| April and early
May can be cold here in West Yellowstone, so we usually take off for the
lower altitudes and fish the Missouri, the Lower Madison below Bear Trap
Canyon, the Yellowstone around Livingston, Montana or the Gallatin below
Big Sky. While weather can be an issue, we have access to several major
rivers that are open year-round and more and more anglers are showing up
in April for a true Montana springtime road trip.
The Yellowstone National Park Fishing Season is open the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend through first Sunday in November and the Montana General Fishing Season is open from the third Saturday in May (For 2008, May 17th) to the end of February. This is when our favorite stretch of water opens. From the outlet of Earthquake Lake downstream for 30 miles to McAtee Bridge, the Madison River flows through picturesque curving river bottoms that tell their own story of glaciers and a time unknown to any of us. For the next two weeks or so, the Madison can be at its best until the usual deluge of mud and snowmelt from spring runoff.
If the Madison blows out, then we sometimes head into Yellowstone Park to fish the Firehole River or turn north to the Missouri below Holter Lake. The Missouri is Montana's version of the Henry's Fork, only bigger and better. By the first of June, Caddis, BWO’s and then PMD's consistently hatch. Have you ever seen a pod of 50 trout slurping naturals as they struggle to dry their wings? If conditions are right, anglers can have dry fly fishing that is truly unparalleled.
Late June and early July takes us back to the Madison River's famed Salmon
Fly hatch. This hatch is different every year so we never know exactly
when it will happen until "the big bugs" show up. This can be
a crowded time for the Madison. Accordingly, we like to put on the river
around 12:00 pm to avoid the majority of boat traffic and fish later into
the evening caddis hatch.
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