Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 7.10.24
By angelamontana

Posted: July 10, 2024

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Montana Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament LIVE with the Captain on Saturday, 7.13.24! (click here for more info)

Holter Reservoir Fishing Report by FWP (July 8, 2024)

Walleye and perch fishing has been hot in the coves and bays above the Dam, along the Clay Banks, near Cottonwood Creek, and Mann Gulch while using various jigs tipped with worms or leeches in 15 to 20 feet of water. A few kokanee are being caught between Split Rock and the Dam while trolling 60 feet deep with down riggers. Using dodgers or cowbells with Hoochies and corn is working well for kokanee. Rainbows fishing has been good on the upper end of the reservoir while fly fishing with Pheasant Tail or Prince Nymphs and while tolling cowbells and spinner combos on the lower end of the reservoir.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Bitterroot River Fishing Report by Missoulian Angler (July 8, 2024)

The Bitterroot river fishing has been good over the last few weeks with plenty of bugs and good water temperatures. The water will warm up with this week as warmer weather moves in, especially on the lower end. The upper stretches will stay much cooler than the lower and is a better option for fishing throughout the day and the lower will be better fished during the first half of the day.
We’ve been seeing good hatches of Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, PMD’s and even some early Hopper and Trico action.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips for each hatch

Jefferson River Fishing info by Fins and Feathers (July 9, 2024)

Days spent fishing in Montana on the Jefferson River in July can be unpredictable as water levels begin to drop with increased irrigation demands.

Floating grass begins to be an issue for the nymph and streamer fly fishing sessions that our Bozeman fly fishing guides prefer during the early morning hours. Persistent anglers that don’t mind cleaning their flies after each cast will still find some nice fish on Crayfish patterns fished below a strike indicator.

Hatches are sparser now that the summer heat is settling in as well.

We are looking elsewhere now as the upper Madison, Gallatin, and Yellowstone Rivers are offering some of the best fly fishing in Montana at the present time. The moss will begin to clear out later in the summer, but expect some challenges in the meantime.

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (July 10, 2024)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (July 8, 2024)

Gallatin River fishing has been steadily improving over the last 10 days as the river is clearing and dropping quickly now that the runoff has slowed.

Dry fly fishing in the Gallatin Canyon and upper sections has been very fun the last week as there is an abundance of insects around right now. The Salmonflies are pretty much gone, but fish will still come up and eat a large imitation with some gold or orange on the underneath side. These work great to suspend the heavy dropper nymphs that have been productive in the deeper runs and pocket water.

Anglers fishing throughout the river’s course have been finding success fishing a single dry as well. Yellow Sally, Caddis, and a variety of mid-sized (10-14) attractor dry fly patterns have all been productive at time.

The lower river is still relatively high, making streamer fly fishing the most consistent method for anglers floating and fly fishing below Manhattan.

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.

Ruby River Fishing Report by Montana Angler (July 3, 2024)

The Ruby River is a nice option in the early summer with lots of pale morning duns to keep trout well fed. The fishing is often subsurface below the dam but if you have some nice cloud cover it can result in a lot of heads.  Fishing a small streamer in the mornings also can turn a lot of trout.  Nymphing is very productive with worms, small streamers and PMD emergers.

The Month Ahead:

The Ruby becomes less consistent in late July and early August with a banner day followed by a really tough one for no explainable reason.  Water temps are good near the dam most of the summer but expect early morning fishing to out produce other times of the day.

Long Term Fishing Forecast:

The Ruby is a good option all summer long.  Once we get into the heart of the summer the river sees more traffic on the public sections and fishing can be less consistent but you can still have some banner days.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (July 10, 2024)

As runoff is on the downfall, fishing on the Yellowstone is excellent. The flows in Livingston are 5610 at the moment. For a good number of us at the shop, this time of year is some of our favorite times to be on the Yellowstone. There’s a huge variety of bugs on the water out there right now including tons of Caddis, Sally’s PMD’s, Drakes, and Golden stones! So definitely remember to bring your dry fly box filled with Caddis, Parachute Adams, buzzballs and chubbies! Streamer fishing can move some really big fish this time of the year too, so don’t be afraid to throw some bigger flies like a Dungeon, Ditch Witch, Gonga, or a Mini dungeon. Nymph rigs are a consistent way to pick up some fish as well. Fishing Stoneflies, Worms, Zirdle’s, Hares Ear’s, Pheasant tail’s, Prince nymph’s, Blowtorch’s, and flashy Euro nymphs have all been good options for us while subsurface fishing right now or throwing underneath a chubby.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-18), Buzz Ball (14-16), Corn fed Caddis (14-16), X-Caddis (14-16), Parachute PMD (14-16), Extended Body PMD (14-16), Larimer’s Yellow Sally (12-14), Water Walker (8-12), Chubby Chernobyl (8-16)

  • Streamer

    Woolly Bugger (4-12), Ditch Witch Black/red/purple/ Yellow/white(2), Mini Peanut Envy Black/Yellow/Tan (6) Mini Dungeon Black/purple /Olive/Yellow (6), Montana Intruder (4), Sparkle Minnow JJ’s/Silver/Sculpin (4-8), Double Gonga Black/Rainbow (4), Sculpzilla Black/White/Olive (4-8), Seasoned Geezer Gold/Natural/Olive (6)

  • Nymph

    Pat’s Rubber Legs (6-12), Zirdle Bug (6-12), Perdigon Peacock/Purple/Pearl (14-18), CDC Pheasant Tail (10-18), Jigster Baetis (14-18), Formerly Known as Prince Nymph (10-18), BH Hare’s Ear (12-18), Sizzlin’ Hot Squirrel (14-16), Matt’s Shagadelic Mop Tan/Brown/Chartreuse/Cheeto (10)

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (July 10, 2024)


Georgetown lake is finally open! (The South and East shore line is still closed until July 1st). The lake is also ice free and a little muddy. Look for fish in the shallows as they cruise the shore lines.

Here are a few tips for fly fishing Georgetown Lake:

1. A balanced leech stripped or under an indicator is the best method right now.
2. Small damsel patterns and chironomids are also effective.
3. Cover water and be methodical and you’ll catch fish!

Here are a few fly suggestions:

1. Black balanced leech

2. Damsel nymph

3. Maroon balanced leech

4. Ice cream cone head chironomid

Looking ahead:

This is one of the best times to be out on Georgetown! Get out there!

Southwest Montana Fishing Overview by Montana Angler (July 10, 2024)

Run off is now over on all rivers in Montana. Most rivers are moving into high summer mode which means hatches of salmonflies and stoneflies are over but on the horizon is the consistent hopper fishing of summer as well as lingering hatches of PMDs and always consistent hatches of caddis and spruce moths.


Peak activity this time of year coincides with the emergence of aquatic insects during the hatches.  The peak hatch times depend on the fishery, on cold mountain streams, spring creeks, or some rivers that just cleared but still have a lot of snow melt water feeding them the hatches don’t begin until late morning and often run from 11am until 3pm.  On warmer fisheries that have already been clear for a while, or ones at lower elevations, the emergence is early in the morning, sometimes as early as 8am and things are wrapped up by lunch time.  Make sure you are on the water when the bugs are because that always coincides with the best fishing.  If you arrive before the hatch try streamer fishing or deep nymphing.  Make sure you have imitations of the insects that are hatching.  Depending on where you are this could be pmds, yellow sallies, golden stones, salmon flies, caddis, etc.  Also play close attention to the insects on the water at a given time, often PMD’s hatch before yellows sallies for example.  On highly fertile fisheries with thick hatches like spring creeks and tailwaters the trout become very selective during the hatch and you must imitate the correct species as well as life cycle of the insect that the trout are keying in on.  On less fertile freestone streams it is more of a potluck and the trout will feed more opportunistically.  On spring creeks plan on match the hatch but if you are fishing waters with sporadic hatches try big attractor dry flies on top or large streamers down under to move fish farther than smaller patterns.  Expect to fishing to slow down abruptly once the insects are gone but you can often continue to pick fish up later in the day.  In the evenings there is often another flurry of activity just before dark.


There are no shortage of insects available to trout on our local waters this time of year.  If you aren’t paying attention to the insects then you are definitely missing the boat.  Aquatic insects are by far the dominate food source right now on most streams and rivers.  Expect to see pale morning duns (small size 14 yellow and light grey mayflies), yellow sally stoneflies (size 14-12 yellow), caddis (several species, tan and cream size 16-10 – fast active fliers), golden stoneflies (big size 8 with dark gold body) and even some late salmonflies (giant size 2, three inches long).  There are also some different drake species of large mayflies hatching that can excite fish such as brown and eventually green drakes.  Make sure to have all stages of the life cycles in your boxes.  For mayfly species like the pale morning dun have nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns and spinners.  For caddis have larva, pupae and adults.  For stoneflies nymphs and adults.

Fly selection

You basically have to determine if you are going to match the hatch or bust the hatch this time of year.  When you can see fish actively rising on the surface it is generally best to match the hatch.  The same as true before a hatch, nymphing with the imitation of the nymph or emerger that the fish will see later is a good bet.  When the hatch starts if fish are on the surface it is best to match the hatch or try a “cripple” or “emerger” pattern behind an adult imitation.  If the hatch gets to a blanket stage then try a size or two larger than the natural.  If fish are not taking flies off the surface then the nymphing game can be tougher during the peak of the hatch unless you are sight casting.  There can be so many naturals underwater that your imitation has beat the odds that are often 100:1 with so many real bugs in the water.  If you are nymphing during a strong hatch it is often better to switch to much larger patterns or streamers dead drifted or stripped rather than compete with naturals.

Interestingly when a hatch is sparse we flip flop are strategy.  On the surface you can still catch fish with an exact imitation but you can often be even more successful with a large attractor fly that will move fish farther.  The trout aren’t so keyed in on the natural that they won’t switch gears and eat something even bigger like a fat albert or chubby Chernobyl.  When nymphing it is nice to continue to have an exact imitation but consider trailing it behind something larger like a big stonefly nymph, crayfish or sculpin.

Reading water

Flows are all over the place right now on different rivers.  On fisheries that have already dropped significantly trout are already moving into deeper runs for protection but on the rivers with higher flows they are in the safe havens that have slower current speeds like along banks, behind rocks and on the inside corners of bends or slower tail-outs.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (July 10, 2024)

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Yellowdog Fly Fishing (July 10, 2024)

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

The weather in Craig looks to break 100 degrees this week. This brutal heat will certainly jump start the trico hatches on the upper river. Fishing on the MO remains very strong. Fish are eating flies and put up a huge fight. PMD’s are hatching in big numbers and fish are pretty darn willing to eat them on the surface. The PMD last chance cripple, PMD CDC Comparadun, Hi-vis rusty spinner are all great options. It is important to have emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners for the PMD hatch. Good presentations and drifts are becoming more an more important as trout see more flies and more pressure. Caddis are out in big numbers in the evening and fish have been willing to eat the caddis all day.. Cornfed Caddis or Missing link caddis are a few of my favorites for the caddis munching trout. There are a lot of different bugs available to the fish so figuring out which brand they are eating can take a few attempts. The nymphing is still really good. Perdigons have been working great. A Little Green Machine or Crackback PMD are excellent nymph choices currently. Fish are both deep and in shallow areas so it is nice to have a short leash rig and a deep nymph rig ready to go. Fish have started eating crawfish in shallow water which can make for very fun short leash nymphing.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (July 2, 2024)

💙 Thompson River- Trout action very good, try small spinners or flies. Early mornings have been productive. Try near bend area or lower end of river.
❤️ Mcgregor Lake- Troll shoreline early mornings with flickershads or flat fish for rainbows. Try 80-100’ of water with small flasher/fly combos for lake trout.
💙 Ashley Lake- Good numbers of small salmon trolling or jigging . Few nice big perch.
❤️ Echo Lake- Stll good bass action try crank baits or jerk baits.
💙 Lake Mary Ronan- Lots of good perch action 12-15’ water, try gitzits or small craws.
❤️ Flathead Lake- Trolling silver flashers and flies 80-120’ of water or large flat fish on bottom near mid lake bar or Woods bay. South end has been good for perch and bass.
💙 Swan Lake- Stll catching lake trout trolling large plugs or flashers/fly combos. Troll shoreline early morning for rainbows.
❤️ Dickey Lake- Good salmon action trolling or jigging early mornings.
🇺🇸 Have a safe and Happy 4th of July! 🇺🇸

Flathead Fishing Report by the Macman at Zimmer Tackle (June 30, 2024)


Last night at Elmo I caught over 40 perch with 1/4 oz and 3/8 oz Wana B’s with fly above it .
25 to 70 feet good for lake trout in Rocky and North Bird and alot of the rest of the main lake.
Trolling at night in both sides of Melita and back to walstad and back of Elmo. Troll Bird; staY CLOSE TO shore when trolling ; Bull island also wild Horse not so much Blacks point. east sid of narrows.
Swan lake 80 feet orange colored Rattle d zastor all the way to the outlet .
8 am to 11 am is the best time for lake trout in Rocky.

Pike still being caught in East Bay. 28 5 over 20 lbs
Perch at the city docks using fuzz bugs and nightcrawlers. Small mouth Lake trout and pike also being caught. Lake trout in smaller numbers.
Lake Mary Ronan Salmon not bitng well right now.
Perch are biting in LMRonan Both are sporatic bites right now. 15 to 25 feet right off the dock. 16-17 feet.
Lake Trout are being caught at Elmo and Big Arm area and will
be good until August except for those feeding on the little perch along side the whitefish. Lake trout also in 40 -70 feet in a lot of the main lake.
Just as you break through the narrows onto bull island use whole fish setups for small mouth bass or just past the rock hazard East for lake trout
Bass are spawning in Kicking horse and Ninepipe
Pablo Reservoir both bass and pike and rainbow trout brown trout and crappie and
bullheads at night also in Ninepipe.
Turtle lake until the first part of June .. Bass; now until mid june
East Bay has small mouth and Pike and perch … active all over
Lake….Small mouth has exploded This weekend will be cooler.
Dog Lake.. Pike bite good and perch soon will be biting;
Hubbard reservoir Monster small mouth Kokanee and rainbow
Lone Pine and Crow Reservoir… Excellent for Brown Rainbows and only in crow is small mouth bass and rainbow and browns
New! North Bird Island Shallow to 235 feet.

Good Fishing
The Macman

Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report (July 7, 2024)


Hebgen: (Nothing much has changed on the lake) – We’re seeing plenty of Callibaetis hatching on and around the lake, as well as a strong hatch of midges continuing. A good number of gulpers have been spotted on the calmer days. We’ve been producing pretty well on stripped leeches and similarly small streamers.

Flies: #8 Black or Olive Simi Seal Leech, #6 Balanced Squirrel Leech Black, #6 Olive or Black Hot Bead Leech, #8 Booby Leach, #8 Thin Mint, #18 BBQ Baetis, #14 Olive Nugget, #12 O.S. Buzzer, #18 Two Bit Hooker, #16 Long Tailed Spinner Callibaetis,
#16 Purple Missing Link, #20 Low Water Baetis
Inflow to Hebgen Lake: 779 cfs
Hebgen Lake Outflow: 1105 cfs
Kirby Flows: 1280 cfs
Temp @ Kirby: High – 68.2 F
Low – 56.8 F

** Flows as of 12pm June 10th, 2024 **

MRO Shop Staff Cole Bedics hoisting a massive YNP Cutthroat 
Upper Madison:
(Last weeks report still rings true) – The Madison is fishing very very well throughout the whole river. There are bugs EVERYWHERE! Salmonflies, Drakes, Flav’s, BWO’s, PMD’s, Caddis, and Chocolate Sedges. If you’re on the Upper and you’re throwing nymphs… get some help!
Flies: #10 Pat’s Rubberlegs – Black, #16 Black OR Red Krystal Dip, #14 Olive Grub, #14 Pilva’s Perdigon – Olive, #16 Royal Chubby, #16 Rocky Mountain Mint – PMD, #14 Chocolate X-Caddis, #14 CDC & Elk Caddis – Black, #10 Fools Gold Salmonfly, #12 Royal Water Walker, #12 Fools Gold Golden Stone, #12 Water Walker Golden Stone

MRO Guide Tyler Amory & friend of MRO Zach Menegat showing off a nice Upper Madison Brown with special 4-legged guest Sammy
The Western side of YNP is fishing great!
The Gibbon, & Madison are all fishing well despite the slight runoff with dries and nymphs. There’s a smorgus board of bugs on the menu – Caddis, PMD’s, BWO’s, Yellow Sallies, and Stoneflies. Soft Hackles and Streamers have been producing as well. The Firehole is too warm to ethically fish. The Yellowstone is open and fishing great with dries and streamers.

**The Firehole & Madison in YNP have been reaching temperatures exceeding 70 degrees F. Please give the fish a break after 11am/12pm. The Madison above Hebgen to the Park Boundary is officially on Hoot Owl Restriction (no fishing after 12pm). There’s plenty more water around!**

Flies: #16 Olive Hairs Ear, #16 Olive Hot Spot, #14 Czech Frenchie, #14 Diving Caddis – Olive, #16 Partridge & Pheasant Flash Back, #8 Rio’s Juicy Stone – Salmonfly, #16 DOA PMD, #18 CDC Biot BWO Comparadun, #16 Elk Hair Caddis – Dark Brown OR Olive, #18 Purple Missing Link, #6 CH Sparkle Minnow – Brownie, #6 Peanut Envy – Olive OR Brown

Madison near West Yellowstone: – 370 cfs
Yellowstone below Yellowstone Lake: – 3620 cfs
Gibbon: – 105 cfs
Firehole: – TOO HOT ALL 24hrs
Gallatin near Big Sky: 650cfs
Get out there!

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (July 4, 2024)

  • Flathead Lake – Catching some macs trolling 80′-120′ off Caroline Point down to Painted Rocks. Try flatfish or FLC trolling spinners as some well proven options.
  • Echo Lake – Bass are moving around structure. Try using Brushhogs and Senko’s to get that bite.
  • Ashley Lake – Decent salmon bite off the West Shore in 20′-30′. Using Swedish Pimples rigged with Zimmer glo hooks seems to be working well.
  • Blanchard Lake – Lots of crappie off the weed edges using Pautzke minnows or Mr. Crappie jigs. A few good pike on spinnerbaits and buzz baits being reported also.
  • Middle Thompson – Largemouth bite has been good. Reports are saying to fish Senko’s and craws in the reeds. A few salmon being caught on the West end trolling hoochies.
  • Flathead River – Flows remain consistent around 13000 cfs. Good clarity means dry flies will be picking up.
  • Beaver Lake – Some good perch fishing off the boat launch in about 20′ using small jigs tipped with maggots. Some salmon being caught in 30′-40′ of water too.
  • Lower Stillwater Lake – Good pike fishing around the shoreline. Lots of perch being caught off the islands in about 20′ of water also.

Depuy’s Spring Creek by Fins and Feathers (July 9, 2024)

Depuy’s spring creek is starting to come into prime shape as the summer dry fly season is just beginning. Anglers fishing the morning hours can expect daily midge hatches which give way to increasingly prolific PMD hatches in the early afternoon or late morning.

July fly fishing in Montana on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks is the beginning of the most technical fishing of the season. Be well prepared with a good selection of supple, nylon tippets in 4-7X and a variety of floatants to keep those sparse dry flies floating throughout the day. Careful approaches and accurate presentations are essential to success.

Our Montana fishing guides prefer low-sitting, simple flies this time of the year when fly fishing Depuy’s spring Creek. PMD Sparkle Duns, Rusty Spinners, and a variety of small CDC cripples or emergers are our go-to patterns when working the PMD hatches on the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks.

Hauser Reservoir Fishing Report (July 8, 2024)

Walleye fishing has been good inside the Causeway Arm and around the Dredge Piles while using white and purple jigs tipped with worms or leeches. Rainbow fishing has been good below Canyon Ferry Dam with worms, power bait, or Wooly Buggers and out from Black Sandy while trolling cowbells and spinner combos with lead core line. An occasional kokanee is being found while trolling 25 to 45 feet down for rainbows.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (July 7, 2024)

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

PMDs continue to hatch on the spring creeks throughout the morning hours, with some spinners present in the early morning and evening hours as well. A few caddis have been around in the evenings also, and terrestrials are beginning to become more important throughout the day, particularly ants and beetles. A small nymph dropper can also be deadly!


-Sparkle Dun PMD #18
-CDC Rusty Spinner #18
-Caddis Flambe Tan #16
-Pheasant Tail Nymph #18
-Matchstick Quill Jig Olive #18

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (July 10, 2024)

Flow Data: Bighorn River near St. Xaiver, MT

The Bighorn is fishing well with nymphs but the dry fly action has been slow recently. This should change with the very warm weather that is expected this week. PMD’s should really take off after a few days of this heat. Ants, hoppers and beetles will start to work well throughout July. Scuds, sowbugs, worms, and midges are still working well under an indicator. Fish have been eating BWO and PMD nymphs a bit as well. The Pheasant Tail nymph is an excellent option for the mayfly nymph eating trout. Ray Charles, Pill Poppers, Tailwater sowbugs are great choices followed by a Manhattan midge or Zebra Midge. Streamer fishing has been relatively slow overall. Streamer fishing is significantly better on cloudy days. Get it in while you still can as the weeds are starting to grow in some areas.

Upper Madison River Fishing Report by River’s Edge (July 4, 2024)

1170 CFS @ Kirby. There’s no better time to be on the Upper Madison than right now. There are still a few Salmonflies and Golden Stones hanging around in the Quake Lake area, and you can find PMDs, Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Epeorus, and occasional Green Drakes scattered throughout the river. Take advantage of prime dry fly fishing while its here!


-Razor Mayfly PMD #16
-X Caddis Tan #16
-Summer Stone Yellow #14
-Jig Spanish Bullet Quill #16
-Jig Rusty Nail Perdigon #16

Tongue River Reservoir State Park 

Headhunters Fly Shop Missouri River Fishing Forecast (July 8, 2024)

Flows are 4160 cfs.

Water temps are 62F.

Trico’s? Yes.

PMD’s? Yes.

Caddis? Yes.

Yellow Sally’s? Yes.

Nymphing is great? Yes. Deep and shallow. PMD nymphs, caddis nymphs, Yellow Sally nymphs, Trico nymphs.

Dry fly anglers are rejoicing. Both blind dry fishing and posted up. Rising trout mostly all day long. Yet to see a true Trico spinner fall. In the next couple days it will happen. Big time. Yes.

Streamer fishers are in wait for the fall session.

Swingers are sleeping until the fall as well.

Weeds are coming. Not yet, but we can see them building.

The out of area guests are mostly gone. Locals and non local locals are out there. The weekends have included lots of non angling participation. Smile as they come by and wish them a great day! Enjoy the river together.

A great time to be here. We love July.

Shop open daily 6am. All services available. Rental bots, rental rods, guided trips, local lodging at 35+ riverfront and otherwise, free maps, free information, the friendly fly shop staff.

One of the guest recently stopped in and gave us a nice comment. She said that we are the “Friendly Fly Shop with knowledgeable men and women staff. A fly shop centered around fishing and friends. Fun too!”

Gallatin River Fishing Report by Montana Angler (July 10, 2024)

The Gallatin River near Big Sky and Bozeman is dropping steady which means it is a great level for walk-and-wade fishing. The best section to target at the moment is the water south of Bozeman into Gallatin Canyon all the way into Yellowstone National Park. The excitement of the salmonflies is over but the Gallatin River still is pumping out consistent hatches of PMDs, caddis, and Yellow Sallies.

As the river continues to drop and clear expect trout to become a little more selective in their feeding habits. With so much public access on the Gallatin River near Big Sky, anglers that are willing to hike a little from a common access or parking area are going to find more consistent fishing.

The Month Ahead:

The next month on the Gallatin River serves up a variety of fishing options. The Gallatin River has some of the coldest water in southwest Montana because of the high elevation and deep canyon so it makes it ideal for anglers looking for plenty of DYI opportunities. Trout are going to be feeding in several types of water for the next few weeks. More fish are going to be found in riffles and deeper runs than along bankside structure. When the spruce moths hatch trout may migrate back to the banks, but with the absence of strong stonefly hatches and the abundance of PMDs and caddis, look for trout to be feeding mostly in riffles and runs.

Flies for the Gallatin River for the Next Month:

Chubby Chernobyl in black, olive, or royal in sizes 12-16

Pat’s Rubberlegs in sizes 12-14

Lightening Bugs in sizes 14-16

Royal Prince Nymphs in sizes 12-16

Pheasant Tails in sizes 12-16

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (June 29, 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 Bighorn is fishing well, especially while wading. Nymphing has been very good as flows are around 400 CFS and water temps still cold. The best flies have been with your typical springtime flies like an HB Ray Charles #16, tan Carpet Bugs, and pink Jellybeans fished about 5 ft under an indicator. PMD nymphs should start to become more of a focus for the fish as well.

Dry fly fishing should start to pick up with the emergence of PMDs but as of right now nymphing has been the name of the game.

Fly fishing with streamers has been hit or miss, mainly depending on the conditions. Some anglers are finding success with white or two-tone flies like a Barley Legal. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides have found that using a sinking tip line and making medium-length strips has been best.

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.

Canyon Ferry Fishing Report by FWP (July 8, 2024)

The walleye bite is really turning on throughout the reservoir.  The best areas are Pond 4, Pond 2 to Duck Creek, and north of White Earth on the west shore.  Bottom bouncers with slow death rigs, various colors of crankbaits or jigs are all producing walleye and a few perch in 25-40 feet of water.  Rainbow action is slowing down with some still being caught around Cemetery Island and Yacht Basin while trolling cowbells or using jigs with a worm. Shore fishing is slow.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Spring Creeks Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (July 10, 2024)

The Spring creeks have been dry fly fishing very well. You may still find a few fish rising to midges in the morning before the PMD hatch takes off. The PMD’s have been hatching in good numbers in the afternoons. When fish are rising to PMD’s a CDC Emerger in #18 or a PMD Film Critic have worked great. Fish have been picky so a long leader with a good drift is imperative. There has been good PMD spinner falls in the evenings on calm days. A Hi-Vis rusty spinner is the fly to use in a #16 or #18. Small scuds, sowbugs, and midges have continued to work well under a dry fly or under an indicator. Any midge nymph with a white or flashy wing such as the Manhattan Midge seems to get a but more attention than other patterns. PMD nymphs and emergers will be great options when the fish are eating sub-surface. It will be worth fishing ants, beetles, and hoppers through the rest of the summer if you cannot figure out what the fish are feeding on or if there is not a lot of surface action. Nymphing will be pretty consistent in the event that the trout do not want to cooperate and eat bugs from the surface.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (July 10, 2024)

*Flow Data: Yellowstone River near Livingston, MT

The Yellowstone has slowed down a bit now that the Salmonflies and Golden stones are on their way out for the season. They are mostly above Carbella now and the upper river has been fishing the best. Fishing a large goldenstone or salmonfly pattern with a caddis or smaller attractor pattern behind it has been very productive. The dry fly action has been good up top but slower as you get closer to Livingston. Green Drakes, Caddis, and PMD’s are all flying around so there is a good amount of available food on the surface for the Yellowstone River trout. We are hoping the fish start keying in on these bugs around town as the dry fly fishing town and below was pretty slow. Streamers, stonefly nymphs, and perdigons along the banks will be a good bet if the fish are not looking up especially on the lower portions of the river. Streamer fishing was moderate this last week. PMD’s, Caddis, and Ants are working best below Pine Creek and hoppers will be in play in the very near future!

Clark Fork River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (July 8, 2024)

Our Report

Tip of the Week:

The rivers are getting pretty warm which means finding cool areas in the river is key. Start with fast moving water and deep riffles – these areas are where trout will be taking advantage of super-oxygenated water when it gets hot! Fishing during the cooler parts of the day will also yield better results if you’re able to get on the water in the mornings and evenings.

7 Day Outlook: 

This week in the Missoula Valley the weather will be hot! We’re looking at some pretty bright sunny days again as well. Luckily, the river is clear and flows are stable. The water temperature is getting pretty warm by the afternoon so consider getting out in the mornings/evenings when it’s not as hot out.

Best techniques:

The Clark Fork has been fishing well recently. We’re seeing Golden Stoneflies, PMDs, Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis out there. For most of the day, nymphing will be the way to go.  Throw a dry-dropper so you can cut off the nymph and just fish the dry when fish start rising. Tie on a chubby or other stonefly pattern with a mayfly or stonefly nymph as a dropper. Anglers will find success with a dry fly in the mornings and evenings before it warms up. Streamer fishing will be a bit tough with the clear water and bright sun, but some anglers are still connecting with some pretty big fish on streamers.

*Traveling or in a hurry?  Let our knowledgeable staff pick a fly selection for you!

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