Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Gallatin River - Big Sky - 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 Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
March Midge, Blue Winged Olive Afternoon #16 - #20 BWO Emerger, Parachute BWO
April Blue Winged Olive, Skwala Stonefly Morning and Afternoon #12 - #18 Skwala Dry, BWO Dry
May Blue Winged Olive, Caddis, Salmonfly Morning and Afternoon #8 - #18 Salmonfly Dry, Elk Hair Caddis
June Golden Stonefly, PMD, Caddis Morning and Afternoon #12 - #16 Golden Stone, PMD Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis
July Yellow Sally, Caddis, Terrestrials All Day #12 - #18 Yellow Sally Dry, Hopper Patterns, Elk Hair Caddis
August Terrestrials, Caddis, Spruce Moths Morning and Evening #10 - #16 Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, Spruce Moth
September Blue Winged Olive, Mahogany Dun Morning and Afternoon #14 - #18 Parachute BWO, Mahogany Dun Dry
October Blue Winged Olive Afternoon #16 - #20 Parachute BWO, BWO Emerger
November Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
December Midge Afternoon #18 - #22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat

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 Gallatin River – Big Sky is a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts. Here are the top spots in this area to cast a line:

  • Gallatin Canyon: Known for its tranquil scenery and abundant trout, this is a great spot for beginners and seasoned anglers alike.
  • Madison Junction: It’s situated near the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon rivers, and is a renowned location for its ample Rainbow trout.
  • Wade Fishing areas: Near Big Sky Resort are easily accessible areas ideal for Wade fishing where anglers can find exciting varieties of cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish.
  • Bozeman Beach: This spot offers a kid-friendly fishing experience and is perfect for a family adventure.

Pro Tip: The best time to fly fish in these spots is from late spring to early fall, when the hatches are most active.

Best Access Points

The Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana, is a premier destination for fly fishing enthusiasts. Here are some of the best access points to get the most out of your trip:

  • Gallatin Forks: Located near the confluence of the Gallatin and Madison rivers. This spot offers excellent rainbow trout fishing opportunities.
  • Taylor’s Fork: Another excellent access point, especially for cutthroat and brown trout. The river is wide and slow-moving here, making it perfect for fly fishing.
  • Storm Castle: Named after the distinctive cliff overlooking the river, provides a scenic fishing point with plenty of trout.
  • Big Sky Bridge: Located in the Big Sky Meadow Village, this spot is rich with brown and rainbow trout.
  • Yellowstone National Park: The lower Gallatin River, inside the park, offers a unique fly fishing experience with beautiful scenery and a good trout population.

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout – One of the most popular fish for fly fishing on the Gallatin River due to its abundance and beautiful colors.
  • Brown Trout – Known for their hard-fighting spirit and propensity to grow to a large size, these fish are a favorite among experienced anglers.
  • Brook Trout – Although smaller in size, Brook Trout are easy to catch for beginners and offer some excellent sport.
  • Cutthroat Trout – Noted for their distinct red coloration on the underside of their jaws, these fishes give a good fight to even seasoned fly fishers.
  • Mountain Whitefish – This species is common in the Gallatin River, and its fight, especially in a strong current, can surprise anglers.
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout – A native to the Yellowstone area, these trout are rather rare and provide an exciting challenge to fly fishers.
  • Lake Trout – Although not as common as its cousins, the Lake Trout can be found in the deeper parts of the Gallatin River and is highly prized for its size and sport.
  • Golden Trout – Known for its beautiful golden color, this species is a rarity and catching one with a fly is a wonderful experience.

About The River

The Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana is a powerful symbol of the enduring wild spirit of the American West. Tracing its roots back to the time of Lewis and Clark, who named the river in honor of then-U.S. Secretary of Treasury Albert Gallatin, it has long been a haven for explorers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Today, it’s renowned for:

  • Fly fishing: The Gallatin is part of the famous Blue Ribbon Trout Rivers tributary, providing an excellent habitat for varied trout species.
  • White water rafting: In the summer, its swift current promises an adrenaline-pumping adventure.
  • Scenic beauty: Its breathtaking river valley was featured in Robert Redford’s film ‘A River Runs Through It.

This majestic river, filled with history and life, continues to inspire those lucky enough to experience its rugged charm.


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