Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Boulder River - Big Timber - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 18 to 20 Zebra Midge, Griffin's Gnat
February Midges Afternoon 18 to 20 Zebra Midge, Brassie
March Midges, Blue Winged Olives Mid-day 16 to 20 Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Adams
April Midges, Blue Winged Olives, Skwala Stonefly Mid-day 14 to 20 Skwala Stone, Adams, Pheasant Tail Nymph
May Caddis, Blue Winged Olives, Stoneflies Afternoon and Evening 10 to 18 Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator, Pheasant Tail Nymph
June Salmonflies, PMD, Caddis Morning and Evening 6 to 16 Rogue Foam Salmonfly, Parachute PMD, Elk Hair Caddis
July PMD, Yellow Sally, Caddis Morning and Evening 14 to 18 Yellow Sally, Parachute PMD, Elk Hair Caddis
August Terrestrials , Tricos Mid-day 16 to 20 Amy's Ant, Trico Spinner, Hopper patterns
September Terrestrials, Blue Winged Olives Mid-day 14 to 18 BWO Comparadun, Stimulator, Hopper patterns
October Blue Winged Olives, Midges Afternoon 18 to 22 Pheasant Tail Nymph, Zebra Midge, BWO Comparadun
November Midges, Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 18 to 22 Zebra Midge, BWO Comparadun, Parachute Adams
December Midges Afternoon 18 to 22 Zebra Midge, Adams, Brassie

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Boulder River in Big Timber boasts a variety of excellent spots for fly fishing, meeting the preferences of both novice and seasoned anglers:

  • Big Timber Creek: Known for heavy, fast-flowing waters and a bounty of trout.
  • Fourmile Campground: Provides easy access to the river, angler-friendly banks, and deeper pools stocked with fish.
  • Natural Bridge Falls: Downstream of the falls, the river carries an abundance of rainbow and brown trout.
  • East and West Boulder: Tributaries of the river proper, these areas offer serene fly fishing spots with striking scenery.
  • Boulder Valley Ranch: Private, but it grants fishing access with permission or a small fee. This fish habitat is well-regulated, resulting in a high quality fishing experience.

Always remember to respect the regulations and the local wildlife during your fishing adventure.

Best Access Points

Fly fishing enthusiasts looking to cast their lines into the Boulder River in Big Timber have several highly recommended access points:

  • Headwaters area at Natural Bridge Provincial Park: The river source provides crystal clear waters, perfect for catching trout. Access is via a short walking trail.
  • Boulder River Wildlife Management Area (WMA): Located downstream of the headwaters, the WMA offers 1.3 miles of the river open to public fishing.
  • Fourmile Campground: Further downstream, this campground gives anglers easy access to the Boulder River. It’s open from May to September.
  • Along Boulder Road: This stretch of road pairs well with a float tube or inflatable kayak, giving multiple spots to cast a line.
  • McLeod Bridge Access: Below Big Timber, this access point allows for fly fishing in deeper parts of the Boulder River.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Northern Pike
  • Walleye
  • Smallmouth Bass

About The River

The Boulder River – a delightfully charming spot located near Big Timber, the seat of Sweet Grass County, Montana. Originating from the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, this tributary of the Yellowstone River spreads over 60 miles, boasting scenic trails, picturesque views, and rich biodiversity along its way.

  • History: Named by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s, the Boulder River has been a hub for farming and ranching activities, with Big Timber serving as a prosperous wool shipping point in the 1880s. Through the years, it evolved into a vibrant recreational spot.
  • Fauna and Flora: Housing an array of animal species, it’s heaven for bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Plus, it’s a lush green sanctuary, teeming with unique plants and flowers.
  • Fishing and Other Activities: From kayaking, rafting to fishing, it offers thrilling sporting adventures. A well-known spot for fly-fishing, it’s home to Rainbow, Brown, and Cutthroat trouts.

The Boulder River – Big Timber is truly a nature’s masterpiece, combining vibrant history with breathtaking beauty.


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