Madison River Report

by | May 24, 2011 | 0 comments

Keeping the cows out.

Pat Bond and I took off early this morning to meet up in the Madison Valley for a fencing project on the east side of the Madison River on the Granger Ranch.  Their cattle like to utilize the banks of the river for water, but with O’Dell Creek flowing through the property, they have plenty of  H2O.  Dale, the cowboy/ranch manager, had a plan for three fences to be set up running perpendicular to the river.  Then one more fence row parallel to the river.  This gives him five different pastures to graze the cattle on and is a huge help when keeping the cows out of the Madison.  Every little bit helps.

Who needs waders when you got wheels?

Rain, wind and cold weather has been relentless today all over SW Montana.  In West Yellowstone, it started last night around midnight and really hasn’t let up much at all.  42 and drizzling at the moment.   The Madison has made a jump in flows today and if they weather doesn’t back off it will keep rising.  Cabin Creek probably won’t stop for awhile, maybe another 4 weeks…who knows really.  Beaver Creek is up, but not that muddy.  Quake is still greenish…for now.  From the Slide to the West Fork the entire river is very fishy.  There is still only about a foot of visibility (maybe less), but it is greenish.  The West Fork is charging pretty good now with all the rain and Indian Creek is flowing hard as well.  The float stretch looks fine till you get to Windy, mabye not quite to Windy, but I don’t think it is worth floating below Palisades.  Definitely not below MacAtee.  There are fish to be caught on the Upper Madison subsurface with nymphs and streamers,  but the next day or so could be a little off with all the rain running into the river.   In the last 8 days, Hebgen Lake has risen 1.5 feet.  On South Plataue there is 75 inches of snow on the ground, which all comes into Hebgen via the South Fork of the Madison.  Slough Creek has also flooded the campground.  This season’s run off in Yellowstone is going to be a game changer for sure.  The last time (1997) there was this much water in the Lamar River highcountry, the Lamar River hit 26,000 cfs.  Come July, this area will not look the same at all.  There will be new islands, channels and with that comes different trout habitat.  It will be fun to learn the rivers in the NE Corner of the Yellowstone once again.

Madison River Flows

Below Hebgen – 1590 cfs….it was almost 1800, but they dropped it this afternoon.

@ Kirby Ranch -2240 cfs….and climbing.  Expect this to drop from the decrease at the Dam, but it will rise.

@ Varney – 3500 cfs…..big and dirty.  Blown.  For awhile.