Southwestern Montana's Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

Fly Fishing Montana In May

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

If you are looking for less pressured waters and great fishing in Montana, May is a great month to fly fish Montana.

Our Montana fly fishing guide season really gets going in the month of May. Water temperatures are continuing to warm up, we start to see more consistent hatches in May, and the trout get much more active. The guides are hungry to get back out on the water daily and the air temperatures in May, start to climb. This time period is really the kick off to our Montana fly fishing season. Even though we start fly fishing here in Montana much early in the year, the fly fishing in May is a great month to visit Montana and treat yourself to some less pressured fly fishing. Remember, the trout haven’t seen much pressure the past six months and they tend to be a little less finicky than later in the year.

May Hatches for the dry fly fisherman in Southwestern Montana.

After a long cold Montana winter, the average temperature in May in the Bozeman area is in the mid 50’s. With these rising temperatures, we see great hatches of blue winged olive mayflies and our epic Mother’s day caddis hatch. Both these hatch’s are great for dry fly fishing. The BWO’s start hatching in April, but as the water warms, the hatch gets stronger and stronger throughout the month. Overcast days will be the best for big emergences, but you can also find them on the blue bird days of May as well. Around mid May, we have an incredible hatch of caddis that emerge in the millions. The sky and waters surface is covered with insects and the trout will gorge themselves on these bugs. This is a dry fly fishermen's dream with many trout rising, picking off these tasty morsels.

may fly fishing bwo hatch

Dealing with the start of run off in the month of May.

When the daytime temperatures start to rise we do have some early season runoff to deal with. Snowy peaks in the high Montana mountains will start to melt and run down their prospective drainages. The rivers that we offer guided fly fishing on, can be affected by this. The Madison River is a great river to fly fish, and with a couple of dams to slow down the run off, gives us a great option to fly fish in the month of May. The Yellowstone River can suffer the worse from our early season run off. Without a dam on the entire river and many small tributaries dumping into the Yellowstone River, the river has a tendency to muddy up more easily than others. With that being said, the role that Mother Nature plays will decide where we fly fish. For example, two warm days followed by some cool days will have the river in good shape in a short amount of time. But, string a week of 80 degree days together and the Yellowstone River may be unfishable for a little bit.

Being flexible in your plans is the name of game if you want to fly fish in May in Montana. One day the Yellowstone May be fishing on fire, and the next have very limited visibility. Thankfully, being based out of Bozeman, Montana, we have plenty of other options to fly fish. The Madison, Gallatin, Ruby or Beaverhead Rivers may be another great option to fly fish. Not every river may be available for fly fishing in the month of May, but we always have multiple options.

may fly fishing caddis boat

Looking for more information on Spring fly fishing? Check out these articles. 

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