The past week gave us a little reprieve from sub zero temperatures, so of course we took advantage of the heat wave (temps in the low 20's) to get out and fly fish the Upper Madison River in Montana.
I love fly fishing in the winter. The scenery is beautiful and the fishing can be great. Plus you'll probably have the river to yourself. Actually being in the water isn't bad at all. The hard part is just getting to the river. It's not unusual to hike through waist deep snow just to get to the river. Oftentimes you'll need to use snowshoes or cross country skis. It's also a good idea to fish with someone or at least let others know where you're fishing.
Our motto at MRO is "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear". If you're prepared and have the right gear, winter fly fishing can be a blast.
If you're unprepared for winter fishing, or are just due for a new jacket- check out our on-line store, we currently have sales going on Simms/Patagonia waders, boots and jackets through through the holiday season.
MRO is currently in a deep freeze weather wise but are underway booking guided fly fishing trips for Spring, Summer & Fall of 2017. If you haven’t already booked your guided fly fishing trip, now is the time to do it. Our prime months are beginning to fill up, but it’s not too late to get your reservation.
Currently the fly shop is closed to retail traffic but someone is usually around from 10am to 2pm to help you with any questions or book a 2017 Guide Trip for you.. Don't hesitate to call 406-646-9644 or email trout@madisonriveroutfitters.
The On-line Fly Shop is open 24/7 throughout the winter months.
The temperature looks like it's going to hit the low 20's this weekend. You may see a stretch of a couple days that may be worth your time to get out and fish the Upper Madison River.
Fishing nymphs has been very productive. On top the the fish are taking #10-12 Biot Golden Stones, #8-10 Black Sili Legs & #10-14 Psycho Prince Nymphs. As droppers the choice is #18 Black Zebra Midges, #18 Frenchies and #18 Black & Red Crystal Dips.
We've also been seeing some great midge hatches when the wind is low. Just be prepared as the hatches can appear and then disappear quickly. When fishing with a buddy one of us will usually take a rod rigged for dry flies and the other rigged for nymphs. That way we're ready for whatever situation is presented to us. Then we'll just take turns fishing the pockets. For the dry fly hatches try using #18 to #20 Black Midges, Cripple Midges and Griffiths Gnats.
Also don't overlook chucking out some streamers this time of year. There are still some big hungry trout out there looking for a big meal.
I haven't gotten a report lately about the Gallatin River. But with the temps getting back into the 20's this weekend I may have to head downstream and try some nymph fishing on the Gallatin.
MRO Guide Jake Schilling working the midge hatch
MRO Team Member John Schilling with a nice winter Rainbow
Closed for fishing until the 3rd Saturday in May
Bison along the Firehole River - Picture courtesy of MRO Guide Mickey Wooten
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