Fly Fishing Seasons

Question: "When is the best time of year to fish?"

Answer: "Whenever you are here."

Each season has its own character and beauty. The trout are here and usually hungry. Although flies and tactics change, each season offers superb fishing.

mtff6 SUMMER: After runoff has peaked (May 15 to June 15), the rivers clear and trout are on the feed. Nature has provided them with a spectacular feast of the giant Stonefly or Salmonfly. Big fish on dry flies make this an angling event every fisherman should experience. As this hatch wanes, caddis, mayflies, golden and yellow Stoneflies draw the trout’s attention.

Coinciding with warm August days, terrestrial fishing picks up with ants, beetles and grasshoppers being choice patterns. Late summer hopper fishing on the Yellowstone & Madison rivers can be heaven on earth!

FALL: As the days begin to cool off and the aspens begin to glow, fishing also begins its autumn. On the days of steel gray skies, baetis hatches bring the fish up for some of the best dry-fly action of the season. Combine this with streamer fishing for brown trout, and you have a day of fishing #18 – #20 dry flies and/or #4 – #8 streamers. This is an excellent season for the serious fisherman looking for trophy fish.

WINTER: When the holidays approach, fires crackle and skiing becomes a way of life, fishing still draws us to rivers. We have many sunny 40° – 45° days and various angling opportunities. Midge fishing on the Madison and the Spring Creeks, and nymphing on the Gallatin can quickly rid cabin fever. The snow covered scenery is spectacular and fishing with the right techniques rewarding.

SPRING: As the days grow longer, the water temperatures rise and the trout become more active, fishing begins its rite of renewal. Midge fishing gives way to baetis and caddis hatches. The "Mother’s Day" hatch on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers is truly remarkable, with blanket hatches and rising fish abounding! This season finds willing fish, scant fishermen and pleasing weather. The dedicated angler will find the challenge and rewards of spring fishing outstanding!