The runoff is upon us. This means cold, murky, and high snowmelt water conditions. Here is what the current conditions are on our primary Holey Waters.
14,200 CFS! Need I say more.
Below Taylors Fork the waters are high and off color. The further downstream you travel, the better the fishing may be for streamers, flash and trash. Not the best time for fly fishing. Above Taylors Fork and into the Park, the Gallatin looks better. Still cold and high but fishable. Some hatches and better action.
Below The West Fork the water is muddy and tough fishing. Above the West Fork the fishing is good until you get closer to Beaver Creek. This area is closed due to a moose killed by Grizzlies, in the river. Well below Lyons Bridge, the water begins to clear, and some good streamer reports are being heard. Olive, Black, or green with some flash seem to do the trick. Raynold’s Pass is fishing well but is no secret. The Slide Inn area has also been getting pounded as is the 3 Dollar Bridge.
Yellowstone Park is also a good choice for the Madison. The entry gate, at West Yellowstone, has been way crowded and it takes nearly an hour to get into the Park. The Firehole has some crowds, but other Park waters had few fishermen.
The Lower Madison has still been seeing dead fish along the banks. Mainly whitefish but also some trout. Brown trout numbers are also down due to something that the Biologists are looking into. Recreational floaters and other boats are filling the access areas and river. Fishing along the weed beds has been productive. Pretty much every dry fly and caddis are showing up, depending on how overcast the day is. Small stoneflies are also evident.
Most fishable waters are overcrowded. Hopefully, this will improve as more people go back to work.
Consider fishing lakes and headwaters of other rivers.