A look into the Future….May & June

by | Mar 5, 2010 | 0 comments


Greg Falls and the boys…..on the Mo’. Mid-June 2006.

As I have said before, this winter is a bit light on snow.  What does that really mean?  Well, let me try to break it down.  This may get confusing, but it makes sense in my head. Think early season…..If you come in Sept, maybe you should think May or June this year.  I know that some of you have seen the high water the past 2 seasons, but this year is a little different.


Obviously we are a long way from May and things could definity change, but I expect that May will be one of the better months of the entire season on both the Madison and the Missouri.  If the Madison has 8 inches of clarity, will be off the hook when it opens back up on May 15th.  From McAtee to Town it should be good from here on out. There will be those days when the fishing rocks and there will be a few that are a bit slow.  Run-off could be going by mid-May and might be finished by the third week of June. DON’T HOLD ME TO THIS. Expect it to be cold this spring.  The Missouri will warm up a bit quicker since the elevation is 3500ft. Will we be rockin’ flip flops and shorts?  Yep.  BUT….it will snow and rain so be prepared if you come out.  May on the Missouri, possibly….maybe….hopefully, will have BWO dry fly angling of the years past. IF we get clouds, warmer weather and light precip the river will come alive.  The river will be lower than the past seasons from less snowpack this winter. The Mo’ could be warmer as well, triggering fish to seek out their summer haunts……riffles and bank edges.  The Missouri should see some caddis in the lower reaches, below the Canyon, and we still could see some BWO’s through the last bit of May. Don’t hold me to this, but the nymphing on the Missouri in May, could be unreal. Streamers. Dry Flies.  Yes……UNREAL. My buddy Kunhert has been gettin’ em’ on nymphs already this month.  25% of the Rainbows upstream of Stickney Creek are 18inches.  No shit. May is light in bookings. Mid to late May is the timeframe.

montana2008_0121.jpg montana2008_0171.jpg

Late May on the Mo’.                          Jonathon Heames & a Mo’ River Rainbow. May 2008


The Madison in early June will be muddy.  Above the West Fork one should be able to nymph up some nice trout, even in the muddy water.  A bobber, big Stoneflies, SJ Worms….you know the rig.  By Mid to Late June, the river should be dropping and clearing, giving way to more stable flows. Around the third week, expect to see some dry fly angling. The river could be fishing from Hebgen to Ennis by the middle of the month….unless we get tons of snow and rain between now and then.  The last two seasons, the Madison was blown out until the 10th or so of July.  Not this year.


Joe L and a PMD dry fly 22 in Brown Trout. June 2007.

The Missouri in June could be the best month of the entire season…..better than anywhere else in world.  There could be BWOs, Caddis in early June. Nymphing will crush them. We will most likely see PMDs by mid June.  Remember 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007? I do and so do the folks who were fishing #14 Rusty Spinners and CDC Caddis to stupid rising trout.  They were dumb as posts….and plentiful.  There will be some muddy water on the Missouri in June. There always is.  The Prickly Pear and the Dearborn will blow out from time to time, but they shouldn’t effect the river too much.  There will be more worms in the river when these two streams swell……trout love worms.  From Holter to Cascade, 35 miles or so, it will be wonderful. 


Mo’ River Brown…..late May 2008.

Come early this year and you will never want to leave.  It is Montana and the weather will be tough at times, but the hardy angler will prevail.  We always do.