With Bozeman’s central location between the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers, it is a great place to base your stay if you want to fish the famed Mother’s Day Caddis hatch. This hatch is very specific to the water temperatures on the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers. Water temps must be around 52 degrees to key the brachycentrus occidentalis to hatch in the millions on these two trophy waters.
Many people have been inquiring about our fishing trips, but one of the main questions asked is, "How do we get there?" Fortunately, Bozeman, MT has the busiest airport in the state of Montana. Now, I’m not talking LAX, LaGuardia, or ATL, but for our state of 1 million residents, it is a major point of entrance to SW Montana.
We commonly get asked, "Where is the best fishing in Montana?" Without a doubt, in many anglers' opinion, it is located in Southwest Montana in Bozeman, Montana. Why? Bozeman is centrally located between three world class rivers: the Madison, Yellowstone and Gallatin Rivers, plus many lesser known streams. Each of these rivers is unique, and they are blue ribbon fisheries loaded with a healthy population of wild trout.
Many, many years ago I used to frequent a certain oil change business here in Bozeman, MT. There was an older gentleman that used to work there, and he was in charge of meeting customers and making small talk as they waited for their vehicles to be serviced. I can’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Tom. He was a super friendly guy and he always talked fishing with me as he noticed all my fishing gear I always kept in my truck. I never thought much about our conversations as I only frequented the business every 5000 miles.
Slow and steady is the mantra for winter fishing in the Bozeman, Montana area. The trout live in different water in the winter than they do in the summer. You want to find the slower pools or deeper, slower moving water. The trout are conserving their energy, working as little as possible when water temps are below 42 degrees. The only bugs hatching this time of year are midges, and they are sporadic and day-to-day.
This year we are offering our popular “Spring Special” again. From now until April 30th, all full day float or walk wade trips are $475 for one or two anglers. Save 20% and fish uncrowded waters. Coming to Big Sky to ski? Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park? Why not add on a day of fly fishing?
If you haven’t visited Bozeman, Montana before, you're in a for a treat. Bozeman is the fourth largest city in Montana, with a population of about 50,000. It has the busiest airport in the state servicing many different major carriers. It is a college town with an outstanding downtown area filled with many different restaurants and shops.
The big news is, on the early hours of November 30th, the Hebgen Dam, which controls the flow for the Madison River had a malfunction and reduced flows immediately from about 650 CFS to about 150 CFS. No one knew about this till the following morning. There was a lot of confusion at the beginning.
Due to wet weather and cooler temperatures, closures and restrictions were lifted on several rivers and sections of rivers at 2 p.m. on August 23rd.
Temperatures have taken a nose dive this week and we are seeing cooler days and plenty of precipitation from the heavens. Montana FWP has lifted the “Hoot Owl” restrictions on the Upper Madison, Missouri and Stillwater rivers. There should be more restrictions loosening as cool temperatures are projected for the upcoming week.
Several angling restrictions on rivers in southwest, north-central and south-central Montana went into effect July 20, 2021 due to warming temperatures and low flows.
The restrictions include what are commonly known as “hoot owl” restrictions, which means fishing is closed from 2 p.m. to midnight each day. Some waters are under full fishing closures, which prohibit fishing at all times of day. These closures and restrictions will stay in effect until conditions improve.