Fishing Report Updated May 8, 2023

This report is valid from May 8 through May.

Warmwater ponds like the Three Forks Ponds, ponds in the parks in Bozeman, and Castle Rock Lake near Colstrip are turning on. Except for pike in Colstrip, which is probably about as good as it’ll get right now, the fishing on all will improve as the water continues to warm through May. Spawning bluegill at Colstrip make for good eating. There are also some nice bass in the lake. Too bad the pike are almost all small.

Other warmwater lakes (Fort Peck, Fresno, Nelson, Elwell, Frances, Pishkun, Frances) will be good for pike and perhaps trout (if they hold trout), but are long road trips and 100% require power boats rather than shore-fishing or using drifters with trolling motors that work fine on the smaller lakes.

The Gallatin River and East Gallatin are both muddy right now and likely to remain that way until mid-June (East Gallatin) to late June (Gallatin mainstem). The one exception is the short section of water that’s both outside the YNP boundary and upstream from the Taylor Fork confluence. This stretch will be ice water and high, but might produce when it has been a bit cooler and runoff declines. Fish attractor nymphs like Girdle Bugs and Bead, Hare, and Coppers.