2016 Hosted Fishing Day

Hosted Fishing Day: Wed., Sept. 28

Hosted Fishing Closed

Registration for the 2016 Annual Meeting day of hosted fishing is now closed. With over 75 guest anglers and nearly 40 volunteer hosts on the water, this is by far the largest hosted fishing day we've ever had for a TU annual meeting!

If you were unable to register in time, or if you had already registered for the meeting as a non-angler but are now interested in going fishing, we apologize for the inconvenience, but offer two suggestions to get you out on the water:

  1. Hire a local guide from among the many amazing and talented TU Business Members in Montana or visit one of our Bozeman area TU Business member fly shops, get some great advice from some knowledgeable folks, pick up a few flies and a map, and hit the river on your own! Fall is a GREAT time to go fly fishing in and around Bozeman!
  2. Come to the Element Hotel anytime on Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to pick up a printed map to some of the best public-access wade fishing on the Madison and Gallatin Rivers for a self-guided outing. You won't be disappointed by all the great public water open to all anglers!

Thanks again for all you do for TU as a member and volunteer. We look forward to seeing you in Bozeman!

Bozeman, Mont. is recognized by many anglers as the fly fishing for trout capital of the world! Within a 50 mile radius of Bozeman flow some of the finest rivers, streams, and spring creeks in North America including such fabled, blue-ribbon waters as the Gallatin, the Madison, the Yellowstone, the Jefferson, and the Missouri. There are also many fine small stream fisheries including the famous Paradise Valley spring creeks: Nelson’s, Armstrong’s and DePuy’s. In addition, the famous waters of Yellowstone Park are only an hour or two away. Bozeman is truly an angler’s utopia.
Late September is a beautiful time of year in southwest Montana, typically offering pleasant weather and tremendous fishing opportunities. However, weather in the mountains is variable and often unpredictable, and as Bozeman residents are fond of saying, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!” For late September, expect normal day time temperatures in the mid-60’s to low 70’s. Bozeman is located in the mountains, and nighttime temperatures in September may well drop to near freezing. So, bring appropriate clothing for either end of the day. You may start the day with a jacket or fleece in the early AM, go to short sleeve shirts by lunch, and be back to fleece tops in the evening. Layered dressing is advised! Bozeman is in a semi-arid climate, but it is possible to get fall rains, and it may even snow in the mountains during late September. Bring GOOD rain gear, warm gloves and a hat! 
How is the fishing in late September? TU’s own Dave Kumlien has been a fly fishing outfitter in Bozeman for 40 years, and in his experience, the last 10 days of September and the first 10 days of October offer some of the finest fly fishing opportunities of the entire year. There will still be some insect hatches including Blue Wing Olives, Tricos, Midnight Golden Stones, and some Caddis. If we haven’t had a hard freeze, there may still be some ‘hopper and ant fishing, too. The Brown trout are fall spawners, and they’ll be getting ready for spawning and will be very aggressive at taking steamers. In my opinion, late September and early October offer the best chance of taking a large brown trout on a fly as any time during the year. Of course, nymph fishing is always a productive fishing method too. 
A good case can be made for bringing along two or three different fly rods. Some folks may prefer to have hone lighter line rod like a 9’ for 4 weight rigged up with a Parachute Adams for the Blue Wing Olive hatch and another 9’ rod for 6, 7, or even 8 weight set up with a streamer for the bruiser browns. Chest high waders and wading boots are preferred, and with many of our waters being fast flowing and rocky bottomed, I strongly recommend the use of cleats and a wading staff. Also, to “keep ‘em wet” and alive, use a landing net to safely handle and release your fish. Polarized sunglasses are a must.
Gallatin River - flowing only a few miles west of Bozeman, the Gallatin is a classic, western freestone river with populations of browns, rainbow, and Mountain Whitefish. A walk and wade stream, late September should provide possibilities for Blue Wing Olive hatches, some Caddis, and good attractor dry fly fishing. A highly oxygenated river, the Gallatin has lots of stoneflies and caddis. So, choose your nymphs accordingly, and it is always worth trying streamers. Hosted wading fishing will be provided by TU chapter volunteers. 
Madison River - known as the “100 mile riffle”, the Madison begins at the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers in Yellowstone Park and flows over 100 miles to Three Forks, Montana where it joins with the Gallatin and Jefferson to form the Missouri River. From Bozeman, we divide the river at Ennis Lake into what we call the “upper Madison” and “the lower Madison.” The hosted fishing day will offer fishing on the lower Madison below Ennis Lake about 30 miles west of Bozeman, which, in the fall, offers outstanding brown trout fishing with streamers, nymphs, and good hatches of Blue Wing Olives. There will be a limited number of TU volunteer hosts offering float fishing trips on a “first come, first served” basis on the lower Madison along with hosted wade fishing trips, too. 
Yellowstone River - made famous by legendary fly fishermen Dan Bailey and Joe Brooks, the Yellowstone River in the Paradise Valley south of Livingston, about 30 miles east of Bozeman, offers spectacular fishing and scenery! The Yellowstone is one of our larger rivers, and while it may be wade fished, the most popular method of fishing the river is by drift boat. Fishing from the boat is very productive, and the boat serves as a “taxi” to get anglers from one productive riffle corner to another. There should be hatches of Blue Wing Olives, good nymphing, and a shot at the largest brown trout in the area. Opportunities to float fish the Yellowstone will be offered by Joe Brooks and Madison-Gallatin TU chapter volunteer hosts on a limited, first-come-first served basis. Try for the “Yellowstone Slam” of catching a Yellowstone cutthroat, a brown trout, a rainbow, and a mountain whitefish! 
DePuy's Spring Creek - the famous Paradise Valley spring creeks offer challenging small fly fishing for larger rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout in spring fed, gin-clear water! Blue Wing Olives and Midges should provide dry fly fishing, and fishing with small mayfly nymphs and midge larvae is very effective. The spring creeks waters are best fished with 3 and 4 weight rods. The Madison-Gallatin Chapter of Trout Unlimited has made special arrangements with DePuy’s Creek for the Annual TU Fishing Day Anglers. MGTU has reserved all 16 rods at DePuy’s! Volunteer TU hosts will be available. This opportunity is available on a first-come-first served basis. FIRST, You must register for the “Hosted Fishing Day” in your meeting registration, and then contact Dave Kumlien, Annual Meeting Fishing Outfitter, to reserve your rods on Depuy’s. It’s FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED ON THE DEPUY’S RODS! DKumlien@tu.org
Willow Creek - is a wonderful tributary of the Jefferson River offering some excellent opportunities for wading anglers to catch browns and rainbows in a classic, western freestone stream setting. Access to Willow Creek is private, but there is no rod fee required. Madison-Gallatin TU has reserved all 5 rods on Willow Creek for Annual TU Meeting anglers. FIRST, please register for the Hosted Fishing Day on the meeting registration website, and then contact Dave Kumlien, Annual Meeting Fishing Outfitter, to reserve your rod on Willow Creek. DKumlien@tu.org It’s wading fishing, and TU member/volunteer hosts are available.
As long as you are making the pilgrimage to “trout heaven”, why not come early and stay after the Annual Meeting for more fishing. Stay tuned for special offers from TU Business member fly shops and outfitters for special pre and post meeting fishing packages! 
TU Business member fly shops are offering special discounts to TU members presenting their membership card from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2. Please support those businesses that support TU.  You can always purchase your fishing license at one of these shops/ outfitters, or do so in advance online through Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Host TU chapters, Madison-Gallatin TU and Joe Brooks TU hope you have a wonderful visit to Montana!
Thanks to Dave Kumlien, TU’s Coordinator for Aquatic Invasive Species and Western Veterans Service Partnership, for providing this fishing synopsis and coordinating the fishing day activities.

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