Dam: 822 cfs
Kirby: 1,240 cfs
Varney: 1,920 cfs
Just when it was starting to feel like Summer again we had another cold front move in and received a decent amount of snow on the Solstice…Reason number 21,384 we love Montana. The drop in water temperatures will likely push the big bugs back another 4-5 days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing a few crawl out by the end of this coming week. We should also start to see the outflow from the dam start to slowly increase over the next 3-5 days — Hebgen is 97% full at the moment and they will probably try to match the inflow once it reaches full pool. Either way, I think we have seen the last of the dirty water coming out of the creeks and we are in great shape for the season ahead.
Fishing has been quite good over the last week, and that goes for the upper wade stretches all the way down to Ennis. Water clarity is roughly 3.5′ with a green tinge, and everybody is waiting for the first signs of Salmonflies to start down low. As previously mentioned, the drop in water temperature will likely push them back a bit, but we should start to see a few adults emerge by the end of this coming week. Nymphs and streamers have been the name of the game lately, with Pat’s Rubber Legs, Olive Caddis larva, Yellow Sally Nymphs, Three Dollar Dips, Zebra Midges, and small attractors like Lightning Bugs and Psycho Princes being our top producers. Also worth noting is that we have had very good success on BWO nymphs since the cold front came through, and will continue to do so until the water temps warm back up and caddis come back on the menu.
Streamer Fishing has been very good as well, and there have been some really nice browns on the prowl throughout the Upper Madison. Olive seems to be the most consistent color for us lately, especially with that nice green tinge in the water right now, and Dungeons, Envys, and Mini Loop Sculpins have been our top producers in that particular color. Honorable mentions include Natural and Yellow Dungeons, White Silk Kitties, and Black Boogie Men. We are still getting most of the good fish within a couple feet of the bank, and they have been more than willing to eat it on a fast retrieve once the water temp warms up into the 50’s.