The Gallatin River stream flow today is 1,000 c.f.s. at Gallatin Gateway, that is the highest flow on record for today’s date.

Recent warm weather and the associated low-elevation snow melt has had the Gallatin River on the rise over the past few days. The river’s volume has nearly doubled in that time, peaking at more than 1,000 cfs today at Gallatin Gateway. As a result the river is muddy, with just a few inches of visibility throughout most of the river. Anglers will find improved clarity above the mouth of the Taylor Fork.

These conditions are not unusual for mid-April, and are often followed by a short window of improved clarity and excellent fishing prior to the onset of full runoff. In fact the short-term forecast for southwest Montana is calling for cooler temperatures in the coming days, and perhaps improved river conditions. Water clarity will be day to day from now until runoff hits – call the shop for current conditions and be sure to stop by for the best selection of proven patterns. Wild Trout Outfitters is your Gallatin River fly shop.

Regardless of water conditions, keep in mind that the fish still have to eat. If you arrive to find the river muddy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have a productive day of fishing. Our top guides prove this time and time again. Stonefly nymphs, worms, and eggs have been producing and will continue to do so through runoff. Baetis nymphs, emergers, and duns will be of importance during periods of improved water clarity over the next couple of weeks. As for where to look… focus on the soft water – think inside bends, eddy lines, and structure along banks.


Pat’s Rubber Legs, Black #8, Mega Prince #8, Yuk Bug #6, Bitch Creek #6, San Juan Worm, Red/Pink #12, Tungsten Zebra Midge Black and Red #18, PT Bead Head #18, Flash Back PT #18, Gray and Olive RS-2 #18 & #20, Lightning Bug Gold, Silver and Pearl #18 , Copper John Red #18, Robbin Yellow #16.


Parachute Adams #16 & #18, C.D.C. Midge Adult Black #18 , Parachute Hare’s Ear #16 & #18, Griffiths Gnat #18 & #20.


Sparkle Minnow #6, Yellow/Copper Zonker #6, Bow River Bugger Olive & Black White Head #6 , Silvey’s Sculpin Black #2, Morrish Sculpin Olive #4.


The Madison is flowing at 1,210 c.f.s. at the Kirby Ranch ( just above the West Fork ) this is 216 c.f.s. above the 25 year average for this time of the year.

The upper Madison is fishing very well. Unlike our area freestones, the Madison is fairly immune to any runoff this early in the season. The river has been seeing moderate fishing pressure and anglers are spread out all the way from Ennis Lake to Quake Lake. April is an excellent time to experience the Madison with relatively light crowds and good fishing.

Midge hatches are still going strong and baetis have been increasingly important on calm, overcast afternoons. The best dry fly fishing has been occurring from the West Fork to The Slide. Nymphs are accounting for the bulk of the catch with stoneflies and baetis being good bets on any given day and of course worms, eggs and the like are taking more than their fair share of fish. The streamer bite has been hit or miss, with mid-afternoon providing the best action. Dead-drifting smaller streamer patterns has been productive at times, try patterns such as Bow River Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, and Zonkers trailed by a San Juan Worm or #18 Pheasant Tail.

The Madison will continue to be our most consistent fishery over the next couple of months as we enter runoff. Our guides are out daily and their calendars are filling quickly – give us a call or drop us a line to secure your date.


Pat’s Rubber Legs, Black/Brown/Olive, #8, Mega Prince #8, San Juan Worm, Red/Pink #12, Red Copper John # 18, Tungsten Zebra Midge Black and Red # 18, Ribbed Midge Black # 16 &18, W,s Little Green Machine P.T. # 18 , C.D.C. Pheasant Tail Bead #18, Gray and Olive RS-2 #18 & # 20, Hogans S & M Olive # 18, Tungsten Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail # 18, Silver Lightning Bugs #18, Dirty Bird Rust # 16, Red 3$ dip # 16, Blooms Soft Hackle #18, and egg patterns.


Midge Adult Black # 18, Para Adams # 18 & 16, Griffiths Gnat # 18 & # 20, Miracle Midge Red and Black # 20, Stillborn Midge # 20, C.D.C. Midge Adult Black # 18.


Olive Flash Bugger # 8 & #10, Yellow/Natural/White Zonker # 6 , Bow River Bugger Olive & Black White Head.# 6 , Silvey’s Sculpin Black # 2, Morrish Olive # 4.


The Yellowstone River is on the rise at 3,720 c.f.s. near Livingston, and that is 1,960  c.f.s. above the 90 year average.

Much like the Gallatin, the Yellowstone River is on the rise and is off color. With well under a foot of visibility this probably isn’t the best option for most folks right now. That said, anglers looking to swing for the fence just might connect with a giant brown sitting in three feet of water along the bank. Reduced water clarity tends to embolden even the biggest, wariest fish in the river. But the more likely scenario is a thorough skunking and a sore shoulder from casting a streamer all day. Expectations are that the river will stabilize and clear prior to full runoff, with many anglers hoping for a fishable Mother’s Day caddis hatch – there have already been sporadic reports of a few caddis bouncing around in Paradise Valley.


Pats’ Rubber legs, Tungsten Zebra Midge Black and Red # 18, Ribbed Midge Black # 16 &18 Lightning Bug Silver and Gold #16 & #18, Mega Prince # 6 & #8 , Grey and Olive Soft Hackle # 14,Gray and Olive RS-2 #18 & # 20, Hersey RS2 # 20.


Midge Adult Black # 18 , Para Adams # 18 & #16, C.D.C. Midge Adult Black # 18 , Parachute Hare’s Ear # 16 & # 18, Irresistible Adams # 18.


Zonker White # 2 & # 4, Bow River Bugger Olive & Black # 6 & 4, Silvey’s Sculpin Black # 2, Silvey’s Olive/Black # 2



2016 Fishing License Fee increase

Montana’s 2016 hunting and fishing license’s are under a new fee structure passed by the Montana state legislature. Licenses will be available at all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and license outlets. This year hunters must purchase a new “base hunting license” that is a prerequisite to buying any state hunting license. The $10 resident license includes the hunting access enhancement fee that was charged separately for $2 last year. The new base hunting license was created in lieu of adjusting license fees for individual species. A season-long Montana resident fishing license will increase by $3 this year to $21. Fishing licenses will no longer be sold in combination with a conservation license – which is required for any hunting or fishing license purchase. The price of a resident conservation license will remain at $8 for all ages. – See more at: Under the new structure, most licenses that were free or discounted in 2015 will be charged at half of the standard license cost. Previously, free licenses or a variety of discounted prices were offered to some youth, seniors and disabled sportsmen. In 2016, only military recognition and block management cooperator combination licenses will remain free. FWP is reimbursed by the state general fund for military recognition licenses and block management cooperators provide hunting opportunities for all sportsmen. Starting Feb. 1, the new fee structure will standardize the definition of youth as those between 12 and 17 years old. This language replaces a number of age categories. The price of all other resident tags, licenses, drawing fees and permits will remain the same as in 2015.

Nonresident Conservation License ($10) plus a Montana Fishing License: • $25 for 2 consecutive calendar days, $56.00 for 10 consecutive calendar days or $86 for season •