Maclean’s famous story, A River Runs Through It, is set on the now famous Blackfoot River. Despite this, Robert Redford’s 1992 movie version was largely filmed on the Gallatin as he felt the scenery and fishing were more cinematic. The river originates high in the mountains of the Gallatin Range inside Yellowstone National Park and flows for 115 miles until it intersects with the beginning of the Missouri River at Three Forks. Inside the Park, where it runs for more than 25 miles, floating is not allowed and there are restrictions on fishing. Once it exits the park, it crosses a forty-mile expanse of mostly public lands, and runs parallel to a highway that makes it quite accessible. Because the river is narrow for much of its run, float fishing is restricted from Yellowstone Park to the confluence with the East Gallatin River. No wonder this river has a great reputation for wade fishing!
Unimpeded by dams, the river provides consistent, easily waded flows from mid-summer through mid-spring. Rainbows predominate with an estimated 1400, 8+ inch, fish per mile from the West Fork confluence at Big Sky to the mouth of the canyon. Browns are abundant accompanied by occasional cutthroats, brook trout, white fish and graylings. New to the lower most band of the river are northern pike. Never known for trophy trout, the river offers excellent dry fly fishing and beautiful surroundings. Since the fish are recognized as indiscriminate eaters, the Gallatin has come to be known as an excellent river for those learning to fly fish.
Like much of Montana, the River played a significant role in the state’s history. First explored by Native American hunters, by the early 1900’s, the area eventually became known to fur-trappers and gold prospectors. By the turn of the twentieth century logging rose in importance to the local economy as loggers famously rode the logs down river to prevent them from jamming. The towns of Bozeman and Three Forks are most closely associated with the River although given the importance of Maclean’s legacy, Livingston should also be considered as part of its history and heritage.
The Gallatin River is a tributary of the Missouri River
Gallatin Mountain Range
The Missouri River
37 - 65 F
|Baetis, mayflies and early stone flies hatch; use parachute adams or royal wullfs|
46 - 79 F
|Warmer water brings salmon flies, caddis, golden stones, yellow sallies, pale morning duns & tricos & spruce moths; use royal trude or elk hair caddis|
22 - 45 F
|Blue winged olives dominate; nymph and streamers|
18 - 40 F
|Use stonefly nymphs and midge patterns as trout move to slower, deeper runs|
The Gallatin River has been fishing well with the forecast for a warm-up this weekend. This should provide even better fishing. The ice has been breaking up siring up food from the ... morebottom. This has been providing some good fishing. The open canyon and valley stretches of waters up to Big Sky are fishing very well. The winter stones are hatching so nymphing seems to be the best. Small black stonefly nymphs are working the best. It is best to jump from one deep run to another. Look for currents that are steady enough to bring food to trout yet not too strong.
Last week the fishing was quite good with the warmer weather. But with the storm that has rolled in, the temperatures have dropped into the mid 20’s making the fishing conditions ... morea bit more challenging. The fishing itself has been very good. Make sure to layer up during the week if you are going to be out there. Towards the end of the week the temperatures should move up in the 40’s with sun on Saturday. Some good Midge hatches may materialize during this time. Watch out for the ice build up during the week. The valley is where we would fishing on the Gallatin River. The water temperatures are more stable. Nymphs are our best choice with Stoneflies and Midges. Look for the Fish to be in deep pools and large seems. On Saturday you may also see some fish rise to Midges.
Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2015
River ice is building up with the lower temperatures so be careful on the Gallatin River. Find a safe place to wade fishing that is stable. The lower water is pushing the trout into ... moredeeper pools, runs, and foam seam lines. Make sure to hit every inches when you find a good spot as the trout don’t want to move much at this time of year. Midges, streamers, and blue-winged olives are your best bet.
Tuesday, 1 Dec, 2015