March 1st marks the start of a new license year for anglers in Montana.  That means you need to pick up a 2017 Montana fishing license before you head out to the stream or lake next time.  You can buy your license the old fashioned way, in person at a sporting goods store, fly shop, or FWP office or you can go on-line to MT FWP and purchase and print your license from home.  You can even keep a pdf copy of your license on your phone this year that qualifies as proof of license should you get checked by a game warden.  

Despite the new license year upon us, there aren’t many anglers out fly fishing on local streams.  The recent cold and snowy weather has kept all but the most hard-core hunkered down at home, or up at the ski hills.  You can catch some trout in these conditions, but don’t expect banner fishing.  The water temps are still a little too cold for good insect activity and the fish are sluggish.

It is a noticeable change from last season when there were boats rolling around town by mid-February and pretty respectable fishing on this date in 2016.  We are well behind that schedule this year which might hamper our early season a little, but it bodes well for the rest of 2017 with lots of high and mid-elevation snow still on the ground.

Look for the Bitterroot and Rock Creek to offer the best action once we see the next batch of warm weather.  A day or two of temps in the 40’s is all it will take to get the ball rolling and start our fishing season.  Nymphs and slow streamers will be the best tactic for the foreseeable future, but the dry fly fishing will come.  Mid-March is my guess for when the trout will start looking up and then it will only get better from there!  Get your Montana fishing license now while it’s cold and snowy so you’ll be ready when the fishing does heat up.


Subscribe to Tony's Fishing Reports Newsletter

Tony Reinhardt - Fly Fishing Guide
Montana Fly Fishing Guide
Catch Montana Trout

Receive Tony's Weekly Fly Fishing Reports All Season Long

Experience fly fishing the Bitterroot, the Blackfoot, the Clark Fork rivers, as well as Rock Creek and the Missouri river, as Tony Reinhardt recounts in detail each week's fishing adventures along with plenty of beautiful pictures.

Plus receive a BONUS pdf on "5 Easy Tips to More Trout" when you sign up.

It's the next best thing to being in the boat with Tony....

Catch Nice Trout
Montana Trout Guides
Brown trout during the spring skwala hatch

Call TODAY! 406-544-3516

Click to Call

Let’s Go Trout Fishing in Beautiful Montana

Give Tony a call – He can line you up with the Montana fly fishing lodges that will keep you and your family taken care of.

Montana Trout Outfitters
Proud Sponsors of

Cast One for Hope

Sept. 25-26,2020

An Exclusive Fly Fishing Event on the Legendary Bitterroot River to Benefit Women with Breast Cancer - Learn More

© 2010-2020 Montana Trout Outfitters

All Rights Reserved

Montana Outfitter #7942