Last night at the bar, I ran into my buddy Dan Rust, a guide for Blue Ribbon.  He had just gotten off the Madison and had floated Varney to 8 Mile.  Out of the gate, the river fished just fine, but at some point after lunch, river clarity had worsened and the bite had slowed way down.  The West Fork had blown out on him as did Indian Creek.  Cabin and Beaver were blowing mud as well.

This morning, there is a fresh skiff of snow on the ground.  The clouds are hanging low over Hebgen Lake and it’s 30 degrees.  Hard to say what it looks like down in the valley, but I am headed down there anyway.  Late yesterday afternoon I made the decision to finally flip my boat and get her ready for the season….now she is blanketed in snow. 

Madison River Flows

Below Hebgen – 1270 cfs…..up 60

@ Kirby – 1620 cfs….up 200

@ Varney – 2120 cfs….up 320

The past four days have been very warm with wind.  These “hot” temps have made the Madison rise.  Our forecast for the next 5 days is cloudy, rainy and quite a bit cooler.   With any luck; Cabin, Beaver, the West Fork and Indian Creek will drop back down with these cooler temps……at this point, it’s hard to say what will happen.  We need some snow to melt in the high country, so really, a muddy Madison  is not a bad thing.   Will she be clean for the Opener on May 21st?  Your guess is as good as mine……hope, pray or sacrifice a small child or pet if need be.  

One of the "Chain of Lakes" in SW Montana.