Lots of snow in the highcountry.

With the stream flow graphs showing stability on the upper Madison, I was curious to see what might be dirty with today’s sunshine.   At 2 o’clock this afternoon, Indian Creek and the West Fork were clean as a whistle.  Up high on the Slide, the river was green, green from the ice melting off from Quake Lake.  Quake and Hebgen are still iced over, but we are just days away from more water opening up.  Beaver Creek was green and clearing, but Cabin Creek was pumping hard with mud.  From the highway one could see the hard brown line on the right bank of the Madison inbetwix.  There was a north wind in the valley today keeping the air temps a bit cooler.  McAtee to Burnt Tree is clean and on the drop – fishing in there should be pretty darn good.   The forecast for the next few days is 60-70, with a chance of rain.  At some point, maybe by the end of the weekend, the Upper could be blown out.   Odds are that it won’t last too long unless the rain comes down hard and nights don’t cool off.   Only Mother Nature knows for sure.

Cabin Creek...getting bigger.

 We checked a few spawning runs today as well.  There are more rainbows in the channels than 10 days ago.  When the Madison opens on on May 21st, it is going to be hard for some to walk by them without a cast……hopefully, anglers won’t feel the need to catch every single spawner they see.  Hopefully. 

Quake Lake emerges from the ice.

 The Missouri has hit 12,000 cfs as of this evening.  The tribs are dropping and hopefully the river will stabilize for a few days.  Today was warm and tomorrow should be about the same but with clouds.  If you know where the fish are at these levels and your leader is long enough, you will catch trout on the Missouri at these flows.   When the horn blows at Holter, start making those drifts count.  The afternoon bite on the Missouri hasn’t been all that great once the flow begins its push.  Logs and beer cans have been drifting off the banks as the river rises.   Some drift boats were seen rowing off the river in the late afternoon.   The Dearborn and the Pear are on the drop…give it a day or so and the Canyon might be fishable………….maybe.  Green is good.   If all works out, I will be headed up to the Missouri early next week for a look-see and a gopher shoot.   That should be fun.