Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 4.3.24
By angelamontana

Posted: April 3, 2024

Before diving into the fishing report, check out this article that explains the difference between anglers and fishermen.

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Jefferson River Fishing Report by Montana Angler (March 27, 2024)

The Jefferson River will have fluctuating streamflows right now as the various weather patterns produce rain, snow, and warm weather. When the Jefferson runs at long term averages of around 1000 CFS at Twin Bridges, expect to fish fish well with both streamers and nymph rigs. The baetis are just showing up and will improve with the coming weeks.  The fish are definitely concentrated in slower runs so find some good holding water before you fish. Rubber legs, eggs and pink copper johns are nice nymph choices. Big black streamers slow stripped along the bottom can produce some big browns for lucky anglers that are willing to endure some long slow stretches.

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (April 3, 2024)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (March 31, 2024)

Fly fishing Montana’s Gallatin River is one of the best options throughout the spring season. Being the closest blue-ribbon stream to Bozeman, MT, the Gallatin River offers many Montana anglers year-long fishing opportunities.

Fly fishing has been best from Cameron Bridge FAS to Big Sky, MT, and the Canyon stretch provides good protection from windy conditions. Wild Montana fish are most actively feeding mid-day, when the Sun is at its highest points so no need to get up too early. It is a good idea to contact a local Bozeman fly shop for the most current info regarding stream conditions.

Using nymph imitations throughout the Gallatin Canyon towards Big Sky, MT is the most effective method of angling. Anglers are finding success using Montana staples like the Prince Nymph, Pat’s Rubberleg, or Copper Johns. Drive south out of Gallatin Gateway, MT, and look for turnouts that provide easy access to water that is deep and moves slowly, these areas are stacked with wild Rainbow and Brown Trout right now. Be extra careful when wading around these large boulders especially when there is snow. Our Bozeman, MT fly fishing guides have found that purple worm patterns and black stoneflies have been great effective.

Fly fishing with streamers has been decent, especially on low light days. Small olive or black patterns like a McCune’s Sculpin or a Crystal Bugger are getting attention. Let your fly sink in deeper areas and two strips to a pause, try not to move your fly too quickly.

Fly fishing Yellowstone Park is closed for the season so make sure you are outside of park boundaries if you head this way. It is always a good idea to stop by fly shops in Bozeman, MT for some info and flies before heading out on the water.

You can get an idea of the water conditions in the Big Sky area by viewing this webcam, hosted by our friends at Montana Whitewater.

Spring Creeks Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (March 31, 2024)

As we move into spring, the fishing over on the Yellowstone will start to pick up! Just check the wind forecast before venturing out to the river. For streamers, we’ve been fishing Dragons, Dungeons, Hum Dingers, and Fresh Water Closures. Small sculpin patterns and buggers have also been working on indicator rigs or stripped. With the indicator rigs, trail that sculpin or bugger with your favorite little Baetis Nymph, Zebra Midge, worm, or egg. A larger Hares Ear Nymph has also been getting bit. If you see fish rising they’re most likely rising to midges. Griffiths Gnats, small Purple Haze, and Buzzball midges have all been successful when there is fish rising.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-18), Griffiths Gnat (16-20), Buzz Ball (16-14)

  • Streamer

    Woolly Bugger (4-12), Mini Dungeon Black/ Natural/ White (6), Montana Intruder (4), Sparkle Minnow JJ’s, Silver (4-8), Double Gonga Black/Rainbow (4), Sculpzilla Black/ White/ Natural (4-8)

  • Nymph

    Pat’s Rubber Legs (6-12), Zirdle Bug (6-12), Woolly Bugger Black/ Olive (4-12), Perdigon (14-18), Pheasant Tail (10-18), Jigster Baetis (14-18), Prince Nymph (10-18), BH Hare’s Ear (12-18), Sizzlin’ Hot Spot Squirrel (14-16), Matt’s Shagadelic Mop Tan/ Brown/ Green/ Cheeto (10), Hare’s Ear (14-18), Dirty Bird (12-16)

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (March 29, 2024)

With the warm weather the ice is starting to get a little sketchy. The open water by the pump house has grown and the ice around there looks a little thin. People have been out there but please exercise caution if you choose to go out. Remember the whole lake closes April 1st until the 3rd Saturday of May.

Here are a few tips for fly fishing Georgetown Lake:

1. Always remember to check the ice before walking out. 2. Dust off the ice hut! Ice fishing season is here! 3. Cover water and be methodical and you’ll catch fish!

Here are a few fly suggestions:

1. Swedish Pimples

2. Maggots

3. Worms

4. Small tube jigs

Southwest Montana Fishing Overview by Montana Angler (March 22, 2024)

As winter slowly creeps out of Montana, our rivers transition as well. We are deep into the season of “not quite winter, yet not quite spring.” On any given day anglers can experience sunshine, snow, rain, wind, and more sunshine…and then repeat the next day. The valley bottoms and riverbanks are clear of snow but the mountains are still snowcapped. The contrast of green down low and white up high can make for a scenic backdrop to a day on the water. Even with the warmer days, the nights are relatively cold so streamflows often do not fluctuate enough to negatively impact fishing conditions.

We are in our pre-runoff mode of fishing, which means options run the gamut. From spring creeks to tailwaters to large and small freestones nearly all waters have fishable conditions. Be sure to check regulations for seasonal or special closures or call our fly shop. Now is a good time to fish before runoff commences on a many waters.

Water temperatures are ticking upward and hatches increase in frequency and diversity, trout will follow suit and become more active. Over the course of an angling day a trout may start in a deep, winter holding lie but migrate to a feeding lane or actively pursue hatching insects. This time of year a trout’s behavior is directly related to water temperature and hatches. Frigid cold fronts moving in have ceased for the season and if a cold snap does pass through, it is often short lived. The days are noticeably longer and the hours in a day a trout may actively be feeding often increases each day.

This is also a good time of year for targeting fish with streamers. As trout become more active feeding on more abundant hatches, they can also be more willing to chase baitfish as well. This time of year, fish that are willing to chase baitfish tend to be decent sized as well. Finding these larger fish on streamers requires patience and the willingness to sacrifice quality over quantity.

Anglers need to also be aware of rainbow and cutthroat trout spawning in area streams. For the next few months always be aware of wading on or around redds. Redds may be easily spotted as areas of cleaner/grayer gravel. Fish may or may not be spotted on or near a redd. If you are in doubt if a redd exists, stay clear.


A typical early spring day on a Montana stream or river can feature a smorgasbord of hatches. The most exciting hatch that signals spring is the Blue Winged Olive mayfly. These are prevalent in nearly every trout river in Montana and will hatch when water temperatures rise into the 40s. Blue Winged Olives also are more likely to hatch in rainy or snowy weather which can be common in spring.

Rounding out the list of hatches for early spring includes midges, March Browns, skwala stoneflies, and possibly some early season caddis.

Specific to individual rivers, the Gallatin River near Bozeman and Big Sky has notable hatches of Blue Winged Olives and skwala stoneflies. The tailwater fisheries on the Missouri and Madison Rivers can have exceptional hatches of Blue Winged Olives on a cloudy rainy or snowy day. The Yellowstone River near Livingston and through Paradise Valley will see a variety of hatches including March Browns, Blue Winged Olives, and possibly some early caddis.

Fly Selection

Even with all the talk of prolific hatches right now subsurface nymphing is still the most effective way to fish. Because trout may be feeding on a variety of insects on any given day, for any tandem nymph rig be sure to include one or both of the following patterns:

  • Pat’s Rubber Leg’s in sizes 8-16
  • Zirdles in sizes 8-16
  • Any beadhead rubber legged stonefly pattern in size 8-16
  • Beadhead PTs in sizes 14-18
  • Beadhead Hare’s Ear in size 14-18
  • Beadhead Rainbow Warrior in size 14-18
  • Any favorite scud, sowbug, or firebead in size 14-20

For dry flies a selection of Parachute patterns will work well for BWOs, including a Parachute Purple Haze in size 14-18 or a Hi-Vis Sprout’s in size 14-18. For March Browns choose similar patterns but bump up in sizes to 10 or 12. You can also try a Brindle Chute or your favorite March Brown pattern. For any early season stoneflies an olive or grey Chubby Chernobyl, Stimulator, or Bugmeister in size 10 or 12 is a good choice. Midges can also hatch right now and size 18 to 20 Paliminos or Griffiths gnats are good choices.

Streamers, whether stripped or dragged through deeper holes, can produce fish. Go with your favorite choice. Or, if you haven’t yet fished a Circus Peanut, Sparkle Minnow, or Sculpzilla, those are all good choices for this time of year.

Reading Water

Because snowmelt runoff has not yet commenced, streamflows often remain relatively consistent. There may be small daily fluctuations, but that doesn’t effect where trout will be found. Trout will migrate on a daily basis to locations in a river or stream based on the most available food source. Before any hatch occurs expect to find trout in deeper runs or holes, awaiting the hatch or feeding on insects that are staging. As a hatch progresses trout may move higher into the water column or towards bankside structure, so be prepared to adjust the depth at which your flies are being presented. If midges or Blue Winged Olives are abundant, hatching adults will collect in slower currents near structure or in slow pools or pockets.

In general focus on slower and deeper water unless a hatch is occurring, then target areas where bugs will collect such as pools and pockets of slower water or along or behind bankside structure.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (April 3, 2024)

Montana Lakes Fishing Report via Montana Angler (March 31, 2024)

Current Conditions:

Montana’s Lakes and ranch ponds provide some pre-runoff options when rivers and creeks might be affected by snowmelt runoff. Lake mayflies and midges are going to be the dominate food source for trout. If a hatch is strong, expect fish to cruise the shallower water looking for hatching insects. But if a hatch is not strong, slowly stripping weighted nymphs or streamers are going to be the best way to find fish.

The Month Ahead:

The biggest factor in lake fishing the next month is local weather patterns. Since the lakes we fish are spread out throughout the Bozeman, Yellowstone, and Ennis areas it is best to inquire about the best available lake options given current conditions of the day.

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Yellowdog Fly Fishing (April 3, 2024)

Flow Data: Missouri River below Holter Dam near Wolf Creek, MT

The weather in Craig is warm and sunny at the beginning of the week which transitions to cloudy and rainy by Thursday. Could be the perfect storm for hot dry fly action. Midges have been out and trout have been eating them on the surface here an there. A Peacock Cluster or Griffiths Gnat will usually trick the rising trout. Nymphing has been great. Scuds, sowbugs, and midges are the aquatic bug imitations to use throughout the spring. Tailwater Sowbugs, Pill Poppers, Manhattan Midges, and Amex are a few of our favorite winter Missouri Nymphs. A worm in wine or red will also trick MO fish this time of the year. Missouri fish hold primarily in the water that is moving at a walking pace and sometimes even slower when the water is this cold. Swinging can be a good option all winter long with small buggers or streamers. BWO’s coming soon! Have a few baetis patterns at the ready just in case.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (March 30, 2024)

🎣🎣 Chancy and Dave’s Fishing Report 🎣🎣
Smith Lake- Open water, catching pike.
Church Slough- Open water- Closed to boats until April 11th. No reports.
McWenneger Slough- Open Water, no reports.
Fennon Slough- Open, but very low water.
Middle Thompson- Open water.
Ashley/Bitterroot- Froze but not safe! ⚠️
Koocanusa- Rexford area fishing good for bulls and a few rainbows. Libby end fishing better for rainbows.
Flathead Lake- Good numbers of smaller fish jigging deep 150-200’. Try delta area and Somers with dead bait or large tubes.
Flathead River- Columbia Falls to old steel bridge fishing well for rainbows and a few cutts.
Be sure to check regulations!
⚠️⚠️ Please be safe, ice is going quickly ⚠️⚠️
$25 Gift Card Winner submitted by Rick Truzzolino. Submit your favorite fishing picture below. The picture with the most likes will win! 🎉

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (March 28, 2024)


A bit of a slower time of year. Ice is coming off, but not quite ready for open water. However, still a bit of fishing going on.

  • Flathead Lake – Mud line is forming off the delta. Try jigging around 50′ or heading deeper between 160-200′ for lots of smaller Macs.
  • Lower Flathead Lake – Perch bite is on! Reports of good numbers and size out of east bay in 3′-12′.
  • Lake Koocanusa – Rainbows have been biting well. Try using WiseFlies behind planer boards.
  • Church Slough – Closed to boating March 1st – April 10th.
  • McWenneger Slough – Ice has come off. No reports of fish activities yet.

Fred Robinson Bridge Ice Update (April 1, 2024)

J.E.: It was open a week ago when I went by. Some ice chunks still on shore but the river was open as far as you could see in both directions.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (March 18, 2024)

-No new report-

This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting.  This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.

Flows from Libby Dam:  4000cfs

Water temperature at Libby Dam: 42 degrees

Hatches: midge, baetis

patterns:  zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers

It’s not quite spring up here in Kootenai River country but we have good news.  Flows from Libby Dam have been reduced and will be stable at 4000cfs through the end of March for now.  That means there’s some great early season fishing available right now.

Expect more clammy cloudy weather through the weekend and into next week.  March continues to come in like a lion and we’ve yet to see the lamb.  Rain and snow mix will dominate forecast.  Fortunately daytime temps will ooch into the forties which is at least a small sign of spring around here.

At the moment the river is clear and in good shape.  Don’t expect much in the way of dry fly fishing and insect activity until we get some substantially warmer daytime temperatures.  The water is still cold but trout will start to feed a bit in the coming weeks.

This is always a good time of year for nymphing.  With low flows you don’t need a heavy rig.  You just need to get the flies down in softer runs and pools where trout are most likely to be holding this time of year.  Don’t spend a ton of time fishing fast riffles.

Streamer fishing is also productive this time of year especially since bigger fish will be hungry after laying low for a couple months during the dead of winter.  Keep in mind they will not necessarily want to move too fast or too far to get a meal.  Get your streamers down and fish them slowly and erratically.  Nothing like a wounded minnow to get a big rainbow interested in at least a sniff.

In Boston Red Sox news, it’s PLAY BALL!  After several weeks of a lockout the players union owners have finally come to an agreement.  Spring training will start immediately and while opening day was and remains delayed until April 7, the season will still be 162 games.  For now the Sox have managed to keep essentially the same playoff roster they had last season.  Infielders Dalbec, Arroyo, Bogaerts, and Devers are key players.  In the outfield Jackie Bradley Jr. has returned to Boston and Kike Hernandez and Verdugo will anchor the deep green.  Ace Chris Sale will hopefully be healthy and other starters from last year will hopefully pick up where they left off in October.  Go Sox!!!

Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures.  And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded swag and Orvis gear.

We look forward to hearing from you.  406-295-4872

Cooney Ice Report (April 3, 2024)

M.S.: Mostly ice 30 yards from shore Tuesday

The Paradise Valley spring creeks have been fishing great recently. Midge hatches mid-late morning and evenings, as well as some decent BWO hatches which typically have been popping in early afternoons. A great rig to cover both bases is a midge cluster/parachute (16-18) with a zebra midge or PT 6-12″ below. Watch your step for redds and spawners!


– Last Chance Cripple BWO #18
– CDC Thorax Trico #18
– Firebead Ray Charles Pink #16
– TB Split Case BWO #18
– Hale Bopp Leech Black #8

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (April 3, 2024)

Flow Data: Bighorn River near St. Xaiver, MT

The Bighorn is fishing well with great flows, water temps, and clarity. Good weather on the Bighorn until about Friday when the wind is expected to blow in cold wet weather. There have been a few BWO’s and midges hatching and the occasional fish slurping them down on the surface. Flies to use to trick these risers include but are not limited to the Quill Gordon BWO and BWO CDC Biot Comparadun. In the event that you find fish rising to midges a Peacock Cluster or Griffith’s Gnat will fool a consistently rising fish with a good cast and presentation. Nymphing has been the best strategy to catch fish so far this winter. Scuds, sowbugs, worms, and midges are Bighorn winter fare to imitate. Ray Charles, Pill Poppers, Tailwater sowbugs are great choices followed by a Manhattan midge or Zebra Midge. When none of these smaller flies seem to be working a Wire Worm or a Squirmy Worm will trick a few trout. Small streamers swung or fished deep and slow can pick up fish as well.

Upper Madison River Fishing Report by River’s Edge (April 2, 2024)

853 CFS @ Kirby – Reports from the Upper Madison have been pretty darn good recently. Nymphing has been great with stoneflies, worms, midges, and small baitfish patterns. Streamer fishing has also been productive with 2-3″ patterns in olive/black/white. Dry fly fishing can be great on midges and BWO’s this time of year, but check your weather apps!


– Griffith’s Gnat #18
– Spanish Bullet Quill #18
– Hares Ear Jig Pink #16
– Speckled DB Stone Olive #12
– Copper John Yellow #18

Headhunters Fly Shop Missouri River Fishing Forecast (April 1, 2024)

Missouri River April May Fly Fishing Forecast

No foolin’ today on the HH Blog. Your information source on the Montana’s Majestic Missouri River. Keep us in mind as you pass through Craig this spring. The friendly fly shop in Craig!

Snow on the ground. Melting. A skiff yesterday. More forecast for the weekend ahead in the form of snow, ,up to a foot! Bring it. Still light on our average for the winter. As we often ask, do your snow dance today, April Fools, and bring more precipitation to our drainage.

Looks like a good spring ahead. The anglers have been reporting good to great winter/spring fishing action and we believe this will continue. Shuttles daily, lots of new stock including the best in flies on the river. Lots of new patterns that our trout have not seen including all of the cool Euro Nymphs that  the indicator anglers love. Sink fast, durable, and fishy! Also, your Trout Spey Headquarters is located here at Headhunters of Craig. The largest selection of trout spey lines, bar none, rods, reels, and accessories. Guides too!

Missouri River Bugs April & May

Midges: Through the month into May. Better than average Midge action this year. Anglers have been pretty stoked for 6 weeks already. It should continue this month as we head into a decent dry fly period here in early April. The weather looks seasonal! Fish clusters, individuals, or in conjunction with droppers. You can find the fish rising in pond like areas as well as seam lines. But mostly the soft water insides where the midges are buzzin’ around on the surface.

BWO’s: Mid April into mid June sometimes. But mostly through the end of May. The best and most consistent of the spring bugs. Afternoons are the time when you will see them come off. 2pm and later. They start on the lower river and move uphill. And they have started. So expect more bugs as the month moves on.

Seams, insides, and flats. Sipping trout love this insect. Mayflies are a Missouri River staple. The Blue Winged Olive is one of our favorites. 42F river temp is the start. We are at that now.

Patterns? Cripples, emergers, spinners and duns. Find the rivers best selection at Headhunters in Craig. Not only do we provide the honest info, more than occasionally, we have the best bug selection too. Stop in and see our expert shop staff for friendly bug information including the only free large format map on the river.

Not one BWO showing as of yet. Water temps too cool for them to show on the surface. But, dig around in the weeds and you will find them. Been subsurface for some time now. Patterns of that ilk should begin to influence your fly selection. Stop in to check out our large selection of not only mayfly nymphs but a comprehensive selection of

March Browns: Mid May. Look for them int he canyon first. A few runs harbor this great bug. A couple weeks on the outside is all we see. So be ready. Mottled winged March Browns are a mayfly that the fish go nuts over. Most keep this one under their hat. Specific patterns available at HH will help you fish with confidence. An Adams will get it done if needed.

Mother’s Day Caddis: Early to Mid May. Sometimes later. Mid Canon and below. X Caddis is all you need. A film fly is not a bad idea either. Big Brown Trout get amped up man. This is a great one and short lived too.

Missouri River April and May Weather

Variable. That is the definitive answer. As many, most, if not all of you know that you should come the Mo with your best spring arsenal. Rain jackets, snow clothing, gloves, neck protection, hand warmers, Thermos’, sunscreen, sun hats, multiple layers…whatever you can stuff in your pack or luggage!

Averages above. We van have rain, snow, sleet, wintry mix, wind, and sun too. Obviously the warmer weather warms the water. The cold ass weather cools it rapidly too. It takes far longer to increase water temps than it does to cool it off.

So come prepared for battle fishing here in Craig Montana. I know I have been ill prepared a few days already this spring. It takes a beating to remind me that summer is not here, and winter is not over.

This last week we have had 70F and windy sun all the way to 3″ of snow and sleet on the river. That is a wide range!

Missouri River April May Fly Fishing Forecast

And there you have it. Our current and future situation here on Montana’s Missouri River. A comprehensive look at the months ahead. We love spring here in downtown Craig. It brings life to us after a below average water and above average temps winter. Friends, anglers, smiles, laughter, and the smell of trout…whitefish too!

Give us a call at the shop on our Trout Hotline 8am for more info if this does cover enough information. And it may not. We love to talk about trout here at Headhunters Fly Shop. 406-235-3447

Headhunters is your source for entertainment, information, education and customer service on this one of a kind trout fishing resource.

Big Hole River Fishing Report by Montana Angler (April 2024)

REPORT: No April Fool’s joke here! The Big Hole River has reopened to fishing! Early reports have been good, with fish looking very healthy. Great to have our favorite local river back as an option!


  • #10-#12 Fool’s Gold Skwala
  • #10-#12 Bullethead Skwala
  • #16-#20 Purple Haze
  • #16-#18 Olive Rocky Mountain Mint
  • #18-#20 Midge


  • #8-#12 Pat’s Rubberlegs
  • #10-#12 Olive Double Bead Stone
  • #10-#12 Pink or Red San Juan Worms
  • #14-#16 Pill Popper
  • #14-#16 Cotton Candy PLT Jig
  • #14-#18 Chartreuse Copper John
  • #14-#18 Jig Frenchie


  • #4 Bee Buggers
  • #4-#12 Coffey Sparkle Minnow
  • #6 Montana Humdinger
  • #6 Daddy’s Money
  • #6 The Grinch
  • #2-#8 Sex Dungeon

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (March 31, 2024)


The Big Horn River near Fort Smith, MT, is some of the best fly fishing in the state. The tailwater provides an extremely healthy trout population that offers Montana anglers opportunities throughout the year and is a prime option during spring, as temperatures here are typically much milder versus the Bozeman area.

The forecast this week is looking ideal, temperatures will reach a high since the beginning of the year and fishing will be good with the warmer weather. Fishing with nymphs is finding the most success for anglers visiting this area. Successful patterns are Scuds, Sowbugs, Midge Larvae, and Aquatic worm imitations. Floating or wading between Afterbay FAS and Bighorn FAS is the best water right now and fish are holding in large seams off into the slower water and in deep pools. Once you figure out what the wild trout here are focused on during their feeding, high numbers can be caught in these localized areas.

If fishing is slow, try sizing down your flies as well as adjusting the depth. Using the standard setups with Ray Charles, Pill Poppers, and Jelly Bean Sowbugs can catch fish throughout the river but patterns like the Manhattan Midge, WD40, and Micro Mayfly in smaller sizes can help in catching some pickier fish.

Fly fishing with streamers has been good with white or two-tone flies like a Barley Legal. Some of the larger fish are being caught with flies pulled off of the banks. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides have found that using a sinking tip line and making medium-length strips has been best.

Dry fly fishing has been good as thick hatches of Midges and BWOs are starting to take effect. If you see some trout rising to the surface, a Midge Cluster #18-16 / Parachute Adams #18-16 paired with a good cast typically fools them.

Make sure you stop by some of the fly shops in Fort Smith, MT like the Bighorn Angler and the Bighorn Trout Shop to get the latest information and conditions regarding the river.

Spring Creeks Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (April 3, 2024)

The Spring creeks have been fishing well the past few days and will only get better as we get deeper into spring. If the wind is low, expect to see fish rising to midges and BWO’s. Conditions this week and weekend could provide some good dry fly action. If you find risers they will likely take a Peacock Cluster, Miracle Midge, or Griffith’s Gnat with a good drift and presentation. There are a few BWO’s on the water in the afternoons and a few fish rising to them. Nothing too consistent yet but it is always possible to get a few trout on dries. A 401k Baetis or Stealth Link have successfully tricked these picky Spring Creek trout. Small scuds, sowbugs, and midges work well under a dry fly or under an indicator this time of the year. Any midge nymph with a white or flashy wing such as the Manhattan Midge seems to get a but more attention than other patterns. BWO nymphs and emergers will be in play once again. Nymphing will be pretty consistent in the event that the trout do not want to cooperate and eat bugs from the surface.

Stillwater Fishing Report via Montana Angler (March 27, 2024)

Current Conditions:

The Stillwater River is not quite as low and clear as it usually runs due to some weather lately, so it is running about 150 CFS higher than normal. Floating is dicey but doable but check locally for ice and snow and boat ramps just to make sure they are clear of ice. Blue Winged Olive hatches aren’t showing up in strong abundance yet but should be right around the corner. This is a bit of a drive for us so we usually wait until the summer months to target it.

The Month Ahead:

The fishing will improve as weather warms up through April until run off arrives in late May. Hatches might increase but still focus on afternoons with smaller nymph patterns for the coming weeks. Streamer anglers might find some action by focusing on deeper runs and holes.

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