Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report by Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop (October 15, 2021)

Well now it feels like fall! Earlier this week we had our first snowfall of the year in town. We got quite a bit in Livingston proper, with our mountains receiving the early start to the winter snowpack. After the low water year we had this summer, we are grateful for every flake of snow we can get!

Things are warming back up after the cold weather and snow, which is causing a lot of melt. These early season snows have a high moisture content. That’s great for building a snowpack (and makes for great snowman snow), but when it melts there tends to be a lot of water. The Yellowstone is going to be coming up and getting a bit off color with all this melt.

With the cooler nights and melting snow water temps are pretty low, especially early in the morning. Feel like sleeping in or getting a good breakfast before you hit the water? Have at it. The BWOs aren’t coming off until early afternoons most days anyway, and the fish will only get more active as the water warms later in the morning.

Limited clarity isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially when you’re talking about streamer fishing. Fish a darker pattern in the off color water and the fish will see the profile stand out. The streamer fishing conditions this week are prime. Trout are aggressive, water temps are right, and it’s time to get out on the river.

If streamers aren’t your thing, nymphing has been productive this week. Fishing a BWO nymph behind a larger fly such as a big prince, stonefly pattern or small dead drifted streamer works great. If you just want to catch fish all day, fish a big hares ear and a flashy lightning bug and be ready for whitefish all day.

We’re in prime time for the fall BWO hatch. They’re primarily hatching in the early afternoons and the hatch is best on cloudy days. You should still find fish eating dries on sunny days, and fishing emergers is a deadly tactic. Swinging soft hackle emergers can be a great way to fish this hatch.

Our other area rivers are in about the same boat as the Yellowstone. Mid-October is one of the best months of the year to be in Montana. For dry fly purists, the Missouri offers some of the best technical fishing around. Those chasing big brown trout head for the Madison. Yellowstone National Park offers incredible fishing and wildlife viewing during the fall.

Regardless of where you’re headed, you’ll have a good time. This winter storm we had early in the week is a good reminder that winter is just around the corner. Our nice fall days are numbered. Make the most of them! We’ve got all the gear, flies and info you need down at the shop. Good luck out there!

Madison River Outfitters (October 12, 2021)

Montana 

Upper Madison: Fishing has been a little slower in the mornings as of late, but once things warm up a bit nymphs and streamers have been finding some fish. Small mayfly patterns, dips, perdigons, and small stones have been the ticket lately. BWO’s have been out just about every day, especially on the overcast afternoons so keep your eyes open for rising fish.

Flies: #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #16-18 Shop Vac, #18 BBQ Baetis, #18 Split Case BWO, #10-12 Sili Leg, #14 Lake Prince, #16 Olive Bullet, #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Low Water Baetis, #6 Olive Sparkle Yummy, #4 Black Slap & Tickle, #8 Thin Mint

Hebgen: Stripping buggers/leeches or nymphing under an indicator will be your best options on the lake as of late. With leeches and buggers, switch up your retrieval until you find something the fish like.

Flies: #8 Black or Olive Simi Seal Leech, #6 Flash-a-Bugger, #6 Olive or Black Hot Bead Leech, #8 Thin Mint, #16 Pheasant Tail, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #12 O.S. Buzzer

YNP   

Gallatin: No need to get too early of a start if you want to fish the Gallatin. Take your time and let things warm up a little. Nymphs, soft hackles, and small streamers are all in play. Be watching for fish rising to BWO’s on the nastier afternoons.

Flies: #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Green Lightning Bug, #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #18 ICU Midge, #18 Split Case BWO, #14 Partridge and Peacock, #16 Soft Hackle Hares Ear, #18 Parachute Adams, #18 Tilt Wing BWO, #18 Baetis Cripple, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #6 Olive Slumpbuster

Madison/Firehole: We have been seeing and hearing of more and more lake fish being caught. Hopefully this weather the next few days pushes some big trout up into the rivers. Swinging soft hackles, along with stripping/swinging streamers has been productive, and nymphing has been finding some fish as well. On the Firehole soft hackles remain the most consistent method, but watch out for fish rising to BWO’s and maybe a few White Miller Caddis.

Flies: #8-10 Partridge and Pheasant Tail, #8-10 Partridge and Peacock, #14 Diving Caddis, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #6  Black Mini Sex Dungeon, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow, #10-12 Sili Legs, #14-16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Pheasant Tail, #, #18 Tilt Wing BWO, #18-20 Sprout Baetis

NE Corner: Similar to the Gallatin, these rivers are running pretty cold so take your time in getting over there. Watch for some Drake Mackerels and baetis to be hatching, bring some streamers patterns to throw around if nothing is rising.

Flies: #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #14 Parachute Hares Ear, #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Sprout Baetis, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow, #6 Black Mini Sex Dungeon, #8 Black Simi Seal Leech