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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm headed to Bozeman July 18-24 for a wedding and was hoping to do some fly fishing while I'm there. Most of my time will be consumed by wedding and family stuff but I will have a couple hours in the morning 2 or 3 of the days to sneak off on my own. Time constraints and ever changing plans will likely not allow me to get a guide so I'm hoping to DIY. I've been looking at the Gallatin, East Gallatin, and Madison River as possible options since they are nearby and have some sort of public access.

I don't want to waste what little time I do have, so are any of theses rivers or particular stretches of these rivers not worth my time in late July? Any tips on the rivers, flies, techniques, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Any particular fly shop I should stop into to pickup some flies? Or is it a fool's errand to even try doing it on my own?

Additionally, I'll be exploring Yellowstone for 2 days but it will mostly be hiking with the family, although I will have 1 or 2 rods with me ready to try any fishy looking water we come across.

TIA
 

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You shouldn’t have much trouble finding fish in the Madison or gallatin that time of year if you have ever trout fished. Lots of decent shops around there. Anglers edge i think is next to the Simms factory isn’t to bad. Lots of good shops though.

Montana has public river Access maps that show all areas you can drop in at. Mayfly parachute dries like the purple haze, chucks bridle chute, elk hair caddis will prolly get the job done in sizes 12 or 14. If you want to catch more fish drop a nymph off the back for some dry dropper action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You shouldn’t have much trouble finding fish in the Madison or gallatin that time of year if you have ever trout fished. Lots of decent shops around there. Anglers edge i think is next to the Simms factory isn’t to bad. Lots of good shops though.

Montana has public river Access maps that show all areas you can drop in at. Mayfly parachute dries like the purple haze, chucks bridle chute, elk hair caddis will prolly get the job done in sizes 12 or 14. If you want to catch more fish drop a nymph off the back for some dry dropper action.
texasag, thank you for the info especially regarding the flies! Yes, I have looked at the many different access points and am trying to narrow it down now. As long as I can catch a couple trout I'll be more than happy so I'm glad to hear those will both be good options then.
 

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so many cool little creeks in Yellowstone too. Depending where you’re accessing the park, you can stop in at Blue Ribbon flies for some help. Should be some good cut throat hopper action. Lotta folks will be visiting the park, but just a couple yards off the beaten path, & you’ll have the place to yourself
 

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If you don’t have a lot of time stick to the Gallatin, you can fish it off 191 all the way to Yellowstone. Go by and talk to the guys at Montana Troutfitters, they will get you pointed in the right direction. Make sure you grab dinner at Montana Ale Works, great place. The Madison is great too, but the upper takes about 1.5 hours get to 3 Dollar Bridge Access. Not sure how much time you have, the lower Madison has has some great fishing also and it’s closer to Bozeman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
so many cool little creeks in Yellowstone too. Depending where you’re accessing the park, you can stop in at Blue Ribbon flies for some help. Should be some good cut throat hopper action. Lotta folks will be visiting the park, but just a couple yards off the beaten path, & you’ll have the place to yourself
Going through West Yellowstone. Would love to get a cut throat but figured it will be pretty busy that time of year
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you don’t have a lot of time stick to the Gallatin, you can fish it off 191 all the way to Yellowstone. Go by and talk to the guys at Montana Troutfitters, they will get you pointed in the right direction. Make sure you grab dinner at Montana Ale Works, great place. The Madison is great too, but the upper takes about 1.5 hours get to 3 Dollar Bridge Access. Not sure how much time you have, the lower Madison has has some great fishing also and it’s closer to Bozeman.
Yeah I definitely won't have time for a 3 hour roundtrip drive. Looks like the Gallatin will be my best option if the lower Madison won't be significantly better. I'll be sure to check out Montana Ale Works, thanks!
 

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Depending on how the weather goes the lower Madison is not the place to fish at that time of year. If you only have 3 hours then you are pretty much going to have to stick to the lower Gallatin. I would look at the area just up into the canyon. Its the closest to Bozeman and is a good stretch of water.

Another option would be to book a half day on one of the spring creeks out north of Belgrade. That would be my choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ifsteve, I really want to do a half day guided trip but it'll be pushing my time and will likely have to be a last minute decision, so hopefully I'd be able to find a guide who isn't already booked.
 

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Gallatin, east Gallatin, hyalite creek, will be your best bets. Tons of public access on all. Just keep your feet wet and your good. Don’t be afraid to walk. Gotta get away from the access points. The creeks ifsteve mentioned are no longer an option. The Milesnick ranch sold and is private now. Pmd’s, caddis, ants, small stones, enjoy.
 

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Yeah just fish the gallatin and east Gallatin if you have to be that close. Early morning beadhead flashback pheasant tails and stimis, you don’t have to go to an access either just anywhere the road crosses. Hyaline creek up high has a lot of Brookies that are fun to catch. Very thick timber tho.
 

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Since this crew is assembled, anybody got any fly recommendations? I'll be in Idaho in a couple weeks to fish and this is the first time I've ever fished mountain streams for trout. Unless it's a bass popper or redfish fly I probably haven't ever thrown it.
 

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If your nymphing, like 16-18 prince nymph and flashback beadhead pheasant tail. If it’s the right time, golden stones are great in the gallatin. For dries I use parachute Adams and medium stimis a lot.

Favorite streamer is Galloups Circus Peanut
 

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Since this crew is assembled, anybody got any fly recommendations? I'll be in Idaho in a couple weeks to fish and this is the first time I've ever fished mountain streams for trout. Unless it's a bass popper or redfish fly I probably haven't ever thrown it.
PM me when and where you are going to be and maybe I can help you out.
 

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I usually go at the end of august which is hopper season. I'm either throwing hoppers or nymphing. Turn over some rocks in the riverbed and see what insects are hanging onto the rocks. In august there are stonefly exoskeletons all over the rocks. Golden/ black/ brown stonefly patterns as attractors & a nymph are productive combo.
 

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IF hoppers are active by the time you are there a great approach is to throw a hopper with a small beadhead nymph dropper. Can be deadly!
 

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Thank's fellas, I already have a bunch of hoppers I'm bringing. I think dry fly fishing seems like the most fun. To be perfectly honest I'm in this thing primarily just to see some new country and catching fish is just a bonus.
 

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If you're going to fish the Gallatin, I would recommend getting there early in the morning to beat the crowds. I've had great fishing on the Gallatin but it can get crowded
 

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If you're going to have one dry fly, especially to drop a nymph off of the back of, look no further than a purple chubby, if you're fishing it without a dropper, don't be afraid to try giving it some movement...
 
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