Stream flows drop quickly on the East Gallatin River in June as the runoff slows with the approach of summer. As water clarity improves and flows stabilize, trout begin to settle into their summer runs.
High flows change the landscape of the river and its streambed every year, so expect to find new runs and channels as water levels return to normal.
Caddis and Pale Morning Dun (PMD) hatches are the mainstay for rising trout on the East Gallatin during the early summer.
Evening rises in the deep tailouts and along riffle edges keep dry fly anglers busy for an hour or two through June.
PMD hatches bring some of the larger Trout to the surface mid-day below riffles throughout the entire river.
Nymphing with tandem fly rigs under a strike indicator is the most effective fly fishing method throughout June. Added weight and heavy flies with tungsten beads are needed early in the month. Use woolly buggers, leeches, and San Juan Worm variations while the water is off-color.
As the water clears, dry fly fishing will improve with PMD hatches offering classic “match the hatch” style dry fly fishing. Trout will rise throughout the river during peak hatch activity, target fish feeding along seams and in the riffles for the best success.
Trophy Brown Trout can be found in the middle and lower stretches of the East Gallatin River during the early summer. Finding these fish slowly rising in a seam lined with PMD spent spinners is every dry fly angler’s dream.
Bring your favorite 8 ½ ‘ 4 weight dry fly rod when delicate presentations are needed most. The Sage TROUT LL or Winston AIR 2 are a couple of our guide’s favorite fly rods when fly fishing in Montana during technical dry fly sessions.
Fly fishing in Montana improves dramatically in June as river levels stabilize and water clarity improves as the runoff season finally wanes. The Bozeman fly fishing guides at Fins and Feathers Guide Service turn their attentions to the upper Madison and Yellowstone Rivers in June as the Salmonfly hatch begins towards the latter part of the month.
East Gallatin River fly fishing trips begin to be a viable option for short-day trips in late June. These trips are best suited for single anglers with advanced fly-fishing skills. Wading conditions can be challenging as the river has a mixed streambed with heavy sediment buildup, making walking difficult in some places. Anglers fishing the East Gallatin should be able to confidently wade through a variety of water types and expect to walk 2-3 miles during the day.