Fishing Report

Gallatin

Known as one of the best wade fishing rivers in Montana, the Gallatin River is the closest larger river to Bozeman. It begins in Yellowstone National Park then winds its way through the Gallatin Canyon all the way to Three Forks where it meets up with the Jefferson and Madison rivers to form the Missouri River.

January 3, 2023

Gallatin

fishing report

Well, it looks like winter is here to stay but that just means the rivers will be less busy! The Gallatin River is fishing well right now, but be careful on and around shelf ice! In the middle to lower stretches of the river around Axtell and Williams Bridge target deeper slower runs and buckets as well as definitive seams and deeper riffles. If you like to fish up in the canyon and closer to Big Sky, fish the same water but put most of your energy into the deep pockets. From the Sheds Bridge in Four Corners to the Conoco in Big Sky the river is mostly clear of shelf ice and slush so there is a wide range of spots to try out. For your point flies try stoneflies like Pats Rubber Legs, and Deep Cleaners, or a leech pattern like a Wooly Bugger. For your dropper patterns focus on small mayfly species and midges. Zebra midges, Quilldigons, and Hares Ears in 10-22 are some of our favorites in the winter on the Gallatin, Caddis larvae patterns can be effective as well! Worms and eggs can also be a very good option. If you find one fish, keep fishing that area, as fish tend to pod up in the winter! On the right day fish can be willing to move for stripped streamers so that can make for a very fun day on the river as well. Try Mini Dungeons and sculpin patterns. Fish that are looking up on overcast days will be looking for mice, and midges.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Adams (14-22), Purple Haze (16-20), Sparkle Dun (16-22), Elk Hair Caddis (14-18), Griffith's Gnat (16-20), Buzzball (16-18), Extended Body BWO (16-22) Pip Squeak Baby Mouse (6)

  • Streamer

    Woolly Bugger Olive/Black (6-12), Sculpzilla Tan/Black/Olive (4-8), Beldar Brown/Black/Olive (6-8), GD P/Jig Streamer (10), Zirdle Bug Tan/ Orange/ Olive (6-12), Urchin Bugger (4), Dungeon Black/ White/ Brown/ (2), Mini Dungeon Purple/ Natural/ White (6)

  • Nymph

    Perdigon (14-18), Pat’s Rubber Legs (8-12), Hell Razor Leech (12), Hare’s Ear (16-20), Black Blowtorch (12-18), Juju Baetis (18-20), Zebra Midge Black/ Red/ Purple (16-22), Worms, Eggs, Mops

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