Madison & Missouri

by | May 15, 2006 | 0 comments

When is run off? I wish I new. This year it seems that the Madison is going to fish good for the month of May but when June gets here expect to see the river to swell for a couple of weeks or more. There is a ton of snow up in them hills and when it melts the Madison is going to be huge. Run off is a doubled edged sword. We would like it to come and be over, but we also need the snow to stick around to keep the ground wet and the rivers cool. Last week, Cabin and Beaver Creeks had some color to them, but the cool overnight temps are keeping them fromr competely blowing out. The West Fork is not far behind.

Fishing has been good on the Madison above Ennis with stone flies, bead heads and streamers. There has been that occational flurry of heads popping out to eat BWOs. The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is just around the corner and if we are lucky we might get a few of those wonderul March Browns drying their wings on the river’s surface. Two years ago, the March Brown hatch was epic.

The Gallatin, when clear, is a wonderful place to spend the day fishing. There are sporadic hatches of BWOs, but nymphing with golden stones, caddis pupa and small mayfly nymphs will work very well. The canyon stretch is my favorite Spring fishinged destination.

The Missouri below Holter is flowing around 6400 cfs. That is high for this time year, but historically that is not high. When I first moved to MT in 1996 the Mo River generally ran about 7-8000 cfs. We did not wade the river very often because there just wasn’t a ton of places to wade. Drift boats were the answer. So, I love the higher water that is in the Mo the Spring. That is how I learned to fish the Missouri. Pulling streamers will turn a few good fish this time of the year and will deep nymphing. There are BWOs in the Canyon, but they are not going strong.