Warm days and a bit of rain has brought up some river levels and turned the water brown on our local freestones like The Gallatin and Yellowstone. The undammed waterways do what they want during runoff as the snow melts off the mountains. The tailwaters like Madison, Missouri, Big Horn, and Beaverhead are all fishing great and some running very clear so the options are still plentiful for good trout fishing. The area lakes and reservoirs have been fantastic also. The small streams open up tomorrow and plenty are in great shape, i can't wait to break out my 3wt. and practice some bow and arrow or rollcasts!
UPPER MADISON RIVER: 1,640cfs
Cabin creek had finally pushed the mud through Quake Lake and now the Upper is pretty brown from there on down to Ennis. Lot's of folks excited for the walk-wade section to open tomorrow and it should be good. Mostly subsurface but there are top water oppertunities to be had. The stonefly adults are starting to come out. Between the lakes is a sure bet and fishing great with cool clear water. If your gonna float pay attention to the softer inside elbows and if you can get out and wade the holes with thorough drifts, sometimes they don't eat it until the fifth time through.
flies: Hares ear, black stoner, tungsten yellow sally, muskrat golden stone, olive rubberlegs, white zonker, olive zonkers, mega prince, lil spanker PT, lil spanker silver, copper john, lightning bug, sparkle worm, ray charles, zebra midge, WD-40, firebead sow bug, para Adams, Q's midge cluster, Griffith's gnat, para baetis
LOWER MADISON RIVER: 2,690cfs
The lower has been steady flowing for almost the last 48 hours which means game on! Has been fishing awesome lately and i imagine should be good by this evening when the bugs have been hatching the most heavily. Of course the subsurface action has been stellar all day long with Caddis and mayflies in their underwater life stage imitations. Bang the banks with a deer hair sculpin if your gonna throw streamers!
flies: bloom's para caddis, purple caddis, elk hair peacock, Goddard Caddis, loop wing caddis, snapping craw, chickabou craw, copper zonker, lightning bug, sex fly, zebra midge, grey twinkle, Sparkle caddis olive & bright green, blue spankers, rubberlegs, rock n roller stone, sparkle minnow, Silvey's sculpin, JJ's special, para Adams, tilt wing baetis, BWO film critic, cluster midge, chubby chernobyl
MISSOURI RIVER: 4,630cfs
Good fishing today with cool weather and clouds this morning. Been some stellar nymphing all day long lately on the MO with the usual suspects (pink scuds, midge pupas, baetis nymphs, san juans) and the streamer bite is not bad either. PLenty of great insect life making the metamorphasis on the MO lately though ie: caddis, march browns, midges, baetis!
flies: Para March Brown, tilt wing baetis, BWO film critic, para baetis, Bloom's para Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis peacock, Q's cluster midge, griffith's gnat, Para Adams, BWO squeezer, Zebra midge, micro may, stalcup's baetis, tungsten ready baetis, CDC baetis emerger, ray charles-tan, pink, or grey, Sparkle minnow, Sculpzilla, Flesh Eating Sculpin, Copper Zonker, small royal wulff, stillborn midge
THE BIG HOLE: 4,480cfs
In the past two days the big hole has come up almost 1,000 cfs in flow which may slow things a bit. However the Big Hole is one of those rivers that can still maintain good clarity and good fishing through high water. It can also be a real mean beast when it runs high and fast so experience on the oars is a must. Just be careful and use your head. I came very close to sinking a drift boat there last year in high water and know a few others who have and it's never a good thing. Anyhow commit to the streamer all day over there and you can get graciously rewarded or keep the action going with a good stonefly nymph rig. The Salmon flies are so close, wonder if the water levels will give up the epic fishing during that particular hatch?
flies: bloom's caddis, fast water caddis, elk hair peacock, olive hares ear, drake nymph, king prince, knuckle dragger baetis, shop vac, sex fly, lightning bug, tungsten yellow sally, muskrat golden stone, rubberlegs, white zonkers, JJ's special, yellow yummy, Silveys sculpin, dream catcher sculpin, sculpzilla, elk hair caddis, para Adams
YELLOWSTONE RIVER: 15,000cfs
High, muddy, fast, and nasty. Not a good fishing option at the moment. Should be back in shape and fishing great in a couple of weeks. Think the Stone peaked at 41,000cfs last year during runoff. Highly doubt we'll see it that high this season, I'm gonna guess it gets to 27,000cfs as this years peak flow.
GALLATIN RIVER: 3,250cfs
Chocolate milk colored and fast. Would seriously consider someplace else if your looking to fish. Maybe go to the Gallatin for kayaking and Morel mushrooms hunting right now. The tributaries are running clear and open to fish Sat. May 19th!