Fishing Reports

Salmonflies are in the Air

Salmonflies have been around on the Madison in the Park for a few days now, and fish have been caught on the big bugs. This pretty brown anxiously jumped on a well-placed Chubby Chernobyl near Madison Junction a few evenings ago.

YNP Opening Weekend Fishing Report

Yellowstone National Park's 2017 fishing season kicked off this past Saturday, and here's a brief rundown of what folks found on the rivers:

The Firehole fished well with soft hackles on Saturday and Sunday, with most anglers able to hook plenty of fish on the swing. Dry fly fishing was ok in spots on Saturday, with some PMDs and Caddis present, but limited numbers of rising fish. Sunday saw fewer bugs, and accordingly, fewer risers. Flows spiked Sunday evening, signalling that runoff is picking back up again with warmer air temperatures. Forecasts are calling for highs in the 60s and even low 70s for the next few days, so we expect the water to continue to rise for at least the next few days, which will make dry fly fishing difficult at best. Swinging soft hackles, nymphing, and fishing small streamers should continue to produce this week through the high water.

The Madison and Gibbon both produced a few fish over the weekend on nymphs and streamers, but the water here is still high, cold, and tea-colored, and we expect the clarity to worsen over the next few days of warm weather. Streamers and large nymphs will continue to produce a fish here and there, but it will probably take another week or so before the water rounds into better shape for dry fly fishing.

Early May Snowpack Report

Snowpack levels continue to rise in Southwest Montana thanks to recent snowstorms and cool temperatures. The Madison and Gallatin drainages are in great shape at 122% and 114% respectively, and the upper Yellowstone drainage is well above normal at 139%. The upper Lamar drainage is particularly high, with individual Snowtel sites in the headwaters reading in the 160-200% range.

The forecast is showing much warmer weather on the way, so expect runoff to begin in the near future. The Gallatin is already a bit dirty from the Taylor Fork downstream, and will continue to rise this week. The Madison below Quake Lake is still clear at the moment, and should remain so for at least a week, since it will take a few days for runoff from Cabin and Beaver creeks to turn Quake Lake off-color.

As always, feel free to give us a call at 406-646-7642 for up-to-the-minute conditions.

Mid-April Snowpack Report

Here's your mid-April snowpack report:

Not much has changed since our last update a few weeks ago. We've had some warm weather which has melted some more snow here in town, but the high mountains still have plenty of snow.

The Madison drainage is holding steady around the 109% mark, which should bode well for a good supply of water this summer. Expect things to be a bit more normal this year than the last few in regards to run-off, with high dirty water through much of may and early to mid-June.

The Gallatin drainage as a whole is just slightly below normal at 94%, but the all of the Snotel sites in the upper reaches are still registering over 100% water content, meaning that we should be in great shape here as well. Expect run-off to be ending and dry fly fishing to begin somewhere around the beginning of July.

The Upper Yellowstone drainage has dropped a bit since our last report, but is still in great shape at 118%. The upper Lamar drainage is still particularly high, meaning that fishing on the Lamar (and the Yellowstone River downstream of the Lamar confluence) may be starting a bit later than usual. Don't plan on seeing any hatches here until at least mid-July.

As always, keep in mind that this is only an estimate based on current conditions, and all of this can change, depending on the weather this spring (warmer weather will typically accelerate run-off, while a cool, rainy and/or snowy spring could push thing back later than usual. We hope this helps in your summer trip planning, and feel free to call us any time with any questions!

March Snowpack Report

It's trip planning time for the upcoming summer, and lots of folks have been asking for a general forecast for runoff this year, so here's where we stand currently. Keep in mind that these projections are based on a "normal" spring here in Montana, which means cool temperatures and plenty of wet weather. A spell of hot weather can certainly accelerate runoff, while an unusually cold, snowy stretch of weather can also delay the snowmelt. We'll post a few more updates throughout the spring to catch you up on recent weather trends and an updated forecast.

The Madison drainage currently sits at 110% snowpack, meaning we should have plenty of water this summer. While slightly above normal, we expect a fairly normal runoff season, meaning high, off-color water through late May and early June, with prime dry fly conditions beginning somewhere in the last 10 days or so of June.

The Gallatin drainage is slightly below normal at 93%, but still on track for a relatively normal season, with prime conditions arriving most likely in the last few days of June.

The Upper Yellowstone river drainage is where the heaviest snowfall has occurred this year, with the drainage as a whole sitting at 126% of normal. Local snowtel sites show some even higher amounts, though, particularly in the upper Lamar drainage, which currently sits at over 170% of normal. This will most likely translate into a later season in the park, meaning the northeast corner will probably not begin to fish until around the middle of July.

As always, feel free to give us a call to talk more about planning your summer trip.