Our clients have had some banner days on the Gallatin lately.
Guide trips and dialed-in DIY anglers are catching good numbers of fish, mostly subsurface. There are certainly opportunities to do some productive headhunting or even blind fishing with dries. By “dialed-in” DIY anglers we’re talking about anglers who know the river. Some are locals, but many are folks from elsewhere who return frequently to fish the Gallatin. So how do you flatten the learning curve if you’re new to the Gallatin? The best way to quickly learn what works is to hire a guide. Show up ready to learn and ask a lot of questions.
Take note of the type of water the guide puts you in throughout the day.
Take note on how they approach the water and the way they rig your rod.Take note on the fly patterns that they rotate through (ask the names of these flies and try to remember a few of them). Guides love anglers who are eager to learn.If a guide isn’t an option, stop by the shop and buy some flies, a couple of fresh leaders and a spool of 5x. Ask a few questions to help get you pointed in the right direction, that’s what we’re here for.
The big stoneflies have come and gone on the Gallatin.
Some yellow sallies remain and fish are looking for them – a size 14, yellow-bodied Stimulator is a good choice for picking off random risers or for doing a little prospecting through likely holding water. Caddis are providing consistent action early and late in the day and an olive or brown x-caddis will typically suffice. If you’re seeing rise forms during caddis times, but your dry flies aren’t connecting, try swinging a soft hackle nymph… they do a good job of imitating an emerging caddis rising to the surface.
PMD mayflies are out in good numbers many days, particularly south of Big Sky
On overcast afternoon’s with light wind can produce excellent fishing on pale-colored mayfly duns in the size 16 to 18 range. And if that’s not enough, sporadic green drake hatches have been occurring on the upper river, primarily within Yellowstone National Park – when these size 12 mayflies are hatching the fish take notice!
With all of that insect activity there are plenty of opportunities to take fish on dries.
Anglers running nymph rigs are outfishing the dry-fly-only guys by a wide margin… it’s not even close. With all of the insect activity going on right now we’re seeing a wide variety of nymph patterns taking fish, but most are on the smaller side of the spectrum… 16 to 18 and even 20’s. Various slim-bodied mayfly nymphs are excelling as are the seemingly endless variations of the Serendipity and Shop Vac patterns. Our guides are also reporting lots of action on soft-hackle patterns – particularly Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears… dead-drift them, but let them swing out at the end of the drift.
All in all it’s a great time to be out on the Gallatin, give us a call to book a trip.