Learn more about boating laws in Montana. The standard daily limit for the Central Fishing District (see current Montana fishing regulations) applies to all portions of the river except to that which lies within Yellowstone Park. Along its upper stretches, the river is not very deep, allowing easy bank-to-bank wading. Part of the upper river is in Yellowstone National Park, requiring a special Yellowstone fishing permit. April starts the hatch season with good Baetis hatches. After the Gallatin River leaves Yellowstone National Park, it flows predominantly through public lands for the next forty-miles. Please respect private property when fishing and stay below the mean high water mark. Enter your number below to receive new, up-to-date river reports from Montana Troutfitters. Standard dry fly patterns, along with hopper imitations beginning in July, work very well along this stretch of river. This is a relatively placid, small stream that flows through the Gallatin Valley with limited public access. Fishing the upper Gallatin in Yellowstone Park requires a Yellowstone fishing permit, available at area fly shops. Look up the specific water you will be fishing to see if it is listed as an exception to the Standard Regulations. Learn more about these fun boats. During most of May and frequently lasting until early July, this river section runs muddy and murky due to inflows from Taylors Fork, severely limiting fishing. Since the bulk of the Gallatin River is closed to float fishing (but not recreational floating), the Gallatin is a dream come true for wade anglers who are frustrated by having to share the water with lines of rafts and drift boats. Access to the upper and canyon stretches of the Gallatin is wonderful, due to US 191 running right beside the river. Upstream, the West Cameron Bridge Road diversion dam significantly alters flows below it, starting around mid-summer. Bow and arrow fishing for rough fish is not permitted in the preserves. More information about this section of river is covered in the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park section. If you’re planning on floating or wade fishing the lower river, take I-90 West and exit at either Manhattan or Logan. Except for the whitewater enthusiasts that race through the canyon stretch between Big Sky and Spanish Creek Access Site in whitewater kayaks and canoes, floating on the Gallatin River is not very popular. Identify which Fishing District you will be fishing (Eastern, Central, or Western). Special Regulations: The Gallatin River is open all year. **Please leave spawning fish alone and don't tread on redds!!! If you are going out to streamer fish, the valley may yield more success. These moths make their appearance in July and last through the summer. No rapids are found. guide each Fishing is allowed at all hours during open fishing seasons unless otherwise specified in District Exceptions to Standard Regulations. The pre-runoff fishing of early to mid-spring can be productive, resulting in some superb days starting around late March and continuing throughout much of April. The river has extensive whitewater in this section and can often be quite narrow as it threads its way down the canyon. Read this guide to learn the importance of a fly reel and how to select a good one. Though many anglers avoid the lower-most stretches of the Gallatin, a few places here are worth your time. The Gallatin River is closed to float fishing from the Yellowstone National Park boundary downstream to the rivers confluence with the East Fork Gallatin River, at the Gallatin Forks Access Site. Grayling and cutthroat trout are also found in the Gallatin River. Streamers: BH Black Bugger: 2-4-6, Black Krystal Bugger: 6-8, Sex Dungeon Black, Olive,: 2, Home Invader Black, Yellow: 2, Black/Copper Zonker: 4-6, Sculpzilla Black, Olive, White: 2, Micro Zonker Grey, Brown, Black: 8, Bellyache Minnow Tan: 1-1/0, JJ Special: 6-8, Yellow/Brown: 4, Cheech Leech, Halloween: 1, For updated information on products and other Troutfitter news, © 2020 Montana Troutfitters The Gallatin River is open all year. The Gallatin has three sections: the upper river, the canyon section and the lower river. Beginning with an April Baetis hatch, the Gallatin serves up an impressive array of hatches including Mother’s Day Caddis, Salmonflies and stoneflies, PMDs and Green Drakes. Since a highway closely follows the river this entire distance, access is excellent. The river then runs for 11 miles through this beautiful valley before it leaves Yellowstone National Park and enters Montana, upstream from the town of Big Sky. The Gallatin River runs for more than twenty-five miles in Yellowstone National Park. The Gallatin River in the valley section has excellent fly fishing for both rainbow and brown trout. (Hwy 86) to Shed’s Bridge to gain access at the bridge or along River Road. It may not be long before this area is locked in ice. Give this stretch plenty of respect—especially after a high runoff, as channels often change dramatically and strainers could be lurking around every blind corner. Down in the valley, the fishing around Williams Bridge can be excellent, as can the fishing around Gallatin Gateway where the side channel can allow for easy wading. The Gallatin from the Yellowstone Park boundary to the confluence of the East Gallatin River is closed to float fishing. Open third Saturday in May through November 30, unless otherwise specified in Exceptions to Standard Regulations. When to GoWhile the adventurous and opportunistic angler can usually catch fish on any given day of the year on the Gallatin, the river is best fished just after the runoff occurs and throughout mid- to late summer. Scenery will not be lacking on the Gallatin, especially during the fall. Hoppers should be fished right along the bank. Our IDNR Division of Fisheries staff updates the . Fishing pressure on the Gallatin River is moderate. The fishing on this section of the river is similar to that found further upstream. Note, the Gallatin River continues beyond Yellowstone Park. Better have good wool socks on, the water temps are pretty cold. Prepare yourself and your equipment accordingly. Try public bridges and the handful of FWP-established access points and either bring your day pack or employ a small watercraft to get away from other anglers. If timed right, the salmon and golden stonefly hatch in June can also provide fishing bordering on the sublime. The combined limit for brown and rainbow trout is five daily, and in possession, only one over 18 inches. Since the valley consists of small brush and grass, hiking along the river is simple, although some marshy areas can make things wet and a bit buggy at times. If that is identified in the Exceptions, these regulations take the place of the Standard Regulations (e.g., season, daily limits, etc.). But considering that this girl-next-door features approximately 120 miles of trout habitat from its emergence at Gallatin Lake to its confluence with the Missouri at Three Forks, it is arguable that a fisherman could tie the knot and spend his entire lifetime in blissful monogamy while attempting to figure out its many nuances. The Gallatin River is wonderful stonefly habitat, providing hot action during summer and fall. Wading on this stretch of the river can be difficult. A float down the Gallatin River provides beautiful scenery, constantly changing landscapes and some challenging whitewater for those who want to try their luck in the canyon stretch.

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