Western Trout

Sage Lodge, Montana 2023 Season Report

Brad Schuelke | Sage Lodge November 22, 2023

Our friends at Sage Lodge in Montana sent us this 2023 season report.

Temperatures are dropping and snow is starting to fly in Paradise Valley, closing the door on another fishing season.

We had a late start to springtime in the Northern Rockies, but spring hatches (BWO’s and Mother’s Day Caddis) were solid in May on the spring creeks. Float season on the lower Madison was a great option in May and June, providing a stable alternative to run-off on the Yellowstone.

Fishing was excellent all summer in Yellowstone National Park, with productive dry fly fishing (PMDs and caddis) starting on the Madison and Firehole rivers in early June. By the second week in July, the Yellowstone River was in perfect shape for floating. Overall, fishing on the ‘Stone has been challenging since the 2022 flood, but water temperatures stayed in the 60’s and conditions were favorable all summer. There isn’t a more beautiful river to float in the West, and fishing should only improve as we are further removed from the flood.

From July through September, dry fly fishing for Cutthroat trout in the NE corner of Yellowstone Park was outstanding, with terrestrials and mayfly hatches consistently producing each day. 

Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River were all productive, with plenty of water to fish both from the trail and roadside. The Park in summer is a wonderful combination of wildlife viewing, spectacular scenery and great fishing, definitely a lower 48 bucket list adventure.

Fall lingered well into November this year, and crowds were gone by mid-September. While anglers were still working for their fish on the Yellowstone, trout were taking hoppers into October, and streamers accounted for some of the best fish of the season.

The spring creeks will still provide some opportunities during winter warm-ups, and we are already looking forward to 2024.

Sage Lodge, Montana

Experience a luxury lodge with access to some the West's most scenic country for trout fishing.