FAS – leased Fishing Access Sites may not be renewed

It seems as if the folks in Helena who represent the good people of Montana aren’t listening very well these days.  Below is a list of fishing access sites, FAS, that the State of Montana leases out from private property owners.  HB 403 has limited MT FWP’s ability to lease these sites out for the upcoming season.  This means that none of your license fees can be used to pay for these leases.  Do you like to wade fish on the Ruby at Alder Bridge?  How about floating from Notch to Pennington on the Big Hole?  Wade fishing at the Bull Pin on the Missouri is mighty popular as well.  This morning HB 403 is being heard, so cross your fingers that this money will be approved for these sites, otherwise, they will most likely be closed.   Read below for a full list…..



1 Beaver Lake FAS Beaver Lake
1 Elmo FAS Flathead Lake
2 Browns Lake FAS Browns Lake
2 WW White FAS W.F. Bitterroot River
3 Alder Bridge FAS

Silver Bridge FAS

Ruby Island FAS

Ruby river

Ruby River

Ruby River

3 Daily Lake FAS Daily Lake
3 Pennington Bridge FAS

Sportsman’s Park FAS

Big Hole River

Big Hole River

4 Lone Tree FAS

Bull Pasture FAS

Little Muddy Cr FAS

Truly Bridge FAS

Missouri River

Missouri River

Missouri River

Smith River

4 Eureka Reservoir FAS Eureka Reservoir
6 Faber Reservoir FAS Faber Reservoir
6 School Trust FAS Missouri River
7 Black Bridge FAS

Far West FAS

Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River

YNP, Yellowstone, Madison 07.30.2012

There are places in the Park that change every year, river bottoms undergo a massive change each season.  Ever read the Living River?  If you fish river at all, it gives a wonderful perspective of the Madison River and the changes it has went through during the days of Charlie Brooks.  The 6X6 bull elk rack, above from today, was not in this spot last fall, when I was here last.  I wonder if the river brought it downstream and left it here for us to enjoy?

The Lamar is on it’s way down, after a huge plug of mud from thunder storms in the NE Corner found it’s way in the river.  The Yellowstone in Montana blew out as well, but things have settled down a bit on that side of the Park and the Yellowstone has 2.5-3 feet of visibility.  I heard mixed reports today…..we are headed over to there tomorrow as long as the flows keep dropping by morning.  When the NE Corner is clear, it has been fishing well with ants, hoppers, smallish PMXs, various mayfly patterns and Wulff Cripples.

The Madison River in MT has the best flows for this time of the year since I started guiding it, 14 years ago.  The temps coming off Hebgen Lake are a bit warm in the afternoon, however, the river is still holding it’s own from dawn till about 3pm.  If we can get PPL and FWP to release these flows once the damn is fixed, the Madison will explode with trout.  Not that there aren’t good fish in the Madison, but we all know there could be a few more larger trout.

The Ditch Bill….

Robin Cunningham, the ED of the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana has attended every session in Helena as our ear to the grindstone for almost 2 decades.  Two weeks ago he informed those of us attending the Board of Directors Meeting in Bozeman about HB 309.   Robin has been keeping us informed all along the way.  There has been lots of coverage througout the web regarding this attact on stream access here in Montana.  The blogs Willfishforwork and ChiWulff  have been covering this quite well.  I, for one, have been writing emails to those in the House, Senate and the Governor opposing this attack on the Stream Access Law. 

Yesterday afternoon Robin sent out an email to the Board saying that HB309, the ‘Ditch Bill’, is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee on Thursday, March 3, in Room 335 starting at 3:00 p.m.  Helena, MT.

Download the bill:  http://foam-montana.org/downloads/HB309.pdf

Email your Senators: click here to find them.

Mother’s Day Caddis…..here comes the Mud

p1010093.JPG      Two days ago I hung out with my buddy Busch over in Paradise Valley. We drove around looking for heads, although not opposed to fishing nymphs, we both wanted to fish it dry.  There were a few more Caddis around below town, but we didn’t see much rise.  The Shields River is pushing some mud into the river and I would think that with the warmer weather over the past two days we might see the Caddis hatch explode.   Ofcourse it may not last long as the suhshine will will start the inevitable –  RUNOFF.