Montana Fishing

June 2, 2010 – Firehole River, Yellowstone Park

Steve from Bozeman sent me an email today with a terrific report and pictures from the opening day of the Firehole River in Yellowstone Park.  It was great to hear from him. Look at those rainbows!

Hi Vic,

I met you at $3 Bridge on the Madison.  This is opening day, Saturday May 29,  in Yellowstone Park on the Firehole River.  It snowed, hailed, and rained, but the fishing was great.

In the morning they were taking soft hackle pheasant tail and the afternoon a hatch of big #14 baetis came off.  This is my son using a 3 weight fiberglass rod he built.  Most of the fish were 8-12 inch rainbows.  Lots of bison, so you had to watch where you stepped.

On Memorial Day we floated the Missouri River from Craig to Mid-canyon and got some really big rainbows and browns.  They were going after San Juan Worms and baetis nymphs. This is my son and grandson.  Hope you had a good trip back to Maryland.

Bozeman, MT.



May 18, 2010 – Madison River, Montana


Fishermen on the Madison

The morning started out cold with temps around 30 degrees but was to warm up to 65 later in the day. I had decided to fish the Madison because the Gallatin had turned cloudy due to warmer weather and snow run off.

It was a perfect day for a trip up the road on Hwy 191 thru the Yellowstone Park to 287 toward Hebgen lake. This route borders both the Hebgen and Quake lakes finally running along the Madison river. One half of Lake Hebgen is still covered with ice but that did not deter the 5 or 6 boats out trolling for brown trout, also saw some fisherman trying their luck from shore.

Hebgen Lake

Stopped at a fly shop down below both lakes called the Slide Inn to pick up some flies and find out the best way to fish the river. John an employee at the shop was very helpful and seemed genuinely pleased to give me the low down on fishing the Madison After picking up a few flies and a new leader I was off to try my luck.

Madison River is wider than the Gallatin with open water surrounded by ranch land in a lot of areas, meaning that you are able to make back casts without ending up in the trees – in my case this was a blessing. Fishing this river is also different than the Gallatin in that you are often blind casting to the fish with the use of a strike indicator (a  floating marker 4-5 ft up from your fly). This lets you know when to set the hook .

Brown Trout on Madison

The trout in this river average 14 to 20 inches with the rare monster now and then. Also, the vistas from the river are amazing with the mountains as your back drop, this part of the country gives you a feeling of how lucky we are to have such beauty within our borders. Look at the pictures and if you need more information on this Blue Label trout stream send me an e mail.

Next up: I take a break from fishing and hike up to Storm Castle Rock, so stay tuned!

Bridge over the Madison River
Happy Hour Bar



May 16 – Gallatin River, Montana


Rainbow on the Gallatin
Vic with Dinner

When I first ventured out on the river just down stream from where I’m staying it was snowing lightly. I thought to myself,  “Oh well another slow day,”  as the snow grew heavier. I opted for my fly rod and dry flies despite the weather conditions.

After the first hour and changing fly patterns 3 times the sun peeked out and the snow abated. Lo and behold a May fly hatch started, and suddenly rainbow and brown trout were rising everywhere. This kept up for several hours despite the snow returning.

I was able to land 12 nice fish and lose 2. These fish averaged 12 to 14 inches and were fat with eggs; this I found out because I kept 4 for dinner that night. Usually I only catch and release but a opportunity to have fresh caught trout for dinner?? They where delicious but I feel bad about the eggs, so no more keeping trout for dinner until after the spawning season. If you want recipes look in the food section of this blog.

The good thing about fishing in inclement weather is that often you are the only one on the river and have the fish to yourself. Stay tuned for my next report as I move on over to the Madison River.

Gallatin Rapids


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