WINTER (December 1- March 15)
With no closed season on the major rivers, winter offers a unique fly fishing option. Though a difficult time to plan a trip as weather is unpredictable, those already here skiing or enjoying the Bozeman off-season, might be pleasantly surprised by the action a mild winter day can produce.
From the Madison and Gallatin to the spring creeks of Paradise Valley, the choices remain widespread. During the winter months, nymphing is often one’s best bet though prolific midge hatches can generate extraordinary surface activity as well particularly in February and early March. As fish tend to concentrate in select holes and require a precise approach, most winter trips are done on foot though the boat may be used for access if conditions permit.
SPRING (March 15 – June 1)
Though still an unpredictable time in terms of weather, late March through early June offers some of the region’s finest fishing. As winter wanes and more temperate conditions approach, local waters come alive with an energy that is unsurpassed at any other time of year. Insect activity is prolific during this period with major hatches including Midges, BWOs, PMDs, March Browns, Skwala stoneflies, Black stoneflies, and Mother’s Day caddis. Nymphs, dries and streamers can all produce results and anglers should come prepared for anything Mother Nature might dish out.
SUMMER (June 1- September 15)
This period is considered prime time by most everyone who visits the region as weather is predictable and river conditions are perfect. In most years, summer seems to kick off with the salmonfly emergence which occurs at some point between mid-June to early July. A variety of other stonefly, mayfly and caddis hatches occur throughout much of July and as they taper with the heat of summer settling into the area, terrestrial insect activity begins. Late July through September can offer spectacular surface activity with hopper, ant and beetle patterns. Though the busiest portion of the season, the summer months are an ideal time to experience what the local rivers and streams in the Bozeman area have to offer.
FALL (September 15 – November 30)
As air and water temperatures begin to cool, Fall baetis and midge activity increases, providing potential for excellent dry fly fishing once again. By October crowds have thinned, leaving miles of untouched water waiting for a cast. Much like spring, the weather can be scattered and anglers should expect anything from a beautiful 70 degree day to snow. Even still, for those willing to take the chance, this shoulder season can produce big results. Fishing typically remains excellent into mid November.