When to Come

Knowing Mr. Fish the way we do, Wild Trout Outfitters operates virtually year round. Late winter to early fall, you will be put on the best fishing spots in Big Sky Country. So call us today and tell us when you want your Montana fishing dream to begin.

Late Winter (December, January, February)
Early Spring (February, March, April)
Spring (April, June)
Summer (July)
Late Summer (August)
Fall (September, October)

Late Winter Big Sky Fishing Trips (December, January, February)

Outstanding Nymph Fishing. Many fishing guides consider winter as the Off Season for fly fishing in Montana, not here at Wild Trout Outfitters. We know that the Gallatin, Madison, and Missouri rivers are all very productive winter fisheries. The cold season actually offers some of the best fishing of the year. During the winter months, you can avoid the crowds and Mr. Fish feels no pressure as he feeds all winter long on midges .

Winter is the only time you should come to the Big Sky, if your fly fishing dream includes a true Montana biathlon. A morning spent skiing fresh powder on Lone Mountain at the Big Sky Ski Area followed by an afternoon fly fishing on the Gallatin River — especially once the sun takes the morning chill off the air — you’ll think you’re in heaven. Let’s book a trip today.

Early Spring Big Sky Fishing Trips (February, March, April)

Spring weather in Montana is notoriously fickle and can produce anything between warm days and blizzards. The end of March and the month of April is a major transition period for weather with a tumultuous blend of cold winter storms and mild spring temperatures. Fishing in early April across Montana often produces winter like fishing conditions with a few exceptions. Water temperatures are still cold and trout are concentrated in slow deep runs in order to conserve energy. Prime feeding times coincide with the warmest part of the day, which is generally from about noon until 4 pm. The most productive fishing techniques during the early part of the month is generally nymph fishing just off of the bottom. Rainbows are spawning this time of year and egg patterns can often be very effective along with the standard stonefly, small mayfly and midge patterns.

Spring Big Sky Fishing Trips (April, May, June)

Once Mother Nature eases her winter grip, April, May and June bring big changes to Montana’s rivers. Depending on the winter’s snowfall and the spring temperatures, Montana river’s can be gin clear, a steady stream of mud or anything in between. The Missouri River produces monster rainbows this time of year, some reaching over 27 inches. WTO’s Outfitter, J.D. Bingman and a few of his Guides, have US Coast Guard Commercial Captain’s licenses for Montana, allowing you to reach water that others can’t and this opens up opportunities for more fish. April and May are generally safe from the mud and the fishing is excellent. The fish are extra hungry for midges and blue-winged olives after the long winter months. May and June can be a runoff gamble on the Gallatin, upper Madison, and Yellowstone. But tail water rivers such as the lower Madison and Missouri are generally sure bets. Early May turns the attention of anglers around the world to our neck of the woods. The Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch is something you should not miss. The Caddis are heaviest on the Madison and Yellowstone and the fishing can be extremely productive on the surface. It’s best to be prepared for all weather conditions when packing.

Summer Big Sky Fishing Trips (July)

By the first of July, spring’s run-off waters are simmering down and the salmon flies are starting to show up by the thousands. Salmon flies are the second largest hatch of the year. Tipping the scales at two- inches long, these guys are some of the most fun dry-fly fishing to be found. The Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin are all very productive salmon fly fisheries. Stone Flies and PMDs also start crawling out of the river around this time of year, as well as the arrival of some terrestrials . There is plenty of dry-fly fishing to be had in the month of July. Be prepared for cooler weather, as the temp can dip down to the 50s from time to time. Though more often than not the mercury remains high and it’s in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s. Be sure to pack a raincoat, as afternoon showers are likely. The Yellowstone usually clears up about the third week in July, and we take advantage of the opportunity to fish there. The Upper Gallatin and Yellowstone Park can offer some excellent dry-fly and nymph fishing. .

Late Summer Big Sky Fishing Trips (August)

By August, all rivers are running clear and fishing consistently well. August is also prime hopper season and Hopper fishing can be incredible with activity all day on the large dries. Other terrestrials, such as beetles and ants, can also be very productive this time of year. This is the time for the Humpy, Royal Wulff and the Hopper. You might as well trail an ant off the back of your hopper, think of it as insurance. August is consistently the warmest month in Montana. Be prepared for up to a 100-degree day or two and bring your swimsuit, the cool waters feel amazing on a hot August day. The Yellowstone, Gallatin, Madison, and Missouri all fish well during August. The Madison and Yellowstone Rivers offer some outstanding float fishing opportunities.

Fall Big Sky Fishing Trips (September, October)

If we’re lucky enough to have warm weather, the hoppers are still hanging around as fall starts to set in and the browns are starting to move. On a cloudy day, streamer fishing can produce some huge browns. This is the time of year Wild Trout Outfitters start’s to fish the upper Madison (above Hebgen Lake) for some of the biggest and best fishing of the year! Our Guides know this water like their own back yard and know where the fish are. If you love to fly fish and you have some time you need to come out and experience ROCKTOBER on the Madison in Yellowstone Park. This is also the time of year to get back on the Missouri river and take a Jet Boat trip with one of WTO’S USCG Commercial Captain’s, allowing access to some of the biggest browns in Montana. The Missouri is the place to be as the days start cooling down. This is a splendid time of year with some of the best fishing of the season—without crowds! Weather this time of year can be just as unpredictable as the spring with day time temps ranging from 80 degrees down to 30 degrees or lower by the end of October. Better safe than sorry when packing for this time of year.

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