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nedakjohn

Big Sky MT work trip 8/26-27

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Heading to Big Sky for a work trip. Have a limited window to fish but will have a car.  Sunday Aug 26 PM Monday 27am.  Guides DIY advice welcome.

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The Gallatin River runs past Big Sky and West Yellowstone is an hour plus form there as well.  I'm assuming you're flying into Bozeman.  On your way to Big Sky stop in Four Corners at one of the fly shops there and explain where you're staying, get the skinny on the Madison by Yellowstone, some of the smaller streams on the way and the Gallatin. Make sure that there aren't any hoot owl (warm water conditions warranting closures) closures etc where you intend to fish. Definitely get some blue prince nymphs and a few purple psycho prince flies unless you're a dry fly only guy.  Based on your question I'm guessing this is your first Montana trip.  If you have the time $ or inclination hire a guide and float a river.  Either way, soak in the experience, put your feet in the water, enjoy a local beer.

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With that small a window, hit the Gallatin. It's right there and has good meadow fishing (upstream) and good fast pocket water and glides (downstream). I've always found the fish there aren't as picky as other nearby MT rivers. On busy days the river rafters can be an annoyance- head upstream where they aren't.

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Gallitan is loaded with fish. Not as big as the other name worthy rivers in the area but there are so many. Bring some spruce moth patterns with you. 

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Call my son Marshall at Sweetwater Fly Shop in Livingston; he will hook you up.  The Gall through the Canyon is fun fishing.  Fins & Feathers at Four Corners is a good shop.  River's Edge next to Simms is like wise good.  Up in big Sky, Gallatin River Guides is a good spot.  They have a good website with recent reports.  The Madison just outside the park in West Yellowstone is worth a stop also.  According to my son, the hopper fishing on the Yellowstone is on like Donkey Kong.

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I like the upstream section of the Gally ( headed south from Big Sky, going towards W. Yellowstone ).  The river opens up a little bit, once you get out of the canyon, into some long lazy meadows.  Personally, I don't think this stretch gets hit as hard as the canyon.  Aside from the Gally, the upper stretch of the Madison is probably your second closest option- hit up the Slide Inn and talk to the master himself if he's around.  Or, you could keep heading south and hit up the Henry's Fork. There are a handful of Spring creeks in Bozeman but I don't know anything about them.  Make sure to grab a beer at the Corral and a steak at Eino's ( if you head to the Madison ) if it's still around.  Have fun- that's God's country...

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Having lived in Bozeman a few years back I would highly recommend checking out the Gallatin in the Big Sky area from Gallatin Gateway and up. Or the East Gallatin bu the airport in Bozeman which is very much like a spring creek. This time of year I had a blast dropping hoppers along the banks with and without a dropper. Some surprisingly nice fish in the Gallatin. I miss fishing it in the late afternoons and evenings on a summer day. Place is magic.

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