From Tony...

Fishing in Montana

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Well it’s that time of year again, where the holiday season has ended and the winter continues: Short days, frozen windshields, icy roads, and busy ski hills. Spring is a distant thought and Puxatany Phil hasn’t even thought to step out and look at his surroundings quite yet. But inside the studio everything is still warm and inviting. Inside the studio it can be whatever season you want it to be. This is a great time of year for studio photography.

Photographer Billings MT

Outside the interest of fishing in Montana leaves fisherman with the only choices of tailwaters, at least at present. The Bighorn fishes well in the winter when the temperatures aren’t too low, and the ice doesn’t seize up the rod’s guides after every cast. It’s winter fishing though, and the fish will feed when they feel the need, usually at times when the waters warm. Fish feed primarily on midges and other insects that live in the river system all year such as scuds and sowbugs. Rivers like the Yellowstone can also fish really well in the winter, although in times of a cold snap, the river can become chock full of ice and become dangerous to navigate a driftboat through the low water channels. Also, the river’s flow can be particularly low at this time of year, and the structure on the bottom that was once underwater in the summer months is uncovered and makes a hazard for a drift boat. Many people get stuck on the lava tubes to the west of Livingston at this time of year, dark patches of rock that can grab the fiberglass of a driftboat, crack into its hull, and hold it in place.

Midges are primary winter fare and there are a host of patterns, although most midges look and fish alike. A zebra midge or a simple thread midge is quite effective this time of year, in any color, although when the waters start to warm on the Bighorn a brown color, or rootbeer color, is an effective. Streamer fishing can be great on the Horn this time of year, so pack your box full of big ugly flies and test out a few colors: the fish will appreciate certain colors at different times of day.

Stay warm this time of year and remember that Tony Smith Photography always has a warm, inviting place, waiting for you.

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