A fire that scorched much of the Bear Trap Canyon area along the lower Madison River has been doused, leaving charred trees and foliage right up to the edge of the waterway. This week, Fish, Wildlife and Parks reopened fishing access sites along the burned section of river. Pleasure boaters were the first to take advantage, using the sites to launch their tubes and rafts for cruises on the popular stretch of river known for its “bikini hatch.” Upstream past Ennis, anglers were reeling in trout that were greedily gobbling up stonefly, caddis and golden stonefly imitations. Bugs were hatching heavily on the upper river, which is flowing clear and cold. The Yellowstone River is also clearing up and dropping fast as runoff subsides just in time for July anglers to take advantage of the fishery.
This post was provided by Brett French, Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette.