Stillwater Anglers Montana Fishing Report

Montana Fishing Report – Everything You Need To Know

Now that Spring is starting to feel more real in south-central Montana, all of us anglers are starting to daydream about getting outside and getting their flies in the water. Every Montana fishing report is a little different, and we’re here to give you all the tips you need to make sure you have a fun – and safe – fishing trip.

Now that the snow seems to finally be melting and the sun might actually stay out for a while, it’s time to start reading up on Montana river conditions. Fishing reports are great for so many reasons. They help you feel more prepared, they can help you avoid dangerous spots on the river, and they give you insightful tips on which flies to use and when. Read on for our guide to everything you need to know about reading fishing reports in Montana.

Your Guide On How To Read A Montana Fishing Report

When it comes to fly fishing in The Treasure State, you’ll always want to make sure you read at least one Montana fishing report before you head out to any of your favorite rivers. We suggest starting with ours. Our River Reports are published weekly starting in the Spring and ending in the fall. We try to keep you updated on The Yellowstone River, The Stillwater River, and The Boulder River.

Here we cover a few tips to remember when reading each report, and what to look for before packing for each journey.

Start With Your Favorite Fly Shop

Your favorite fly shop or trusted fly fishing guides are great sources of information. The people who own fly shops and offer guided trips are constantly on the water, which means they know the conditions better than anyone. Stop by or call our Fly Fishing Outfitter if you have questions about our local rivers and streams.

We consider ourselves a trusted source for information, but we also appreciate tips from our customers and friends. If you’re someone who walks the rivers and makes notes about when and where are the best places for fishing, we’d appreciate your insight too. Let us know what flies are working when you experienced the best fishing, and if there are spots that might be dangerous to anglers.

If you’re struggling with some of the terms that we’ve used in our reports, don’t worry! We’ve written previously about some of the words you’ll likely see most often, and defined them for you here. Especially if you’re a beginning angler, navigating some of the terminologies can be confusing. You can read up on our fly fishing glossary so you can start feeling like a pro.

Look For Patterns

We aren’t the only fly fishing shop that offers fishing reports. There are lots of online reports that can make you feel like you have eyes on all parts of the river. Try to cross-reference different reports with the advice you receive from your trusted experts. Are your friends reporting different findings than your favorite guide or fly shop?

Chances are, there will be more similarities than differences. Look for those patterns. Are the fish sluggish this time of year? Did a recent rain make the fish more or less eager to bite? Which flies are the fish favoring? Looking for patterns can help you understand why the fishing is good and how it can be better.

Remember that there will most likely be seasonal patterns. During the beginning of spring, rivers will most likely still be cold, snowy and icy, and the fish might not even be biting. Make sure you check the dates on each Montana fishing report you read. Information and tips from March might not help you in June. However, we do say you should pay special attention to reports in March, April, and May from previous years, as they will help you predict when spawns and hatches will be happening this year.

River Conditions Can Change In An Instant

Especially in Montana, it is crucial that you check the weather as well as checking Montana fishing reports. River conditions can change quickly. By the time you finish reading one report, conditions may have already changed. Take into account several things before deciding to head out to the Stillwater or Yellowstone:

  • Weather (note whether it will be sunny or cloudy)
  • Wind Conditions
  • Sunrise and Sunset Times
  • Anticipated Precipitation

We’ve always said that a little rain can kickstart the best fishing of your life, while too much sun can cause heavy shadows that scare the fish. Be prepared for all weather types, and bring an assortment of flies to try. Often times, the best river report is the one you give yourself by just getting out there. Get offline, talk to your peers and fly shop, and find out for yourself what is really happening on the river.


Are you anxious to take your next fishing trip? We’ve been daydreaming about wading into streams and feeling the tug of a strong bite on our fly lines. It’s nearly here, and knowing how to read a Montana Fishing Report will help you be more prepared when it’s time to fish.

Start by checking the weather for the day you want to go out. Keep in mind that the weather in south-central Montana can be unpredictable, so make sure you have the proper attire and keep extra gear in your vehicle. Then spend a little time doing some research on your chosen rivers. Does your favorite fly shop offer river reports? If not, call them up and ask them how the rivers are looking. Get their advice on what flies are working and what insects might be hatching so that you can start the day with your best day forward. Look for patterns that line up in each of the reports you read and the advice you hear from expert anglers. Finally, take each report with a grain of salt. The weather and water conditions can change in an instant, which means the fishing can go from bad to good in minutes.

In an age where we have more access to information and technology than ever, it’s important to learn how to decipher that information. Hopefully, we’ve helped you learn to read between the lines and get the best information so that you can have the best fishing season of your life.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, and consider booking a fly fishing trip with some of our experienced guides. They know the rivers better than anyone and can help you have an unforgettable experience on your favorite river in Montana.