There is some ice that has formed, but with the warm temperatures lately, it isn’t that safe yet, so be very careful out there.
Canyon Ferry – Fishing has been slow. Goose Bay is the only usable ramp due to low water. Rainbows are sitting about 20 feet deep, you’ll need your sinking line to get to them.
Hauser/Holter – Swinging streamers has been the best lately.
Hyalite- It has begun to freeze but the creek still has open water.
Cliff and Wade – They are probably beginning to freeze since other nearby lakes have already froze over.
No fishing report this week.
All good here on the Mo this fall, late fall, and into the winter months. We are super stoked with the fishing conditions absolutely terrific. If you are gonna head on out this December feel free to give us a call first for the up to the minute report here at the shop 406-235-3447.
Average high daily temperates come in at 35F. The lows in the cellar at 15F. So pretty cold overall. But not this month or this fall into winter. Nope. Moderate temperatures as well as that damn wind. Pretty windy on and off. Seems like1 of 2 are windy. The good news is that you can certainly find some lee shores to shield yourself against the wind. Reasonable conditions are possible in this month fo December as well. And, we at the shop open daily @ 8am for all you last minute and fly pattern needs. Demo rods on sale too!
Not much precipitation on the books this fall and not much in the forecast either. Some possible spit of snow as we move into the back end of next week.
Flows are still low, 2900cfs, and will continue at this level throughout the coming winter. So wade fisherman and boat anglers alike at taking advantage of the river travel opps. Yes you can certainly learn about the subsurface structures as most are exposed. I love to get out and just walk. Walk in the water and check things out. Boots on the ground. Buckets, dips, declines, riffles, runs, tailouts, and the like. Put it all in your memory banks for when the conditions are not as friendly.
Nymphers like the Sow and Scud combo. You could use the Zebra too. Soon we will be in the Pink Fly Game that will run through March into April as well. No reason for split shot at the current time, but when the trout get into that deep and slow winter holding water you will find a split shot adding weight to your rig quite helpful.
Most will focus on the upper river for the nymph bite. The dam is once again popular for the wade and boat gang. Fishing to Craig is the other option. Although last winter many were fishing below the Craig section and enjoying success in the canyon.
Streamer anglers love it too. Getting out and wading around islands or stripping your bugger through a run on foot. Boat anglers will find fewer shores to cast at as the water levels are not conducive to bank tossers. No heavy sink tips required now, but I have found a couple streamer rods rigged for different depths can get you closer to the prize. Headhunters jammed full of streamer lines if you are Streamer-Curious this winter.
Swingers Unite. Lots of trout spey anglers in and out of the shop learning, buying, filling in tip kits, finding accessories for the spey game and getting the best local intel daily. Also Headhunters is your Trout Spey Education Center. Whether you want to get a casting lesson, a guide trip, or lodging for your weekend trip give us a shout first and we will guide you toward spey success.
Lots of Trout Spey Action out there this month as the bugs have been knocked down a couple notches for the trout food diet scale. Yessir. Leeches, Carey’s and Sparrows, buggers, and some flash will get it done. HH carries the Best Flies Under the Big Sky with the only Trout Spey fly section on the Mighty Mo.
Dry Flies? Maybe? You will have to out there when it happens. Still seeing some BWO’s float by in the afternoon. Occasional opportunities for the dry fly guy. Localized for sure. I’d toss a cripple at them. Or an Adams.
Lodging is discounted locally too. Call 406-235-3447 to chat with Julie or Sara for lodging options in your price range. Lodging for a couple guests available in downtown Craig.
Shop open daily @ 8am. The only daily shuttle biz all winter long here in Craig, rental boats, lodging, flies, hot coffee, local river info, maps, and so much more all December long…
And, don’t forget about Headhunters for your fly fishing gifts. We deliver to your doorstep!
Happy T-Day hangover, Cyber Monday, and we will rejoice today because the wind is temporarily gone away!
No fishing report this week.
FWP has officially closed the Upper Madison to angling from 5:00 PM Tuesday, November 30 until the flows out of Hebgen Dam return to normal.
FWP is asking that those available to walk the banks and help relocate stranded fish on the Upper Madison tomorrow. Crews will be working on an equipment malfunction on Hebgen Dam through the night. If you help out on the river tomorrow keep an eye out and avoid the area around spawning redds as much as possible.
The upper near Reynolds is a good winter option. The water temps are bouncing around the freezing point making nymphing best option for catching fish as it will be too cold for streamers. Midges will have fish rising on calm overcast days (If you don’t see any fish rising don’t bother with dry flies). A smaller dark bodied Pat’s Rubberlegs or a red worm would both be good top fly options for a nymph rig. For bottom flies I would use zebra midges, pheasant tails, caddis larvae, and dark Perdigons.
Fins & Feathers is a full-service Bozeman fly shop and Montana fly fishing outfitter. Upper Madison River fly fishing trips are available year-round with our Bozeman fly fishing guides.
Happy Friday! We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week. The holidays are always a good time to hang out and enjoy friends and family. And if you need a break, heading out on the river is always a good idea!
Not a whole lot has changed on the Yellowstone in the past week. Our temps are still well above average, and this time of year warmer temps = wind. Wind is a constant on the Yellowstone River. Learn to deal with it and you’ll be set for our local area and for any kind of saltwater fishing you might be looking forward to. Proper gear can make the difference between a miserable day and staying warm and actually being able to cast.
The river is still flowing at near record lows, but these above average temps have kept water temps above normal. While fish are still moving into their winter patterns the warmer water is keeping them a bit more active than normal for this time of year. You’ll still be focusing on slower, deeper water, but maybe not quite as deep as you otherwise might this time of year.
Nymphing has been the name of the game here lately. Perdigon style nymphs, lightning bugs, spankers and BWO nymphs are the name of the game. You can fish a larger pattern like a Rubber Legs or Mega Prince in front, or even a dead drifted steamer, with a smaller pattern behind to double your odds. Often the larger fly will attract attention and then they’ll eat the smaller dropper fly.
If you’re after dry flies, head for the spring creeks. You might find a few scattered risers around on the main river in wind protected places, but your odds are a lot better on the spring creeks. Look for some late BWOs and a few midges. We’re still a ways out from the peak of the winter midge fishing, so that’s something to look forward to.
With this unseasonably warm weather, our other area rivers haven’t yet shifted into late fall/winter mode. The Madison and Missouri are still fishing well. Like everywhere the unseasonable temps are extending our fall fishing season. Typically this time of year finds us in a lull but we aren’t quite there yet. The Gallatin Canyon is a popular winter fishery, and is a beautiful spot this time of year. The Boulder and Stillwater are still good options. You’ve got a lot of choices this time of year.
Christmas is coming up fast, and we are fully stocked for gifts from the small to the biggest. Rods, reels, lines, waders, gear, accessories… We’ve got what the angler on your list is after! If you can’t make it to the shop, we’re adding more stuff to ouronline store almost daily. If you’re headed out on the water this week, tight lines!
The park is closed for the season! Check back next May. See you next season!