Compilation of the Statewide MT Fishery Report 11.30.22

I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving! Now we are in the middle of the Christmas season, Christmas is just around the corner. It’s a blessing that this is the slowest time of year for fishing – life is busy enough with all that holiday stuff. But if you need to get out of the house and find some peace and quiet, here’s what’s going on.

YELLOWSTONE RIVER

Things are pretty chilly these days. Quite a bit of the valley is sealed off with ice and there are also some boulders and mud floating down. If you wade, be careful. Expect much more ice with the colder temperatures forecast.

From here through the colder months without wind as a constant companion. Hold on to your hat and try to find shelter when you go out. It slacks off a bit in colder temperatures, but holy wind, Batman, it was windy.

Honestly, at this point either fish the Spring Creeks or stay home and tie flies if your only option is the Yellowstone.

MADISON RIVER

Lower Madison is a solid winter fishing destination that’s close enough to town to be worth the drive if you only have a few hours to get out and fish. The ice in Bear Trap and down to Black’s Ford isn’t too bad and the fishing was decent. Things move slow so fish the deep buckets and the slow water. When fishing streamers, stay under a spoon when swinging or drifting.

Crayfish and attractor nymphs have produced as top fly, with a midge hanging from the back. Zebra Mosquitoes, Rainbow Warriors, and Ice Cream Cones are good options. A double nymph rig is the best choice at this point. It gets windy down the Lower Madison River this time of year, but if you find a sheltered spot or are lucky and have a calmer day, look for hatching mosquitoes.

Upper Madison has gotten a bit icy in the lower sections but there is some really good fishing up at Three Dollar and Reynold’s Pass. The Three Dollar Area has a well deserved reputation as a really good winter fishing spot if you’re up to the drive.

GALLATIN RIVER

Winter has come on the Gallatin. It’s a fun winter canyon fishing, at least below Big Sky. The river remains reasonably ice-free below Big Sky with the city’s outflow. Fish in the deep slow water with attractor nymphs and gnats.

Down in the valley you’ll find a little more ice and a few less fish. Fewer people too, so it’s a compromise. Be prepared to walk a trail from any access point and you’ll do pretty well. It’s a great option to just hop off when you need a breather.

SPRINGBREAKS

The Spring Creeks are a solid local fishing option for us at the moment. Their constant current and water temperature keep them reasonably ice free and the fish are reasonably active at this time of year. From now on you can access it with reduced winter rates. If you’re looking for technical fishing and your best local dry fly fishing opportunities, you’ve come to the right place. Fish long leaders, small flies (mosquitoes) and get sneaky.

Livingston and the store

The city is always busy at this time of year. Tonight the 26th we have the Light Up Livingston event at Depot Park where Santa turns on the Christmas lights – always a great event for kids and families. For the rest of the year, there are a variety of festive events throughout the city.

We’re hosting our annual Ladies’ and Men’s Nights shopping events again for us. It starts with Ladies’ Night on the 8th and Men’s Night a week later on the 15th. Save 10% off storewide with an additional 5% off everything in your gift list! Stop by the store and speak to us for more details. There will be snacks, libations and some fun games to save even more.

We have tons of great clothing and gear for every taste, activity and budget. It’s never too early to do your Christmas shopping!

Tight lines this week.

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