On my way home from the Missouri this morning, I stopped by The Madison River Fishing Company, to catch up with the boys there in the shop. When I walked in the door, Mike Lum had just got off the phone with PPL and had this “oh shit” look on his face. At 5 am this morning, the Madison Dam below Ennis Lake (NOT HEBGEN DAM!), had a gaint rock which dislodged itself from the mountain and landed on the Dam, damaging 3 of the flood control gates, hydraulic controls and some of the structure of the dam. There will be a small reduction of flows from Hebgen Dam, starting today, but the Upper Madison really shouldn’t be effected too much. At first, there were discustions of dropping the Upper to 650 cfs, but it looks like we are in the clear and that won’t happen. Ennis lake will be drawn down 4 feet and then possibly a few more feet once the repairs begin on the Madison Dam. Ennis lake is only about 8-9 feet deep on average, so there will be a significant change around the lake. Expect to see a giant mud flat all around the lake in the coming days.
The current flows out of Hebgen Lake are 900 cfs. This was a small drop from 1030 cfs, but appartently PPL was about to drop the flows a little to start preparing for their Fall flows out of Hebgen. The Madison River has contined to fish really well over the past couple of weeks and I expect it to continue on through September. Hopppers, ants, spruce moths, nocturnal stones and various nymphs are producing some great fishing. The weather for the end of this week and the weekend looks like sunshine and warmer temps. As for the current weather, well, it’s cold and they are calling for snow tonight. While driving through the Madison Valley this afternoon, there was a fresh flocking of snow on the trees at elevations of 9000 feet. Snow….yes, Fall is coming.