I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving! Now we are in the middle of the holiday season, Christmas will be here in a very short time. It’s kind of a blessing that this is the slowest time of year for fishing – life is busy enough with all the holiday stuff. But if you need to get out of the house and find some peace and quiet, here’s what’s happening.
Things are very cold these days. There is a good part of the valley that is closed in with ice, and there is also quite a lot of driftwood and mud. If you’re wading, be careful. With colder temperatures in the forecast, expect a lot more ice to come.
From here until the colder months, except for the wind to be a constant companion. Grab your hat and try to find shelter if you get out. In the colder temps it dies down a bit, but holy wind batman is it windy.
Honestly, at this point, either fish the spring streams or stay home and tie flies if your only option is Yellowstone.
The Lower Madison is a solid winter fishery that’s close enough to town to be worth the trip if you only have a few hours to get out and fish. The ice isn’t too bad at Bear Trap and up to Black’s Ford, and the fishing has been decent. Things are slow moving so fish the deep buckets and slow water. If you’re streamer fishing, follow the wobble or dead drift under an indicator.
Crayfish and attractor nymphs have been producing like a spot fly, with a gnat hanging off its back. Zebra midges, Rainbow Warriors and Ice Cream Cones are good choices. A double nymph rig is the best option right now. Things get windy this time of year on the Lower Madison River, but if you can find a sheltered spot or get lucky and have a calmer day, look for midges.
The Upper Madison has turned a little icy in the lower reaches, but up Three Dollar and Reynold’s Pass you can fish very well. The Three Dollar area has a well-earned reputation as a very good winter fishery, if you’re into it.
Winter has arrived in Gallatin. It’s fun winter canyon fishing, at least below Big Sky. The river stays reasonably ice-free below Big Sky with city runoff. Fishing in deep, slow water with nymphs and fly attractors.
In the valley you will find a little more ice and a few less fish. It’s also less crowded, so that’s a trade-off. Be willing to walk from any access point and you’ll be fine. It’s a great option to go out when you need a breather.
Spring Creeks are a solid choice for local fishing for us right now. Their constant flow and water temperature keeps them reasonably ice free and the fish somewhat active at this time of year. You can access it right now with reduced winter rates. If you’re looking for technical fishing and your best local dry fly fishing opportunity, this is where you want to be. Fish long heads, small flies (mosquitoes) and sneaks.
LIVINGTON AND THE SHOP
There’s always a lot going on around town this time of year. This evening on the 26th we have the Light Up Livingston event at Depot Park where the Christmas lights are turned on by Santa, always a great event for kids and families. During the rest of the year there are plenty of festive events throughout the city.
For us, we are once again hosting our annual Ladies and Gentlemen’s Nights shopping events. It kicks off with Ladies Night on the 8th and Men’s Night a week later on the 15th. Save 10% storewide with an additional 5% off anything on your gift registry! Stop by the store and talk to us for more details. There will be snacks, libation and some fun games to save even more.
We have loads of great clothing and gear for all tastes, activities and budgets. It’s never too early to finish your Christmas shopping!
Lines adjusted this week.