Snow abounds in SW Montana.

 Our snowpack is finally melting.  Cabin Creek was dirty yesterday afternoon and while I did not see Beaver Creek, I would assume it was muddy too.  The yard around the house melted out and bison have been using the much needed bare ground for browsing.   A year ago, all of the snow had melted off the level and Hebgen Lake was free of snow and ice.  Currently, the main body of Hebgen is still iced over, but there is open water in Grayling Arm, the Madison Arm and South Fork Estuary.  Quake Lake is still under ice, but getting closer to the boat ramp everyday. 

Jake Chutz and nice Madison Brown Trout

We fished streamers for the most part yesterday, but ended up switching to a bobber and nymphs for more productive fishing.  Midges poured off the river, but not one fish was witnessed rising.  Chalk that up to the wind.   The fish above ate a rubber leg stonefly, as did most of the trout.  We experimented with firebead flies and found them to work quite well down in between the lakes.  The Rubber Eggs, is killer.  Swinging olive streamers in Quake took a few trout, but it was a little slow.  The rainbow spawn seems to be running a little later this season.  We saw a few redds, but not see that many trout on them.  There was one spot, up high, that did have quite a few rainbows around it – we left those alone – so should you.  Access, down between the lakes, is still pretty tough.  The road is full of snow and driving a car down to the bathroom is not even thinkable yet.

One way to get the boat out........