February News From Montana

In This Newsletter

  • The Fly Fishing Show – Pleasanton, CA
  • Time to Renew your MT Fishing License
  • Fishing Report
  • February Snowpack

The Fly Fishing Show – Pleasanton, CA


Our final show in 2022 – We will be at The Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, California.

February 25, 26 & 27 – We will be located in BOOTH #E24HIGHLIGHTED IN PINK BELOW


Show Hours

  • Friday, February 26th – 10am-6pm
  • Saturday, February 27th – 9am -5:30pm
  • Sunday, February 28th – 9am-4:30pm

Cash only at the gate

No need to wait in line

Advance Tickets Sale Here


  • One-day pass $15
  • Two-day pass $25
  • Three-day pass $35

Children 5 and Under: Free

Children 6-12: $5

Scouts under 16 in uniform: Free

Military with ID: $10

Scouts under 16 in uniform: Free

We will follow all national, state and local health protocols related to COVID-19 at the time of the show. We recommend following all CDC guidelines in terms of mask wearing and vaccination. We strongly encourage attendees to stay home if they are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, and to get tested for COVID-19.

BOOTH #E24 – Pleasanton, CA

Time to Renew Your Annual Montana Fishing License

Starting on March 1st, 2022, you will need to renew your annual Montana fishing license if you plan on fishing.

Non-resident: Any angler 12 years of age and older must have a Conservation License ($10-nonresident) plus a Fishing License ($25 for 2 consecutive days, $56 for 10 consecutive days, or $86 for season-nonresident), plus an AIS (aquatic invasive species) Prevention Pass (AISPP) ($7.50 for non-residents). No license is required for anglers age 11 years and younger IF accompanied by an adult who holds a valid Montana fishing license. Click here to buy a Montana fishing license online.

Resident Licenses: : To qualify for a resident license, a person must meet the criteria set out in MCA 87-2-102 and 202. To be a legal resident eligible to purchase a resident fishing license, you must have physically been living in Montana for at least 180 consecutive days (six months) immediately before purchasing any resident license; you must file Montana state income tax returns as a resident, if you are required
to file; you must have registered your vehicles in Montana; if you are registered to vote, you must be registered in Montana; and you may not possess or apply for any resident hunting, fishing or trapping privileges in another state or country. At the
time of purchase, a person must present a valid Montana driver’s license, a valid Montana driver’s examiner’s identification card, or a tribal identification card. If unsure of your residency status, contact a regional FWP office.

You must have your fishing license in your possession while fishing. A license on your smart phone is acceptable.

Fishing Report

We had the opportunity to get out and enjoy the warmer-than-average weather during the third week of February—high temperatures in the 40s and 50s. While the warmer-than-average temperatures were enjoyable, they sure did not help the snowpack that we rely on so much for favorable water conditions come July and August.

On Thursday, February 10th, I floated the Madison River from Varney Bridge to the Eight Mile fishing access site with fellow guide Jim “Red Beard” Lioi. Nymphing was good in the morning, especially if you were willing to stop and work some of the water more thoroughly. Pink San Juan worms and black Stonefly nymphs were the best patterns. We put some fish to the net on smaller patterns, such as $3 dips in black and the Palomino Midge in black. The nymph game slowed down once the sun was high in the sky at midday. We then switched to streamers, which was very productive, and used an olive-and-white Barley Legal. It was so good that we contemplated running back up to Varney and doing a second float to fish just streamers!

On Saturday, February 12th, I floated the Missouri River with my fellow guide Nathan Anderson from Mid-Canon to Prewett Creek. We had a better-than-average day and were able to catch fish on nymphs, streamers, and dry flies! I started with the nymphs, and Nathan began with his trout Spey rod. Stopping to fish was more productive than fishing from the drift boat on the move. The water temperature was a whopping 36˚, which made it difficult to stand in the water. During the first run, Nathan hooked 17 trout on his trout Spey rod—all on a copper-and-gold Kreelex in size 4. The nymphing was just as good for me during the first run, mainly on an orange wireworm in size 4. We moved a few fish on streamers while on the move in the drift boat on an olive Sparkle Minnow. At midday, we were fortunate to have 20–30 trout feeding on adult midges under the shade of one of the Interstate 15 bridges. We pulled the boat over and spent almost an hour enjoying some fantastic dry fly fishing! This is what the Missouri River is all about—dry fly fishing to pods of feeding fish!

On Tuesday, February 15th, we had a guide trip go out for a full-day float on the lower Madison River. The fishing was great, and the guests and the guide did not see another boat or angler all day!

We always recommend taking advantage of the nice weather while here on a ski trip and getting out on our waters. You won’t regret it!

Current Snowpack

Again, with the warmer than average temperatures in February and very little snow accumulation, our snowpack for the month of February was unimpressive. Pray for snow we desperately need it in the high country!

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Thank you for staying connected with us on current conditions, reports, and news!

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