Just when you think the runoff is about to get underway, another cold front moves in and things start to get very interesting on the local water around Bozeman. The weather has just been amazing over the last week with daytime temperatures reaching over 70 and even a few days with hardly a stitch of wind. While the Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers are both better left alone for the time being, both the Upper and Lower Madison are fishing well.
We see this same situation year after year in mid-late April. The weather gets nice, the rivers come up, and everyone is about to give it up for a few weeks right when another cold snap comes our way. It doesn’t take much to stop that high elevation snow melt and a night or two below freezing with mild daytime temps is all it takes – and is exactly what the forecast is calling for too. So, keep an eye on our Bozeman fishing reports and your eyes on the weather as we typically get some awesome fishing on the Yellowstone and Gallatin as they drop with cooling temperatures
Caddis should start going on the lower Madison in the next week to 10 days. We are seeing good numbers around in isolated pockets, but expect that to quiet down with the cooler weather. However, if the forecast is reasonably accurate, I’d be looking to late next week for the early part of the Mother’s Day hatch on the lower. The river is in good shape now and fish have been eating the typical spring rigs with San Juans, egg patterns, crayfish, and some Baetis nymphs too. Cloudy days are bringing some terrific BWO dry fly fishing too and that just might be the best bet for the next few days either way.
The streamer fishing on the Yellowstone had been getting better and better up until just a few days ago as river flows started to come up. Expect the bite to be very good as flows drop and the clarity starts to improve once again. Cloudy days will bring some great BWO dry fly fishing over the next week, but expect the Caddis to be a little further down the road than we are likely to see on the lower Madison. If everything goes just right though, we could have some awesome fishing on Caddis, March Browns, and Baetis on the Yellowstone river in the next couple of weeks.
Between our guides, friends, and the fly shop staff right now, we are all looking for good water and a good bite. We’ll keep you posted the best we can over the coming weeks as we see and hear things in our Bozeman fly shop. We have got a ton of flies coming in over the next week, just in time for the last, best push of spring fly fishing around Bozeman. Updates and reports are always welcome this time of year so don’t hesitate to send us an email, give the shop a call or drop on by with an update. The next couple of weeks should be very good on the waters around Bozeman, plan on it!