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Old 04-21-2012, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Montana in August

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Originally Posted by bowmanh View Post

Thanks for the info on the Beaverhead. I think we'll try a float there and perhaps stay in Dillon.

My prior fishing on the Big Hole was on the upper river where I caught grayling and brook trout while wade fishing. Sounds like further downstream a boat is needed.
FYI - stayed at the Motel 6 in Dillon last year with rates in the 40s ! New motel, very clean, excellent value (if $ is important to you).
I'm wondering, where did you fish the Big Hole, was it in the area around Wisdom or closer to the interstate (I-15) ?
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Montana in August

Thanks for the input!

We were fishing near Wisdom on the upper Big Hole. It was a small meadow stream there. This would have been in July.

I'm now thinking that we will probably skip the Big Horn in the interest of doing less driving.

How far ahead to I need to book the guided floats? This would be on the Beaverhead, Yellowstone, Madison, Missouri and possibly the Big Hole. Also, does anyone have recommendations for outiftters?

If low water is a potential problem on the freestone streams should I wait till later to book floats on them?

I appreciate the responses.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Montana in August

I'm pretty familiar with the rivers in the Livingston/Bozeman area and have fished everything between the Madison and the Bighorn. I personally don't like the Bighorn much because it's usually crowded, but it's a great fishery. There ARE fishable streams between Livingston and the Bighorn, though. The Boulder is a nice wadeable river and the Stillwater is wadeable and often floatable in August...last summer with the record high water, it was still high around the beginning of August, high enough that we flipped a raft on a float on it.

The Yellowstone will be crowded in August, but the hopper fishing can be terrific. I live on it part-time...I'm there now and it's been fishing very well with nymphs and streamers. Looks like it will be rising and could be blown out in the next couple of days, though.

My wife and I hiked Beartrap Canyon on the Madison below Ennis today. Didn't bring a rod but wish I had. The lower Madison below the canyon is Bozeman's party river, but I've caught a lot of fish wading it in August except for years when a hot summer gets the water too warm.

The Big Hole is very nice. I had my best ever day of fishing streamers on the Big Hole a couple years ago in May. Three of us, taking turns rowing a raft, caught well over a hundred browns.

I don't fish the Gallatin much...don't really know why.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Montana in August

Mid-August is almost certainly going to require more sneakiness and flexibility than 2008-2011. Snowpack is down considerably from those years and the first surge of runoff has already happened. I expect to be fishing substantially smaller flies, more nymphs, and finer tippets on the Yellowstone by that point, with the fish already suspicious of larger standard hoppers (small ones in oddball colors will hopefully be a different story). The float sections of the Madison will start getting hammered without mercy by June 20 this year and I doubt it will fish well in mid-August --there's a reason that more and more West Yellowstone guides make the 1.5hr drive over to the Yellowstone as summer wears on. Fishing it on foot can get you into some less-fished areas. Closures are unlikely due to the good groundwater from the last four high water years, but flows are going to be low.

You need to book ASAP to be sure you get the dates you want and don't get stuck with a first-year guide. My shop's full time guides are already fully booked some days in that timeframe, and the contract guides we've been calling also seem fairly busy. My guess is that this applies everywhere except maybe the Missoula area, which does better early and late than the Bozeman-Livingston area, where fishing is more mid-late season.

Plenty of info for the park and Yellowstone at Park's Fly Shop. Check the How-To-->Trip Planning section for hatch charts, etc. There's a season forecast on the News page, updated the 25th.

Last edited by mcnerney; 04-30-2012 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Removed URL.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Montana in August

Thanks for the information.

It sounds like there is a good chance the fishing will not be as good on the freestone streams as it might be in a wetter year. If that's true then should I plan to spend less time on the Madison, Gallatin and Big Hole?

It sounds like the Yellowstone is less affected since it's larger.

Would that mean it makes sense to spend more time on the tailwaters like the Beaverhead, Missouri and perhaps the Big Horn?
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Montana in August

If you're flexible enough the local shops will point you to good rivers at any time of the year.

It can be a gamble in smaller towns booking motel/hotel reservations, but if you gamble a little.. say the Big Hole is too warm.. shoot up to the Missouri.

Probably, like you suggested the big rivers will be fine..

We're still getting snow/rain.. so who knows by August. The Bridgers (border Bozeman to the east) - got 43" of snow in a 24 hour period last weekend.. and it's snowing up there right now (even a few spritzs of snow in my yard today off and on)
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Montana in August

Does anyone have suggestions on guides for the Missouri below Holter Dam?
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