The Gallatin river is yet another free stone river that originates within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. As the river flows north through the Gallatin National Forest, tributary springs and creeks feed it additional volume near Big Sky, Montana. The Gallatin continues north through the canyon section and out into the greater Bozeman valley. After joining with the East Gallatin in Manhattan, the lower Gallatin heads west to the town of Three Forks to become the Missouri.
The Gallatin offers excellent fishing for beginners and seasoned vets alike. Fish size tends to average in the 8″-12″ range with occasional opportunities at 16″-18″ trout or bigger. The Gallatin is predominantly a walk and wade river with float fishing opportunities on the lower river near the headwaters of the Missouri. Nymph fishing tends to be the most productive, but the salmon flies, spruce moths, mayflies, and caddis can make for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year.