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Old 03-17-2011, 01:54 PM
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Question Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

I'm thinking of taking a trip to the south-central Montana area (headquartering about 20 miles north of Gardiner, MT, bordering north Yellowstone) sometime this year, and since my normal fly-fishing is limited to tailwaters - meaning pretty much sub-surface tiny nymph action - I'm hoping for the dry fly surface action that I really like best.

Can anyone suggest the best time or times of the year - hopefully good weather - that would be optimum for my preferred dry fly action? I will have access to some private water in case the usual summer over-crowding of the public access areas is too much for me, so I won't avoid a prime time summer trip as I usually would.

All suggestions gratefully appreciated.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

Hey F2F, middle/end of July is a pretty sure bet for summer fishing. The rivers should be dropping yet should still have plenty of water (but you never know). You'll find caddis hatches every evening on every river you care to fish, some epic some not, but it will happen everywhere. PMD's hatch all summer as well. It is a really nice, reliable hatch of #14-16 mayflies. Plus by the end of July you might even be able to fish some terrestrials on top.

Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

If you're that close.. make sure you check out one of the Paradise Valley spring creeks. And get a reservation soon for that time of year.

http://www.depuyspringcreek.com/

Armstrong Spring Creek on the O'Hair Ranch - Spring Creek Fly Fishing in Montana

Fly Fishing Montana - Nelsons Spring Creek Ranch, Guest Rooms and Lodging

Mid July is normally excellent. Sometimes earlier..
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

Early to mid august would be hopper season on the yellowstone.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:01 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

Appreciate the advice, guys. Sounds like the end of July-early August would be about optimal.

Dhayden, appreciate the references. Nice to know you can access private fee water while not necessarily staying with a lodge.

Just amazing, #12-14 Mayflies, when I'm used to tying and using #22-24's . . .
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

Trico's may be close to going on The Bighorn if your up to traveling a couple hours east.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:48 PM
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Question Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

How likely is it that the Yellowstone River in that area would have cleared out after run-off by mid-July?
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

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Originally Posted by Fly2Fish View Post
How likely is it that the Yellowstone River in that area would have cleared out after run-off by mid-July?

USGS Surface Water data for Montana: USGS Surface-Water Daily Statistics

That link takes you to last years July flows on the yellowstone river. You are probably safe in the middle of July, but it depends on how cool or warm of spring we have.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

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Originally Posted by MTskibum View Post
USGS Surface Water data for Montana: USGS Surface-Water Daily Statistics

That link takes you to last years July flows on the yellowstone river. You are probably safe in the middle of July, but it depends on how cool or warm of spring we have.
Thanks, Montana Ski Bum. As I recall, you all had a lot of snowpack last year followed by a cold spring.
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Last edited by Fly2Fish; 03-21-2011 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Best Time for Dry Fly Fishing in South Central Montana

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Thanks, MT. As I recall, you all had a lot of snowpack last year followed by a cold spring.
We did have a cold spring last year, but that is the type of spring we are having again. They are calling for snow in bozeman today or tonight.
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