Fly Fishing in Southwest Montana

Generally, April and May, prior to run-off, finds Montana’s rivers low with warming water temperatures. With growing activity and no pressure on the rivers, nymph and streamer fishing excels, with occasional dry fly action on the top. The month of June brings out the heavy Stone Flies on the Big Hole and the Madison. Big flies appear after the waters clear in early June, and on the Madison, a huge Salmon Fly hatch usually pops during the last five days of the month. July means consistent dry fly fishing. You’ll experience caddis, mayflies, and small stone flies in great numbers. With incredible fishing, you’ll experience more pressure on the rivers. August means hoppers, beetles, ants and crane flies are fished on the surface for some aggressive large trout. If the surface becomes inactive, you can still fish small nymphs fished off attractor dry flies. September begins like August and transitions into fall like fishing toward the latter part of the month. You’ll spend most of the days fishing nymphs and streamers. October and early November bring incredible vistas and beauty, along with very little pressure to go after large (and careless this time of the year) brown trout.


Guides at Healing Waters Lodge provide all of the flies you will need on the waters we fish.  Here is a list of flies we commonly use for the Beaverhead, Big Hole, Jefferson, Madison, Ruby, Smith and the private water access we are privileged to fish:

Chubby Chernoble #8

Purple Haze #12

Elk Hair Caddis #14

Beaded Prince

Purple Lightning Bugs #14

Hare’s Ear

Royal Wulff #16

Tricott #16

Power Worms #8

Big Hole Crawler

Woolly Bugger

Montana Stonefly Nymph

San Juan Worms and eggs

Purple Chubby

Pink Sow Bugs

Midge Larva