Things were well on their way to becoming just perfect for this time of year, and then the rains came. We have been dealing with an unusual weather pattern as of late, experiencing sustained rain for days, but the end seems near.
Upper Madison River 1980 CFS @ Cameron
The Upper Madison really surprised me today, as I did not see another boat until a raft rolled by at 3:00. The fish responded well to the overcast skies and lack of fishing pressure and provided us with ramp to ramp production. We caught our first fish on our first cast, and our last fish was about 50 yards upstream of the takeout, and was the biggest brown of the day. Various sculpin patterns trailed with a variety of nymphs did the trick. The most important aspect today was keeping the flies in the right water, which can be tough when the river is rolling like it is.
Lower Madison River 3950 CFS below Ennis Dam
Crayfish, that is really all I need to type. The Lower Madison was great yesterday, and the crowds were a total non-issue, as the weather was pretty horrendous. I fished five different crayfish patterns yesterday, and all produced, along with some sculpin eats, we had a great day in the rain.
Missouri River 14100 CFS below Holter Dam
The Missouri River has been my mainstay the last few weeks, and it has been very good fishing. PMD's are going full force, and the fish are really keyed in. Had some great fishing this week with Comparadun and Last Chance Cripple patterns, but the crayfish bite in the fast water of the canyon has produced some great fish. My strategy is always to nymph between dry fly opportunities as opposed to just one or the other- keeps the days interesting, and allows for great variety.
Gallatin River 3430 CFS @ Gallatin Gateway
The Gallatin has some clarity above the Taylor Fork, and actually looked quite good yesterday before the effects of the monsoon hit the river. If the rains stop, the Gallatin will quickly become an option, and should be fantastic this summer. Lots of much needed water in the system right now.
Jefferson River 7320 CFS @ Twin Bridges
The Jefferson was literally days away from fishing, but the rain has put this back in the too dirty to fish category. Things in this drainage tend to clear quickly, so perhaps by the end of the week we will be looking this way.
Yellowstone River 21200 CFS @ Corwin Springs
The Yellowstone River is far from fishable, and quite honestly, we are probably looking at mid-July at this point.