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Old 04-10-2008, 01:12 PM
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Default Montana Trip

This summer I am driving the motorhome East from Washington State through Montana on my way to Michigan. My brother-in-law (Michigan) fishes the Gallatin with his friends, usally in August. I will be travelling in the last half of June.

That says is there anywhere on the Madison or Gallitin where I might stop for a day or two and fish. I would rather wade than drift. Also have to find a place to park the MH. Any suggustions would be appreciated.

I might add that I am 70 and in my second year of fly fishing. I know why did I wait so long.

Mike L
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

I'm going to go over around Enis on the Madison in late June for a couple of day's Then down through Yelowstone to Idaho Falls and up to the Stanley Basin. Ill be camping and wading although I may take my pontoon but may not use it. Ill let ya know what I find for places to wade and stay.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

Gallatin downstream of manhattan there are pigs, pretty much every fish is 20+" However I get skunked at around a 50% clip in this area, if not more, and 2-3 fish days are a big deal here. Gallatin from manhattan upstream to the canyon there are more fish, double digit fish days are not uncommon, however fish size averages 13-16 in this area, the majority of the fish outside of the canyon are browns, with the occasional bow.

Once you get into the canyon there are primarily small bows, 12-15" average.

The east gallatin dumps into the gallatin at manhattan, it smaller than the gallatin, although it contains bigger fish 15-18" average, but the fish arent as plentiful as the upper stretch of gallatin, but they arent as rare as below manhattan either.

The lower madison has bigger fish than the gallatin, and the fish count is fairly high as well, its just i dont enjoy fishing the madison all that much in the summer, lots of people.

There is also the boulder and stillwater rivers along i-90, the boulder river is halfway between bozeman and billings, and the stillwater is closer to billings.

depending on when you come out, you might want to look into the salmonfly hatch on the firehole. It is right about that time i believe.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

Hello Mike, in the later part of June you may have to contend with some late runoff, it's been a good year for snowpack.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

Thanks for all the replies. I plan on leaving home on June 16th. It should take a couple days to reach the area of the Madison. I am aware that I may run into high flows do to snow pac. My brother-in-law fishes between Big Sky and the Park on the Gallitin. I think it's because they have a place to stay on the river.

Having the MH gives me a little more latitude. Remember I am a rookie.

Mike
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

That section of the Gallatin is beautiful, travelled that road a few times but never have stopped to fish it. Maybe I should this year.......
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

Mike,
The dates of your trip are going to limit many of the rivers in the area due to high flows. Most of the rivers will just be starting to clear up but the flows will probably still be high and getting close to some of them may still be dangerous. The Gallatin is one of the rivers that will be clearing but it will still be very high. If you fish the Gallatin you will want to head to the upper reaches of the river above the Big Sky Resort. It is a smaller stream up higher and you can fish much of it without getting your feet wet. The Canyon stretch and the river through the Gallatin Valley will probably be a bit trecherous with the flows.

The best option is probably going to be the Lower Madison, which has a nice BLM campsite at the Red Mountain Campground. They have pull throughs and back in campsites for any size of RV's. They don't have hookups but they do have an outhouse and water pump. I believe the cost of the sites is $7 per night with a camphost that keeps the place clean and quiet at night. The Lower Madison is very accessible on foot and the wading is much easier than the Gallatin. Typically during the summer the Lower Madison does get warm and the fishing becomes tough both due to the higher water temperatures and the "rubber Hatch" of people in inner tubes floating the river to escape the heat. This is usually more of a problem in July and August but you may see some tubers on the river when you are here. With all the snowpack and cool spring we have had you should be in fine shape with the water temps. The hatch activity will be very good with a wide variety of insects coming off throughout the day. PMD's, Caddis, Goldenstone's and Yellow Sallies will be the bulk of the flies on the water, and depending on how the spring goes there may be some Salmonflies as well. Nymphing is also very good on the Lower and you can hook into some very large fish with a crayfish or sculping pattern fished under a strike indicator. It is a very user friendly river and will be a wonderful option while you are here.

The Upper Madison will also be on the verge of clearing up but it may still be a little dirty. Typically on a normal snowpack year the river starts to clear between the 15th to the 20th with Salmonflies near Ennis around the end of the month. The upper is a little less friendly for wade fishing but there is a nice section below Ennis that is closed to fishing from boats and gives the wade fisherman an option to escape the floating crowd. It is called Valley Garden and there is a nice RV park in Ennis if you choose to make that your stop over.

Good luck with your trip and if you have any more detailed questions please feel free to IM me and I would be happy to help make your travel through the area one you will enjoy.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

Nice post Biggie.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Montana Trip

Biggie, I sent you a PM but maybe you didn't get it. Thanks for your excellent input.

Mike L
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