Montana fly fishing information

Montana Fishing Guide School Announces 2017 Dates November 20 2016

Big Sky, Bozeman, and Missouri River, Montana. November 20th 2016.  Another season of the Montana Fishing Guide School will be starting in less than four months. Our first session starts March 19th. As the success of the guide school grows, we are offering more sessions in 2017 to match demand.  2017 DATES HAVE BEEN SET March 19-25. Bozeman/Big Sky and Missouri River.March 26-April 1. Bozeman and Big Sky based. April...

Only a few more weeks of Shoulder Season November 19 2016

Enjoy the down time because ski season is around the corner By Patrick Straub EBS Fishing Columnist Author’s note: I will be chasing bonefish and permit the next two weeks, so I have rewritten a column from November 2013. This is my way of dealing with shoulder season. From fishing high mountain streams to chasing the last of the October caddis, fishing this time of year is both rewarding and...

Fall Fly Shop Day Dreamin' with Lauren October 03 2016

Wow. Busy summer in Big Sky. Busiest One Ever.  By Lauren Jackson, GRG fly shop staff Like many residents in resort communities I spent the majority of the summer juggling a few part-time jobs, (fly shop, musician, waitress) working long stretches without days off, trying to make hay while the sun shines. You know how the story goes: lots of work and little fishing.  All summer I have longed to have...

A Veteran Guide's Take on Recent Events September 28 2016

A veteran guide’s take on recent events.  A Reality Check on the Yellowstone.   By Patrick Straub  **This was originally published in a recent issue of Explore Big Sky More than three weeks have passed since Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed nearly 200 miles of the Yellowstone River downstream of the Yellowstone Park boundary. In response to an invasive parasite, the agency made a tough call to restrict water-based...

Late Summer Transitions. Finding fish when the fishing is tough. September 05 2016

*This piece was originally printed in Explore Big Sky by Pat Straub and has been slightly edited to be up to date for September.   Late Summer Teamwork As kids return to school, the nights get longer and the mornings cooler, and the number of visitors slowly wanes, the signs of summer’s exit are becoming more clear. As many of us shift from summer camps with the kids or constant motion—serving...

Locals Fishing Report for Explore Big Sky September 01 2016

Update: On August 19th the Yellowstone River was temporarily shut down from the Yellowstone Park boundary to Laurel, MT due to the discovery of a parasite that is responsible for the death of whitefish and some trout. Please contact your local fly shop or Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the most up to date information regarding the closure. September 1st: Yellowstone River below 89 Bridge has been reopened to fishing...

Yellowstone River Closure Catch Up. August 27 2016

RC Cone enjoying the Yellowstone's amazing scenery Spring '16 It's been about a week now since Montana FWP closed a nearly 200 mile stretch of the Yellowstone River from the Yellowstone National Park border and all of its tributaries.  News of the fish kill has become national news, and since the closure there has not been much for updates here are some links that we think best describe what has...

Hopper-Tunities abound on our local rivers Look to terrestrials to catch fish August 11 2016

  Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana fly fishing trips are fishing hoppers. Streamflows are low, air temperatures are warming, and hatches are dwindling. These may appear as parts of a recipe for poor fishing conditions, but things are not as dire as they may seem. We certainly need to be conscious of conditions—cease fishing in the late afternoon, bring fish in quickly, and keep fish wet at all times—but as...

Choose The Best Dry Fly For The Situation July 17 2016

By Patrick Straub (Originally published in Explore Big Sky) When you can't match the hatch, a chubby is often times the right choice One of my guiding mentors, nicknamed “Rio” by his peers, used to carry his dry flies in a Mason jar. Why a Mason jar? Because they were size 2 split-wing patterns and a fly box would have mashed the wings and tail. Seeing these flies on the...

River Conditions 7/11/16 July 11 2016

Some visibility and slightly green.  I'd fish it. The recent rain sent a fairly large plug down the Gallatin on Sunday night, and the river is nymphable above Storm Castle.  While not clear, it is certainly fishable.  Above Taylor Fork is clear.  We checked up as high as 320 ranch at 7:30 am this morning and saw no sign of a 2nd mud plug....yet.  Call the shop for up to date...

River Conditions 7/11/16 July 11 2016

Some visibility and slightly green.  I'd fish it. The recent rain sent a fairly large plug down the Gallatin on Sunday night, and the river is nymphable above Storm Castle.  While not clear, it is certainly fishable.  Above Taylor Fork is clear.  We checked up as high as 320 ranch at 7:30 am this morning and saw no sign of a 2nd mud plug....yet.  Call the shop for up to date...

Madison Gallatin Trout Unlimited Upcoming events June 22 2016

Madison-Gallatin Chapter of Trout Unlimited JUNE 2016 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED  THIS SATURDAY!   Gallatin River Clean Up & Weed Pull   Saturday, June 25th 9AM - NOON   Please RSVP to Jennifer Mohler at 406.209.0905 orbigskyweeds@gmail.com  *See details below* Gallatin River Guides 12th Annual Pesca Fiesta    ** All Taco & Raffle Proceeds go to MGTU **      ** VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ** MGTU NEEDS YOUR HELP CALL TO ACTION TU's...

Dry Fly Floatant...a.k.a the PFD Hatch. June 20 2016

There are almost as many types of fly floatant as there are fly patterns these days, with each one claiming to be the best.  The "best" claim is a very loose term, so we thought the easiest way to explain was to break apart the different styles of floatant and explain why their is no "best" floatant, and why you might want to have all three types at your disposal.   So...

How to Succeed this Salmon Fly Season. Five Tips To Catch More Fish. June 17 2016

Fish Food.  Photo: S. Stalling Here in Big Sky, MT it's the best time of year. Runoff is nearly over and as the muddy water on the Gallatin gives way to a beautiful, light green color, there is one thing the shop trout bums can't get off their brains: Salmonflies. The hatch is coming. As the nymphs begin to move towards the banks of the river, we know the pocket...

Our favorite Salmonfly Patterns.... June 17 2016

Rumor mills are running at full capacity right now with talk of Salmonflies on the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers.  Everyone has heard that people have seen some adults in the air, but no one has actually seen any themselves.  While we haven't seen any on the Gallatin, we are excited to get in on the action on the Madison any day now..... In the meantime, we can help you stock...

Explore Big Sky Eddy Line: Salmonflies will soon be fluttering June 13 2016

Salmonflies will soon be hatching on our local rivers. These insects, the largest of the angling season, get both the trout and angler equally excited—but fishing them requires patience, knowledge and some luck. PHOTO COURTESY OF GALLATIN RIVER GUIDES Salmonflies will soon be fluttering By Patrick Straub EBS Fishing Columnist For many of us freestone anglers, the first few weeks of June are challenging because the desire to fish our...

Big Water and Big Flies. Get Your Groove On. June 09 2016

‘Tis the season for the stonefly: Big water and big hatches Spring to summer in mountain country is defined by change—the  snow line creeps up, rivers are full and often dirty, and the fly fishing community is gearing up for summer. In my world, I’m on the river more than not. When I’m not on the river, I’m checking streamflows and weather reports to find stable, or dropping, rivers. With...

Bank-robbing: fish the right place June 05 2016

Bank-Robbing Your best place to make a trout withdrawl: near bankside structure Many of our area rivers are priming for the salmonfly hatch—many river's largest aquatic insect and a trout’s time to gorge themselves post-runoff. The salmonfly, aka Pteronarcys californica for those with overly-refined palletes or those who fancy in the ignorance of others, is a giant bug on the minds of any Montana fly fisher for the next several...

Pesca Fiesta July 1 Big Sky, Montana Fly Fishing Party June 04 2016

  Mark your calendars! GRG's 12 Annual Pesca Fiesta and Super Sale And, for $5 you can support trout and perhaps get lucky and spend a day in the boat with Pat and Jimmy. Buy your $5 Super Raffle tickets here. You do not need to be present to win. Do it: help trout and save on your taxes.Join Gallatin River Guides and all of our friends and product Sales...

Catch and release: Do it right May 26 2016

Catch and release: Do it right By Patrick Straub EBS Fishing Columnist   Most anglers want the glory shot with a big grin and an even bigger fish. In today’s world of selfies, social media posts, and mega-sharing, the desire is strong to photograph our catch. For those of us who’ve been fishing a long time and have caught plenty of big trout, photographing every catch is a thing of the...

Understanding stonefly nymphs and the best way to fish them May 24 2016

Spring to summer in mountain country is defined by change—the  snow line creeps up, rivers are full and often dirty, and the fly fishing community is gearing up for summer. In my world, I’m on the river more than not. When I’m not on the river, I’m checking streamflows and weather reports to find stable, or dropping, rivers. With the anxiety of runoff season, a little sweat equity often results...

Montana Fishing Guide School: Where Are They Now? GRG's Drew Hay May 18 2016

Drew Hay (holding fish) originally hails from the land of the Missouri River's big tailwater trout. He spent his youth fishing the Missouri before it was cool and now you can find him exploring off the radar areas near his new home in the Bozeman area. After working in the pits of corporate America and chasing the almighty dollar bill, Drew decided he wanted to make a change. His Montana roots...

Locals Fishing Report for late May May 16 2016

The last two weeks in May haven't historically given us very many fishing options around Big Sky with spring runoff typically in full swing. 2016 is a little different with the changes to central Montana's fishing regulations. For the first time in many years the Madison and most of our local tributaries are now open year-round to fishing.  These changes to regulations have brought on some mixed emotions. Some people...

Locals Fishing Report for late May May 16 2016

The last two weeks in May haven't historically given us very many fishing options around Big Sky with spring runoff typically in full swing. 2016 is a little different with the changes to central Montana's fishing regulations. For the first time in many years the Madison and most of our local tributaries are now open year-round to fishing.  These changes to regulations have brought on some mixed emotions. Some people...