by | Apr 10, 2011 | 0 comments

Madison River Flows

Below Hebgen – 1050 cfs

Varney Bridge  (Cameron Gauge) – 1260 cfs

Looking downstream from Varney Bridge

 The urge to get out of the house and away from the snow was too strong yesterday.  While actually fishing is still a ways out for me, I just had to go and sit by the river.  Therapeutic it was, but watching trout rise kind of bummed me out.   A 50 foot cast would have reached them, but drag would have set in too quickly.   If you were on the Madison yesterday, I would’ve bet that you cracked em’.  The valley was warm, 45 degrees, and the wind was at bay.  Rarely, does that happen this time of the year when the warmer temps arrive in SW Montana.   Only a handful of driftboats were on the river taking advantage of the lovely weather.  The new stream gauge at Varney Bridge is super nice.  To the best of my memory, there was a gauge here a long time ago and may have been washed out……before my time that is.   1260 cfs is a great spring flow and the boat won’t take a beating.    8 Mile was a little busy with wade fishers, but not like I thought it would be, for a Saturday.  Floating would be my choice. 

The Germans......

The photo above is from Windy Point, right at the ramp.  There is still some snow around the banks, but once we got further downstream, just below Palisades, the banks were almost free of snow.  While this section of the river is closed till May 21st, the dogs love it…..lots of room to roam.    The big eagle’s nest on the other side of the river should be occupied by a few eggs, there was one baldy on the nest which I watched, hopeing to see it’s mate come around and switch out.  Bald Eagles take turns incubating the eggs…..FYI.   


Bookings for the 2011 season are rolling in.  June is busy early and late, July is almost full, August is filling up, September is so- so and October is suprisingly busy.  When are you coming out?  Can’t decide, you say?  Well, give us a call and we’ll help you.  Never been to Montana in May?  Huge mistake, but we’ll let is slide this time.  Our rivers fish well during the springtime, but avoiding the nasty weather can be tough, but it will make you tough.   Those who love the Fall angling, should come out in the Spring.  Why?  Well, everything looks about the same – snow in the high country, brown grass in the valley, no leaves on trees, cold weather –  but the fish haven’t seen hundreds of anglers.  Hatches you ask?  Of course –  midges, BWOs and even a few stoneflies.  Nymphing is the main game, but casting streamers and dryflies is not out of the question. 

Springtime sunset.


Madison – 118%

Gallatin – 122%

Jefferson – 115%

West Yellowstone – 132%