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The Backstage Pass

Top 5 Flies for Dirty Water

May 03, 23

It’s that time of year again, as we are enjoying some warm weather around Bozeman, which means melting snow in the mountains and high dirty water on many of our local rivers. There are still some good tail-water options and lots of lakes to fish, but if you’re trying to sneak out for a few hours close to town, you will have to deal with some dirty water. But don’t fret, you can still catch fish in these conditions! Focus your fishing in the slower-moving water up against the banks; you might be surprised by what you find. Here are five of our favorite flies during runoff.

San Juan Worm – try these guys in bright oranges or pinks and with firebeads


Rubberleg Stoneflies – I like fishing these guys in black for dirty water


Prince Nymphs – Size them up a bit and fish them under the worm or stonefly


Wooly Buggers – fish these guys tight to the bank in black or yellow


Galloup's Dungeon – Any large streamers that push lots of water are good for lower visibility



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