Over the past week we have seen the 70 degree mark, followed by a foot of snow last night in Bozeman. I even got to wear shorts, flip-flops and a t-shirt for a few days while hanging out in Ennis catching up with an old friend. The Madison around Ennis is in prime shape and fishing pretty well. Stopping to run your flies through the holes a couple extra times will produce a few more fish. Get a drift and they’ll eat your fly. BWOs are scarce on the upper Madison, but it is after all April and those little mayflies are showing up on other rivers throughout the state. Don’t head down to the Madison below Hebgen if you like to fish in solitude. Just a couple days ago I counted 8 rigs along the highway……it is hard to imagine that most of those anglers drive right by McAtee Bridge.
Last Friday evening, fellow guide Jonathon Heames came by the house to ask if I wanted to jump in his truck early the next morning and head up to the Missouri. It was last minute and since Molly was heading out of town, I decided to make the quick trip. We drug his lake boat to the Gates of the Mountains and fished the stretch of the Missouri below Hauser Dam. There are large rainbows in there which are spawning and willing to eat flies. This has become a rather popular place in the last couple of years and I believe that I have had enough of it. It used to be a “secret”, but no more. I was there for the camping – the fishing was secondary. The two nights spent under the stars was much needed and after several beers it was way too easy to fall asleep. To tell the truth, the tug of those big rainbows was fun…if I must say.
With the warm weather, Bozeman hit 80 degrees, came run-off. This will not last long, as it things have cooled down with the recent snow falls and more snow is forecasted for SW Montana this weekend. The Gallatin is blown, along with the Big Hole and the Yellowstone. Expect these streams to clear up and get extremely fishy.
Stay tuned for more fishing reports as I am headed to the Missouri again next week for 10 days…..