Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 7.3.24
By angelamontana

Posted: July 3, 2024

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Holter Reservoir Fishing Report by FWP (July 1, 2024)

A few Kokanee are being caught between Split Rock and the Dam while trolling dodgers or cowbells with double whammy spinners tipped with shoepeg corn in 25 to 60 feet of water. Good numbers of rainbows are also being found while searching for kokanee on the lower end of the reservoir with the same equipment. A few walleye and perch are being caught in 25 feet of water near the Clay Banks on the lower end of the reservoir and in the Canyon near the Gates of the Mountains while vertical jigging with worms or leeches or trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Bitterroot River Fishing Report by Missoulian Angler (July 1, 2024)

The Bitterroot river fishing is picking up on the middle and lower sections, and continues to fish great on the upper stretches. The hatches are strong with Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, PMD’s, Green Drakes and the Terrestrial fishing is starting to come in to play.
We’ve been seeing some great dry fly fishing, especially in the cloudy weather this week, and this fishing should continue to be good for weeks to come.
The upper stretches are fishing a little better later in the morning, while the middle and lower sections seem to be fishing better during the first half of the day.

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

Jefferson River Fishing info by Fins and Feathers (June 29, 2024)

The Jefferson River in Montana is a beautiful, Cottonwood-lined stream that is often overlooked due to lower fish populations. Only a half hour from Bozeman, MT, and home to some of the larger trout in the area, this river has certain windows through the year where the angling can be good, typically spring and fall. The Jefferson River is a good option during the spring as long as it isn’t too dirty.

The river is in a nice window right now and could fish decent with PMDs, Drakes, and Caddis flies. Streamer fishing could be ok with the visibility but it won’t be long before the river gets too warm to be an ethical option unless you fish very early in the day.

It is pretty typical to only hook into a handful of trout on the Jefferson and anglers can normally expect it to be pretty tough as the river is deep and the fish can be spread out. The fish here hold deep and become lethargic, not moving far for their food. When the weather warms, you can find some decent fishing, it is normally due to being in the right place at the right time. The Lewis & Clark Canyon near Cardwell, MT, provides some of the better fishing with the Boulder and South Boulder rivers entering on this stretch. If you are in the area, it is worth fly fishing with nymphs or streamers. Effective patterns include San Juan worms, Zebra Midge Larvae, and Zirdles, fished under an indicator.

The river is open of ice and slush at the moment but is a bit off-color from all of the low-elevation snow melting. Look at some of our other Montana Fishing Reports to see how other areas are producing.

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (July 3, 2024)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (June 29, 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.

The recent rain added some off-color water, this has been clearing up quickly. Fishing above the West Fork and Taylor Fork the clarity is better.

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.

Salmonflies with a dropper has been very effective. 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 as they are incredibly slick. Our Bozeman, MT fly fishing guides have found that a large black Pat’s Rubberleg and a red worm have been very effective.

Fly fishing with streamers should start to get good. Try some bright/flashy patterns with all this warm weather.

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 (June 30, 2024)

As runoff is coming down, fishing on the Yellowstone is getting really good. On warm sunny days watch for bugs and rising fish, this time of the year fishing Caddis and PMD imitations should be good options. Streamer fishing can move some really big fish this time of the year so don’t be afraid to go big with a bigger fly like a Sluggo, Dragon, Dungeon, Ditch Witch, or a Seasoned Geezer. Nymph rigs are a consistent way to pick up some fish as well. Fishing Stoneflies, Worms, Zirdles, Hares Ears, Blowtorch’s, and flashy Euro nymphs are good options for subsurface fishing right now.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-18), Griffiths Gnat (16-20), Buzz Ball (14-16), Corn fed Caddis (14-16), X-Caddis (14-16), Parachute PMD (14-16), Para Sipper PMD (14-16), Chubby Chernobyl (8-16)

  • Streamer

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

  • 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 (July 3, 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 3, 2024)

Run off is now over on all rivers in Montana.  One of our most commonly asked questions is “when is the best time to fish Montana” – well the answer is now!  It is pretty hard to go wrong out there right now – every guide is a rock star under these conditions and there are a lot of bent rods and smiling faces on the rivers.


Water levels are slowly dropping on rivers and streams.  The snow pack is not completely gone so the flows are still at higher levels and the water temps are still on the cool side.  Trout love falling waters and the rising water temperatures are triggering a cascade of aquatic insect hatches.  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 3, 2024)

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

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

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 around the entire river and fish will ocassionally take these but they have been more interested in eating PMD’s. Cornfed Caddis or Missing link caddis are a few of my favorites for the caddis munching trout. Tricos are on the lower river and will be flying around Craig in no time. The nymphing is really good once again. 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. The streamer fishing has been OK. Now is the time to do it while there are still very few weeds. Kreelex, Sparkle Minnows and Skiddish Smolts will trick trout.

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

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (June 21, 2024)

  • Flathead Lake – Laker bite has been good. Try using spoons or squids trolling in 100′-120′ of water.
  • Echo Lake – Bass bite is still good! Work the docks and structure using Senko’s or paddle tails.
  • Ashley Lake – Salmon still being caught off the West shore in 30′-40′ of water. Success jigging both Hali jigs or  Swedish Pimples paired with Pautzke fire corn.
  • Blanchard Lake – Some decent pike being caught on dead bait. The bass are starting to move around docks and Lilly pads as well, so targeting those areas can produce some fish.
  • Middle Thompson – Reports of pike being caught off shoreline structure using spinners and buzz baits. Also finding a few Kokanee trolling Wiggle Hoochies in 25′-40′ of water.
  • Flathead River – Flows are coming down around 13000 cfs. Good clarity has some fish looking up for dry flies.
  • Swan Lake – Finding some lakers in 70′-80′ of water off the inlet. Try jigging hair jigs and tubes for them. The pike are still showing up in the reeds using smelt as well.
  • Lower Stillwater Lake – Lots of smaller pike being caught in the shallow. A few perch are being caught off the islands using small jigs and tubes.

Bozeman Fishing Reports by Fins and Feathers (June 29, 2024)

The rivers around Bozeman, MT have been in great shape, some added rain has caused the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Madison rivers around Ennis, MT to garner some color. This should clear up within a couple days.

The Madison River fishing has been solid nearly everywhere on the river. Salmonflies are out and about and the trout have taken notice. PMDs, Sallies, and Caddis are also around the the fishing has been quite good with nymphs and dry flies.

Missouri River fishing has been really good near Holter Dam, near Craig, MT. This area provides a healthy population of Rainbow and Brown trout that feed on sowbugs, scuds, midges, and small mayflies. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides have been loving a PMD cripple with a Crackback as a dropper.

The Gallatin River fly fishing has been shaping up and should just get better through the Canyon, north of Big Sky, MT. This national forest area provides a lot of access to deep holes and slow-moving runs where trout will hold. Salmonflies are starting their emergence in this section and can provide some excellent dry fly opportunities. Stoneflies, worms, and Midges are the golden ticket when fishing the Gallatin River. The river has a nice color to it through the canyon with a few feet of visibility, this is a good option when trying to avoid the wind.

Yellowstone River fishing is getting better every day and should be good fishing this week if it gets around 7-8k cfs. Fishing large stoneflies and sculpins along the banks can provide some trophy trout this time of year.

Cooney Fishing (June 21, 2024)

H.W.: Cooney most definitely is loaded with perch. River front park, even lake elmo has perch. Highly recommend using slip bobber and leech.

Hauser Reservoir Fishing Report (July 1, 2024)

A few walleye are being caught from shore at the Causeway Bridge while using orange floating jigs and leeches and while trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses inside the Causeway Arm. Some nice rainbows are being found below Canyon Ferry Dam with worms and marshmallows and while trolling cowbells and spinner combos with lead core line between the Dam and York Bridge.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (June 24, 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

Doesn’t get much better than June on the Livingston Spring Creeks. PMDs are hatching daily, with some caddis around later in the day as well. Take your time looking for risers, and walk quietly to avoid spooking any unseen fish. These trout are educated at this point in the season, so you’ll need your A-game to catch them!


-Tilt Wing PMD #18
-CDC Emerger PMD #18
-Ded Bug Caddis #16
-Jig Inferno-Gons Black #18
-Sunburst Perdigon #18

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (July 3, 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. PMD’s should be flying around soon with warming water temperatures. 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.

Wadsworth Pond Fishing (June 29, 2024)

S.S.: Everytime I go,I either catch trout., Perch or walleye. Ive caught all 3 in 1 day.

J.S.: There’s small catfish,trout, walleye, bass, carp, bluegill, and pumpkin seed

It’s very hit or miss. I’ve had a few amazing days and a lot of poor days, but I’ve seen some sizable walleye come out of there

Upper Madison River Fishing Report by River’s Edge (June 26, 2024)

1210 @ Kirby – The Upper Madison has had some good but spotty Salmonfly fishing and excellent evening caddis. Salmonflies are thickest between Ruby and McAtee but will continue to move upstream. Nymphing remains solid but fishing a big dry with a dropper will also catch some fish. It’s Salmonfly time on the Upper so time to get up there!


Salmonflies #6-8
Black Rubberlegs #6
SH Hare’s Ear #14
Caddis Pupa #14
Girdle Bugger #8

Tongue River Reservoir State Park 

Headhunters Fly Shop Missouri River Fishing Forecast (June 30, 2024)

Missouri River Mid-July Fly Fishing Forecast

Welcome to July! We have made it through the busiest month of the year, June, and have emerged on the other side with the hope of continued summer hatches and sunshine.

I’m sure we will have early start times at the shop and the guided clients will set the alarm to not only beat the heat but be in position for the Trico spinner fall.

Here is the Missouri River July Fly Fishing Forecast.

Hot. July is our warmest, hottest, month here in central Montana. Temperatures commonly near 100 degrees. As mentioned above we will see them this week. Let’s hope we do not see too many days over and above the century mark. So, we go out early. 630am is not too early. This can allow you a good morning bite with an afternoon siesta followed by an evening caddis session.

Lots of sunscreen and sun hats and sun gloves and SPF sun shirts too. If you need any of that kind of sun protection we have a full line of BUFF products, Skwala , NRS, Orvis, Howler Bros., and SIMMS sun products, and sunscreen from SunBum and more! Lip protection is important too alone with lots of water.

I find that many guests are afraid to pee. Yep, pee. So they don’t drink nearly enough water during the day. Many fishing guides drink in the neighborhood of one gallon. Yes, honest, true. If you do not drink the water, hydrate yourself, you can expect less than perfect performance. Less than 16 oz. of water is not enough. Nope. So get after the water consumption and perform better. It’s OK to drink lots of water. Lots. Enough to keep you active and productive after the lunch session.

Missouri River July Bugs and Hatches


Trico’s. Ephemerella Tricorythodes is the primary insect that most come out for in July. Daily hatches that go on strong through the month of July. Depending on the season, the year, the cycle, the Trico’s can last through the month of August and into September.

The males hatch in the evening and wait until the morning to greet their female counterparts. Females hatch in the morning meeting up for the in the air mating session. This is the event that many get pretty stoked about. Those high columns of mating bugs that may be 8-10 feet wide and 50+ feet high are impressive indeed. Mating columns get our blood pumping. They should do the same for you.

Then the spinner fall happens about 9am. Warm and hot air temps are OK for the Trico. Summer bugs don’t mind summer conditions with high and bright sun coupled with the air temps.

Spinner falls are awesome!

Trico Patterns that we love include the spinner in lots of versions. Double Wing, small Adams, Quigley’s Hackle Stackers, single winged spinners, sunken spinners, Griffith’s Gnats, Buzzballs, even a spent caddis or rusty spinner can get the attention of these sometimes finicky trout eaters.

Emergers can come into play in the front end of the hatch. I have had success with a small soft hackle type fly under an Adams. Or without the Adams. Just swing it. A CDC Emerger can be effective as well. Black bodied, tailed, and CDC winged.

Duns? Yes, sometimes they will get on them. Seems like the trout like them more than they like the PMD dun. Small parachutes, Adams, CDC Hanging Midge, and the like.

Pale Morning Duns

Going strong! Great PMD hatches and spinner falls daily. Hatches after 9am. Some days 11am. Spinners are in the forefront of many anglers minds. The days of the easy emergent stage along with the cripple mania is passing. Spinners will be the most productive, historically, as the hatch moves into its second month. May have another couple weeks of this kind of deal, but then, poooof!, they’ll be gone until 2025. Some years we get 8 weeks of the PMD. Those are the good years!

Patterns include the always popular and fishy cripple. Fish it strong. Fish it blind. Fish it bro’. Spinners. Yep. Soft hackles? Sure why not. CDC Emergers? Yes. Duns? Only if you are crazy or like to cast a lot. Or both. Or don’t like catching fish. The king of the PMD patterns is the Spinner. The KING!

Headhunters PMD selection is heads above the rest. 64 dry fly patterns. Over 100 PMD nymph patterns in stock! Come on by for that secret bug you need. Which one? We don’t know until you walk in the door. It’s different for everyone.

Caddis Flies

Pretty good showing so far this summer. The night show is awesome. The day time show is good. The morning show is damn good too. A good one to blind fish. Best really in several years as the fish are on them well. Spent and emergent bugs do well onto Mighty Mo.

Skittering caddis abound during the day time hours, recently. Find a good skittering caddis and let it ride. Blind or cast to a rising trout you may be surprised at the success rate. King’s River, Missouri River Special, X Caddis, Outrigger, CDC and Elk, Translucent Emerger or Translucent Pupa, CDC Caddis, Flambe, Hi-Vis tape Wings, or some down winged marvel that you have in your box…find one that you like, and can see and fish it strong. Fish it hard.

I’ve been digging the CDC Palmered Caddis, CDC and Elk, the Flambe, and the ever popular Translucent family of flies. There are some good ones out there.

Caddis will continue through September. Sometimes strong, other years not so much. But fish it with confidence all the time for good mid day action.

Or toss the spent in the morning hours for a good time. A spent during the day is good too. Evenings? Yep, of course.

Ants and Hoppers

Oh, the fish are probably looking for something like them soon. We are not on them yet as there are so many other dry fly options. But an ant blind or a smaller hopper attractor patterns can get it done. Blind fishing can be good. But if there are rising trout most prefer to cast at them. For the beginner trout angler who would like to have success on a dry fly without frustrating themselves with our sometimes finicky trout risers…a great way to transition. A great way to spend the day.

Headhunters is the favorite shop of attractor pattern shoppers. Techy small dries too. And nymphs of course…


Coming soon. Not yet, but it is coming. Buck up little camper, this is the big leagues. If you can’t hang…fish the Madison.

Missouri River July Water Flows

Summer lower flows for the wade fishing army. Bring it!

Flows stable in the low 4K’s.

The June time period is over. Good times ahead. Far fewer anglers and boats in the last couple days. After July 25th it falls of of the cliff. If you like quieter angling with some difficult fish, come in August. We can accomodate

Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service

Open daily at about 6am. Browse our extensive fly selection and pick up that sun shirt or that gift for your kids and wife.

See you on the river soon. Enjoy July.

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

The Gallatin is dropping and fishing well.  Trout are eating both dries and nymphs.  Attractor dry flies are just starting to produce and a dropper rig is a nice option.  In the deeper runs try running a nymph rig with a stonefly trailed by a smaller bead head attractor nymph.  Cover a lot of water but pay attention to where you are finding trout.  They are still giving preference to slower flows while the water temps are rising and are not in the fastest riffles yet.  The wade fishing can still be challenging with the higher flows.

The Month Ahead:

The next month on the Gallatin River is perhaps the most exciting month of the season. As the river comes into shape after snowmelt runoff, the magic month on the Gallatin River begins. After salmonflies hatch on the Gallatin River, golden stoneflies are abundant and often hatch in tandem with thick hatches of caddis and Pale Morning Dun mayflies. As the river continues to drop and clear, trout on the Gallatin River become more selective and often feed on the most available hatch. Because of this, when fishing the Gallatin River it is a good idea to have a variety of small stonefly, caddis, and PMD patterns.

Flies for the Gallatin River for the Next Month:

Chubby Chernobyl in black, olive, or royal in sizes 8-12

Pat’s Rubberlegs in sizes 8-12

Lightening Bugs in sizes 10-14

Royal Prince Nymphs in sizes 10-14

Pheasant Tails in sizes 10-14

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 1, 2024)

Good walleye action is happening around Duck Creek and Pond 1 in 20-30 feet of water, Snaggy Bay, and the west shore from White Earth up to Gull Island in 30-35 feet of water. Bottom bouncers with spinner blades or slow death rigs, various colors of crankbaits or jigs are all producing walleye.  Rainbows are being caught around Cemetery Island, Yacht Basin, Magpie and Crittendon while trolling cowbells with a worm. Shore anglers found rainbow, carp, walleye and perch on a hook and worm at Pond 4 and Confederate.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

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

The Spring creeks have been fishing 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 3, 2024)

*Flow Data: Yellowstone River near Livingston, MT

The Yellowstone is now fishing pretty well and the water clarity has improved significantly from last week. Salmonflies and Golden stones are flying around and fish have been looking up really well. They are mostly above Carbella now and the upper river has been fishing the best. 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. Fishing a large goldenstone or salmonfly pattern with a caddis or smaller attractor pattern behind it has been very productive. 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. PMD’s, Caddis, and Ants are working best below Pine Creek and hoppers will be in play in the very near future!

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (June 27, 2024)

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 Blackfoot Corridor the weather will continue to be pretty warm! We’re looking at some pretty bright sunny days again as well. Luckily, the river is still looking pretty stable and conditions should continue to be consistent through the week. The water temperature is getting pretty warm by the afternoons so consider getting out in the mornings/evenings when it’s not as hot out.

Best techniques:

The Blackfoot has been fishing well recently. We’re seeing Golden Stoneflies, Green Drakes, PMDs, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis out there. For most of the day, nymphing will be the way to go. Mayfly and stonefly nymph patterns will both work well. Come by the shop for some more options. Anglers will find some success with a dry fly in the mornings and evenings and whenever we’re graced with some clouds. Streamer fishing will be tough with the current water clarity and sun but you can still be successful if you stick to it.

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

*The Online Store is updated daily!  Check it out!

*Call us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.


  • Purple Haze #12-18
  • Corn Fed Caddis #12-14
  • Chubby Chernobyl #06-10 – Gold
  • Water Walker #8-12
  • Parachute PMD #14-18
  • Flash Cripple PMD #14-18
  • Last Chance Cripple PMD #16-20
  • Extended Body Green Drake #10-12


  • TJ Hooker #8-12
  • Flexy Stone #06-08
  • Hot Bead Power Worm #06-10
  • Jig Prince #8-12
  • Frenchie #12-14
  • Perdigons and Bullets #12-14
  • Duracell #12-16


  • Lil’ Kim #04-08
  • Wooly Bugger/Thin Mint #6-10
  • Sparkle Minnow #04-08
  • Kreelex #04-06
  • Articulated Sparkle Minnow
  • Dungeons
  • Peanut Envy
  • Double Gonga

Local Forecast

Deer Lodge, MT, USA



The Hatch

Golden Stones. PMDs. Green Drakes. Caddis. Yellow Sallies.

Yellowtail Reservoir Fishing (June 30, 2024)

J.A.: caught a couple small mouth ,jigged for walleye no luck. Am actually heading there today haha good luck!

Montana Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament

🎣 Join us for the 2024 Montana Gov Cup! 🎣
🗓️ July 11th, 12th & 13th
📍 Fort Peck Lake, Fort Peck, Montana
Get ready for the ultimate fishing tournament at the 2024 Montana Governors Cup! This is your chance to compete on the stunning Fort Peck Lake and take your chance at incredible prizes. We also have a kid’s fishing tournament, a community fish fry and more for the whole family to enjoy!
💰 100% Payout
🎣 Big Fish and Day Money Prizes
🍔 Food, Drinks, and Raffles
🎁 Multiple Prizes to Give Away
Don’t miss out on this fantastic event! Enjoy delicious food, refreshing drinks, and a lively raffle, all while competing for top honors.
We do still have some spots left in the tournament;
📞 Register Now:
Contact: Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, Inc.
Phone: 406-228-2222
We can’t wait to see you at the 2024 Montana Governors Cup Fishing Tournament!


(Click here for image licensing information)
New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing