The Gallatin River, near Bozeman Montana is small in size, which to many means little fish, but not so on this hidden gem.
This is a classic small Montana stream with shallow riffles leading to long runs and deep pools with undercut banks. Typically this is a hunting ground for large brown and rainbow trout using streamers and large crawfish patterns. We typically float the Gallatin River below Bozeman in a raft or drift boat due to the many braids and channels. There are some walk & wade locations just South of Bozeman that provide good access and relatively easy wading by Montana standards.
While numbers of trout on the Gallatin aren’t as high as some other rivers there are some real biggies in here. It’s a long day of fishing, but it can be very rewarding for those anglers looking for that 20+ inch trout.
GUIDE RATE $650
Includes rods, reels, flies and catered riverside lunches
* Suitable for most ages 12 & over
Best Fishing Times
The Gallatin River typically fishes well thru July and August when runoff flows subside and river levels stabilize. We typically fish the Gallatin on the lower river with rafts or drift boats.
The Fishing Experience
The lower Gallatin River is a small, meandering stream with the classic western style of riffle, run, pool. Methodical nymphing or dredging streamers in the runs is a great way to land the bigger trout. Larger crayfish patterns are the choice for biggies. It’s a long day, but usually pays dividends for persistent anglers.
Gallatin River Hatches
While the Gallatin River can get prolific hatches of Tricos and good terrestrials most of the fishing is subsurface. Crayfish are often the bug of choice, but occasionally stopping for risers on midges, baetis, or Tricos can produce good results.