Boulder River Fly Fishing in April

Boulder River Fly Fishing in April

The Boulder River, south of Big Timber, Montana is a freestone river that originates high in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The river has a protracted winter and remains very cold throughout the spring. Anglers fishing the Boulder River in April can expect low flows and cold water temperatures.

Wading the Boulder River at the Boulder Forks Fishing Access Site near McCloud, Montana this time of the year can provide a few hours of productive fly fishing. Mild, overcast days will bring rising trout to the surface during blue-winged olive and Midge hatches. Increased insect activity keeps the Rainbow, Brown, and Cutthroat trout feeding more actively during the mid-day hours.

Boulder River Fly Fishing Hatches in April

Midges and blue-winged olive mayfly hatches are generally sporadic in early spring and grow in intensity with longer days and warming water temperatures.

Caddis appear in good numbers later in the month as water temperatures and river levels rise. Although the insects will be abundant, water conditions are generally poor during this hatch event.

Bozeman Fly Fishing Guides Pro Tip:

March Brown hatches on the lower Boulder River, near Big Timber, occur on overcast days in mid-late April and bring some large Brown Trout into shallow riffles. The Big Timber City Park has convenient access with shallow runs where rising fish can be found steadily rising when conditions are just right.


Boulder River Fly Box in April

Boulder River Fly Fishing Techniques in April


Boulder River Fly Fishing Techniques in April

Nymph fishing with tandem nymph rigs is the most productive fly fishing technique for covering the pocket water and holes of the lower river section. A 7 1’2’ tapered leader with 4X tippet and a distance of around 5’ between the first fly and strike indicator is a standard setup for Boulder River fly fishing in April. Experienced anglers will add a split shot to slow the drift and quickly reach the deep trout holding near the bottom.

Cold water temperatures are not ideal for streamer fly fishing as the trout’s metabolism keeps them relatively less active than at other times of the year. Swinging small, articulated streamers using a floating fly line with a fast-sinking tip section through deep pools can find trophy Brown Trout in the lower river, before runoff.

Boulder River Fly Fishing Trips in April

Fins and Feathers Guide Service has been outfitting Montana fly fishing trips for over two decades. We know that Early April fly fishing in Montana is often unpredictable, so being flexible with your plans is key to successful fly fishing near Bozeman this time of the year. Our guides will occasionally recommend a wade-fishing day trip near Big Timber in April for advanced anglers looking to do some exploring for a day.

These Bozeman fly fishing trips are recommended for advanced anglers with no mobility issues and comfortable wading in a variety of water types. The typical Bolder River fly fishing trip in April will typically include a few hours of wading the lower Yellowstone River as well.

The Madison and Yellowstone Rivers are well suited to anglers of all skill levels and will be the standard recommendation of our Bozeman fly fishing guides for day trips in April. However, a Boulder River fishing trip is worth considering for single anglers with advanced fly-fishing skills on multi-day Montana fly-fishing tours with our team of expert guides.

Montana fishing trips with Fins and Feathers Guide Service can be secured online, via e-mail, or by calling us at 1-406-468-5019. Contact us for more information on Boulder River fly fishing trips, as well as our entire suite of fly fishing in Montana day trips during April.

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