Big Sky, Montana is home to the largest ski area in the United States. Outstanding winter sports combined with numerous summer activities such as fishing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and rafting have made Big Sky a popular year-round destination for vacationers who crave outdoor recreation. free. Big Sky is also close to some of the best fly fishing in North America.
If you close your eyes and envision a perfect trout stream, the Gallatin River will surely remind you of the river in your dreams. This magnificent fishery begins in Yellowstone National Park, just a short distance from Big Sky. The scenery along the Gallatin was made famous by Robert Redford’s classic “A River Runs Through It” where all the fishing scenes were filmed. After leaving the park, go through the Big Sky junction and into Gallatin Canyon for the next 30 miles. As it leaves the canyon, the Gallatin becomes a beautiful aspen-fringed prairie river on its journey to form the Missouri near Three Forks. The river offers great trout fishing throughout its course. The highest trout numbers occur below the Big Sky crossing after numerous underground springs enhance the river’s productivity. The canyon boasts thousands of trout per mile and the fishing can often be fast and furious. Rainbow trout in the 10-17″ range dominate the fishery here, but the occasional brown trout provides some diversity. Trout in the canyon aren’t terribly picky and all you need is a well-presented attractor dry fly or a small billhead nymph.provide a steady action.Once the Gallatin leaves the canyon, the number of trout begins to decrease, but the size of the trout increases.The bottom Gallatin produces fish in the 20-28″ range every year and is a favorite fall destination for those seeking trophy fish.
The Madison River is frequently ranked as the number one trout stream in North America. This legendary fishery originates from Yellowstone National Park and flows through one of Montana’s most scenic valleys on its journey to form the Missouri River. The Madison River has it all: great hatches, spectacular scenery, huge trout, and great water. A day of floating fishing on the Madison from a drift boat is a prerequisite for any Montana fishing trip. The upper part of the river is designated for wade fishing only and is a great place to target big, strong, healthy browns and rainbows in rocky fast water. The big rocks and swift current are not for the faint of heart, but those willing to wade aggressively are always rewarded. Throughout most of the Upper Madison Valley, the river flows through what is basically known as the 50-mile rapid. This shallow, fast-moving expanse of water provides ideal habitat for trout from shore to shore. This incredibly productive stretch has many browns and rainbows of all year classes with up to 30″ fish caught each season. Below Ennis Lake, the river changes character dramatically as it enters tumultuous Bear Trap Canyon. Big Sky Angler guides Brian and Miles McGeehan are two of a very small handful of guides qualified to offer fishing trips through the V-class whitewater run. The Bear Trap is without a doubt the premier day float fishing trip in North America. currents wash large weedy beds filled with scorpions, mayflies and crayfish.Some of the Madison’s largest trout reside in its lower waters and it is a prime destination in the spring and fall when the water temperature is ideal for trout fishing.
Yellowstone River Fishing
The Yellowstone is the longest undammed river in the lower 48. After making its way through Yellowstone National Park, it travels through Paradise Valley and eventually crosses the state of Montana to join the Missouri River in North Dakota. This great river is great for float fishing and offers some of the best dry fly fishing in Montana. Most Big Sky Angler trips are in the 100 miles of water from Gardiner at the park boundary to beyond Big Timber. Impressive hatchings of caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies bring fish to the surface from April to July and again in autumn. In the late summer months, Yellowstone is home to some of the best land fishing in Montana, including some incredible grasshopper fishing. Numerous alfalfa fields near the river swarm with large insects from late July through September and are often blown into the river on breezy afternoons. Big trout get reckless when they go after these big, tasty morsels and a day of “hopper” fishing is high on many international anglers’ bucket list.
fishing in small streams
Big Sky is surrounded by small mountain streams that are teeming with eager trout ready to pounce on a well presented dry fly. Speciman Creek, Fan Creek, Portal Creek, Moose Creek, Storm Castle Creek, Swan Creek, Hell Roaring Creek, and Taylor Fork offer secluded fly fishing for small trout. A three- or four-weight short rod and a box of attractor dry flies is all you need for an action-packed day on these small streams.