A Stream That Flows Into The River Is Called Big Sky Montana Fishing Guide

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Big Sky Montana Fishing Guide

Big Sky, Montana is home to the largest skiing area in the United States. Great winter sports along with many summer activities such as fishing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and rafting make Big Sky a popular year-round destination for vacationers looking for outdoor recreation. Big Sky is also close to some of the best fly fishing in North America.

Gallatin River

If you close your eyes and imagine a perfect trout river, the Gallatin River will remind you of your dream river. This magnificent fishery begins in Yellowstone National Park, just a short drive from the Big Sky. The scene along the Gallatin was made famous by Robert Redford’s classic “A River Runs Through It” where all the fishing scenes were filmed. After exiting the park it flows through Big Sky Junction and enters the Gallatin Canyon for the next 30 miles. Leaving the canyon, the Gallatin becomes a beautiful meadow river with cottonwoods on its way up the Missouri near Three Forks. The river offers excellent trout fishing throughout its course. The highest trout numbers are found below Big Sky Junction after numerous underground springs improve the productivity of the river. There are thousands of trout per mile in the canyon, and the fishing can often be fast and furious. Rainbow trout in the 10-17″ range dominate the fishery here, but the occasional brown trout provides some variety. The trout in the canyon are not very picky and a well-presented dry fly or small bead head nymph is essential. Provide steady action. Gallatin Canyon Trout numbers begin to decline after release but trout size increases. The Lower Gallatin annually produces fish in the 20-28″ range and is a favorite fall destination for those looking for trophy fish.

Madison River

The Madison River is frequently rated as the number one trout stream in North America. This legendary fishery originates in Yellowstone National Park and flows through one of Montana’s most picturesque canyons on its journey to become the Missouri River. The Madison River has it all: great hatches, spectacular scenery, huge trout and great water. A day of float fishing on the Madison from a drift boat is a must for any Montana fishing trip. The upper reaches of the river are designated exclusively for wade fishing and are an ideal location for targeting large, strong and healthy browns and rainbows in fast rocky pocket water. Big rocks and fast currents are not for the faint of heart, but those willing to do some aggressive wading are always rewarded. A river affectionately referred to as the 50 Mile Rifle runs through most of the Upper Madison Valley. This swift, shallow stretch of water provides ideal trout habitat. This incredibly productive stretch holds many browns and rainbows year-round, holding fish up to 30″ each season. Below Ennis Lake, the riverbed changes dramatically as it enters the rugged Bear Trap Canyon. Big Sky anglers Brian and Miles McGeehan guide the few who qualify for a fishing trip in the Whitewater Run class. Here are two of a handful of guides. Bear Trap is the safest one-day float fishing trip in North America. After exiting Bear Trap Canyon, the Lower Madison slows in its gradient. The stream washes over large weed beds full of sculpin, mayflies and crayfish. Some of the largest trout in the Madison are in its lower waters. live and is a prime destination in the spring and fall when water temperatures are ideal for trout fishing.

Yellowstone River Fishing

The Yellowstone is the longest continuous river in the lower 48. After carving its way through the entire length of Yellowstone National Park, it travels through Paradise Valley and eventually passes through the state of Montana to join the Missouri River in North Dakota. This large river is ideal for float fishing and offers some of the best dry fly fishing in Montana. Most Big Sky angler trips go from Gardner on 100 miles of water beyond the park boundary to Big Timber. Effective hatches of caddis flies, stoneflies and mayflies bring fish to the surface from April to July and again in autumn. In late summer, Yellowstone is home to some of the best terrestrial fishing in Montana, including some amazing grass fishing. The numerous alfalfa fields near the river swarm with large insects from late July to September, and frequently fly into the river during breezy afternoons. Big trout become reckless in their pursuit of these big tasty morsels and a day of “hopper” fishing is high on the list of many international anglers.

Fishing in small streams

Big Sky is surrounded by small mountain streams filled with trout eager to pounce on a well-presented dry fly. Specimen Creek, Fan Creek, Portal Creek, Moose Creek, Storm Castle Creek, Swan Creek, Hell Roaring Creek and Taylor Fork all offer excellent fly fishing for small trout. A small three or four weight rod and a box of dry flies are all you need for an action packed day on these small creeks.

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