Montana Fly Fishing News. April fishing is no joke.

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April fishing is no joke.
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Gallatin River Guides April 2017
Montana Fly Fishing News from Gallatin River Guides
April 2017

April. The officially unofficial kick-off to fishing season in Montana. And at GRG we couldn’t be any happier. Our March was the best ever…as it always is around here with great skiing and consistentfishing. But now it’s time to get serious. Here’s what is on tap this month.
April: Blue wings, spring caddis, and plenty of fishing things
Women’s schools begin this month
Spring creek fishing primer—you are good enough
Catch your first bonefish on a fly rod with GRG
Guide school wrap-ups; more schools on tap
Fly of the month
Fly rod re-cap: the Winston Nexxus
April News
Blue wings, spring caddis, and plenty of fishing things

The April calendar has thirty days on it. And in those thirty days there is not one day where flyfishing in Montana isn’t worth considering. Shoot. It is worth going. As the ski season winds down—Big Sky Resort is open through April 16th—the fishing season shifts into high gear. Add to this plethora of goodness our discounted rates on all-inclusive guided trips and uncrowded waters, we should keep our mouths shut about the start of our best season. But being exclusive and too-cool-for-school is not out motive operati. So contact us, visit us, and just go fishing.
Our favorite rivers in April are the Gallatin River right here in Bozeman and Big Sky, the Upper Madison for some of the biggest trout of the season, the Yellowstone River for Blue Winged Olives and caddis, and the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks.
If you need ideas for where to fish or to plan a trip, contact us today. Or read this piece on dry flyfishing in April.
Women's News
Third year of Montana Women's Fly Fishing School Begins
Just like the growth of women fly fishers, our Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School is gaining in popularity. What started as a concept on a bar napkin on ladies night, has blossomed into nearly a dozen 3-day schools. And…our first session begins this month and there is still space and time to sign up. Or plan for one of later sessions. 
Whether you are experienced or wanting to learn, our 3-day women’s schools are led by our team of talented, fun, and enthusiastic female instructors.
Need to learn to cast better? Don’t know the difference between a caddis or Mayfly? Always wanted to find angling friends that aren’t your husband or your boyfriend? This is your chance.
The Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School Mission:
"To educate, enlighten, and inspire women fly fishers in a supportive, noncompetitive environment. To fish and have fun."
Contact us today or learn more or visit the Montana Women’s Fly Fishing School website.
Spring Creek Fly Fishing
Spring creek fly fishing: you are good enough

Sight-casting to trout rising on size 22 midge emergers sounds uber-technical, right? It is. But, odds are you have the angling skills to get it done. Especially with the help of one of our GRG spring creek specialists. 
With three world-class spring creeks less than 60 miles from Gallatin River Guides, we are always surprised how few of our local anglers fish these gems. Is it because they think the trout living in them have highly process DNA and boast super-trout capabilities, able to detect an anglers movement and forth-coming bad drift the moment the truck door opens?
It may feel like that upon first impression, however DePuy’s, Nelson’s, and Armstrong’s are theideal places to take your fly fishing to the next level. They all three offer unique opportunities to sight-fish to individual fish, refine your hatch-matching abilities, and are close to home.
DePuy’s and Armstrong’s are the largest of the three. Nelson’s is smaller, and of the three, the most demanding. If you’re new to technical angling (but a case could be made the Upper Madison can be quite technical) consider spending a day on one of these creeks with our guides. You’ll enjoy the day and be a better angler because of it.

Contact us today to arrange a special spring creek experience. You might even luck-out and get tofish with GRG’s owner, Patrick Straub.
Saltwater Trips
Hosted Trips: Turneffe Flats and Mexico Tarpon
We are offering two unique experiences: a week of bonefish and permit at Turneffe Flats in Belize and a week of chasing tarpon in Mexico. Pick one or both, if you have the saltwater fly fishing itch. Below is the skinny on both. Contact us today to for the whole enchilada.
Turneffe Flats
 A visit to Turneffe Flats has you awaking in your air-conditioned beachfront cabana to a stunning tropical seascape, expansive bonefish flats, and surf breaking over the coral reef.  They are ideally located to enjoy Turneffe Atoll’s 250 square miles of pristine flats, coral reefs and rich marine life. Each day you will enjoy a made-to-order breakfast, meet your guide, then head to the saltwater flats. Turneffe Flats is ideal for anglers wanting to wade fish the majority of the time as nearly all of the flats are easily waded—and often best-fished on foot. It is not uncommon to have over a 100 shots, and more, at bonefish each day all while the prospect for casting to a permit is very high.
This trip is ideal for anglers and non-angling companions—Turneffe Flats’ Atoll Adventure provides an in-house guide for non-angling folks. Each day non-anglers will enjoy a hearty breakfast and then venture out with their Atoll Adventure guide for snorkeling, exploring the mangrove ecosystem, SCUBA diving, or just soaking up the tropical life for a week.
For more information visit Turneffe Flats or contact us for special pricing.
Dates: October 14-21. Arrive into Belize City on Saturday, October 14th by 2:30 PM. Then take a private boat to the island. Depart Saturday, October 21.
Mexico Tarpon
Join us this fall for our first-ever “Tarpon Week.” The trip starts at Isla del Sabalo (“Island of Tarpon”) on the Yucatan Peninsula. This is truly the new frontier of world-class fly fishingfor baby tarpon. Plentiful populations of resident fish ranging in size from 5 to 30+ pounds exist year-round. You’ll also find the occasional snook, snapper or barracuda.
We’ll spend three days fishing this haven, then fish our way down to Campeche, where we’ll spend two more days fishing in the biosphere reserve of Los Petenes. Campeche offers access to more than 80 miles of mangrove coast, hundreds of inlet creeks, and channels rich with baby tarpon. In addition to the fishing, Campeche is a beautiful city with Mayan and Spanish history, and a culinary mecca.
Tarpon Week’s accommodations are comfortable, bright, and the quality you would expect, without being over-the-top. They are beachfront cottages equipped with air-conditioning, fans, a full private bath with shower, and daily housekeeping. In Campeche we’re at the beautiful Hotel Plaza near the central plaza. Evenings may be spent at one of many fantastic restaurants located throughout the historical city.
This is a special custom week arranged for us. Contact us for pricing.
Dates: September 23-30. Arrive in Merida Saturday, September 23 depart Merida Saturday, September 30.
Group Size: this trip is limited to six anglers. This trip is not suited for non-angling companions.
Guide School
Guide School: Sessions ONE and TWO are complete
May session THREE on tap
As a graduating student at one of our March sessions put it: guide school was the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE EVER. Granted, he was only 23 years old, but still, can you argue with a week ofcomplete immersion into the world of professional fly fishing
With over eight sessions in 2017 and some of the best job placement in the Montana flyfishingindustry, it is no surprise our guide school is getting the noticed. Check out Big Sky Journal for a piece on guide schools with the Montana Fishing Guide School as a featured school.
Our March sessions saw anglers from around the country visit us and eat, sleep, fish, learn, and eat, sleep, fish, learn, and eat, sleep, fish, learn, and, well, you get the point. If you want to be afishing guide, learn the industry, and get an inside look at the life of a Montanafishing guide, theMontana Fishing Guide School could be for you or someone you know.

Our May session THREE is on tap to start May 14th and we still have a few slots. For more information and to sign-up or view other dates visit the website here.  
DOA Cripple Baetis (Rowan Nyman)
Fly of the month: DOA Cripple Baetis
(Rowan Nyman)
April is the month for mayflies on Montana’s waters. Adult maylies look like little sailboats and must taste like cotton candy to a rising trout. As thousands of mayflies hatch during an emergence, there are bound to be some that hatch with abnormalities. We call these “cripples."
When Jimmy, GRG’s General Manager, thinks of fishing a mayfly dry it’s hard to steer him away from cripple patterns and Rowan has some great ones including the DOA Cripple. Cripple patterns are designed so the body of the fly sits low in the film if not below while its wing and hackle keep make for a fly that is very visible and floats well.
DOA Cripple Baetis (Rowan Nyman)
Hook: Dai-Riki 305 #16-20
Shuck: Zelon or Sparkle Yarn brown
Body: Olive dry fly dubbing
Wing: Grey poly yarn/Widow’s Web
Hackle: Dun
R.L. Winston Nexus
Fly rod re-cap: the R.L. Winston Nexus
There are fly rods you have…and fly rods you want to have. If you think rods costing over $800 are the only rods worth having, you have not fished an R.L. Winston Nexus. Designed and built inMontana, these rods are as genuine as a wild trout sipping a rising Blue Winged Olive. And it’s under $500.
The series is a new line of high-performance, very lightweight, fast action rods that redefine the high-end, all-graphite category. Their innovative design combines faster tapers, especially through the lower half of the rods, with the distinctive “feel” and smooth casting attributes that are hallmarks of a Winston. The result is “all around” rods ideal for a variety of situations; they are a joy to cast, and can generate added power when needed. Nexus rods have a gorgeous deep black finish, and are made to Winston's renowned standards of quality and craftsmanship.
We’ve fished these throughout Montana, on our Belize hosted trips, and points in between for bass and bluegill and if there is one all-around best rod on the market today, our vote is for the R.L. Winston Nexus.

Get yours in-store or on-line.
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Visit us at our store in Big Sky, Montana. 47430 Gallatin Road/US Highway 191
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Phone: 406-995-2290
Text: 406-475-2023

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Gallatin River Guides

  • Gallatin River Guides Big Sky, Montana fly fishing store and guide service near Bozeman, Montana and Yellowstone National Park
  • 406-995-2290
  • [email protected]
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