JUNE 2, 2014
As Spring-like weather is slowly moving into Southwest Montana, our rivers are quickly approaching "run-off" status. But, keep in mind, there is ALWAYS somewhere to fish. Area tailwater fisheries, spring creeks, and lakes are all largely unaffected by high waters in the Spring.
So first the good news: against all conventional thought and wisdom, all of our rivers seem to be dropping already. Now, I understand that it is June, and run off has been going for quite some time, but just about everyone I spoke with (and myself), envisioned a very long time frame for our "dirty water" season. Everything is still quite high, but dropping, and some are dropping fast. Now, the bad news. You can still only fish the tailwaters, spring creeks, and lakes in our area. I am headed to the Lower Madison today (recon trip), but your best bet for floating is still the Missouri River. I had a nice run of days on the Mo this weekend, and the river is fishing pretty well. Some great nymph fishing, sporadic streamer fishing, and spotty dry fly fishing. Not much has changed on the Missouri since the last report; closer to the dam the worm/sow bug combo is still quite good, and there are still a good number of mayflies (baetis and March Browns). Further down the river, you will see baetis and caddis. The worm is still king down low. I heard from a very reliable source that the outflows from Holter are expected to diminish in the next week or so, bringing the water volume down to the 5000-6000 CFS range. This bit of info, plus the fact that every graph for all the freestone rivers all show decreased flow, means we may vary well be on the way to clear rivers in the Bozeman area. Current flow out of Holter Dam: 11,000 CFS