East Gallatin River Fishing in July

East Gallatin River Fly Fishing in July

July mornings on the East Gallatin offer the best fishing of the year. Late July Trico hatches bring trout to the surface for several hours throughout the lower stretches of the river. Anglers fishing the East Gallatin with delicate dry fly setups can enjoy challenging and rewarding Montana fly fishing to pods of rising trout.

The summer heat and irrigation demands create reduced flows and warming water temperatures, making afternoon fishing relatively unproductive.

July Hatches on the East Gallatin River

PMDs, Caddis, Tricos, and the occasional Yellow Sally hatch provide the dry fly fishing on the East Gallatin River in July. PMD and Trico mayfly emergences, followed by their spinner falls bring rising Rainbow and Brown Trout to the surface along defined current seams and in foamy back eddies.

Our East Gallatin River Fly Box for July Fishing


Bozeman Fly Fishing Guide Pro Tip:

In late July, East Gallatin River fishing can be “lights out” during the late morning, once the Trico spinner fall occurs. Fishing while the adults are on the water is not always productive - try fishing a Tan Elk Hair Caddis in a size 14 with a beaded trico spinner (sunken spinner) on 3’ of 5x tippet tied off the bend of the dry fly hook. Fish this along seams in the deeper pools to find trout that are feeding while suspended in the water column.


East Gallatin River Fishing Techniques in July

The clear water and casual pace of river flow call for stealth and accuracy when fishing the East Gallatin River during mid-summer. Clear, summer days call for fine tippets and long leaders -whether anglers fishing the river are using dry flies or nymphs.

Prospecting with small hoppers, ants, beetles, and Spruce Moth patterns becomes more effective in the early afternoon. Adding a small dropper nymph is a great idea when trout don’t rise to a well-presented dry fly. Be mindful of underwater snags as there is a lot of debris in the river as the banks constantly change during the high-water season of early summer.

Light nymph fishing with small, tandem fly rigs through deep holes and fast runs is productive as well. Our Montana fly fishing guides prefer to use small, pinch-on foam strike indicators attached around 4’ above the first fly using 5x tippet.

Bozeman MT fly fishing trips in July

July is “primetime” on the varied Montana fly-fishing rivers near Bozeman. The Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson offer diverse and exceptional fly fishing experiences through mid-July. With over 23 years of experience outfitting Bozeman MT fly fishing trips, our guides look to July for the best fishing in Montana.

The East Gallatin becomes dewatered as the summer progresses, making the ideal fishing windows relatively short during the typical July day. Advanced anglers who are seeking “match the hatch” dry fly scenarios can expect a few hours of challenging fishing on the East Gallatin River in late July. Early morning nymphing produces a few fish as well, but the fishing will drop off quite dramatically by early afternoon.

Bozeman Montana fly fishing trips can be reserved with the expert Bozeman fly fishing guide team at Fins and Feathers Guide Service online, via e-mail, or by calling us at 406-468-5019

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