The Snag Hole
THE MEETING WAS HELD AT EL WESTERN RESORT CONFERENCE CENTER, ENNIS, MT, 4/29/14...6PM...hosted by Brent Mabbott of PP&L, open to the public... TOPICS DISCUSSED AND PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:
1. Fish work, electroshocking results, trout population estimates, Pine Butte, Varney and Norris sections of Madison River.
2. Madison River flows in 2013, 2014 compared to past years and projections.
3. Pulse flow data from every year 2000-2007, 2009-2013.
4. Status of building a fish barrier on Upper Cabin Ck.
5. Flushing flows/objectives, 2014 snow pack readings, sites/redd surveys.
6. Water temperature data from Madison R, history and comparisons...Pat Clancy.
7. Flow releases from Hebgen Res. 10%-30%...reasons and limitations.
8. Update on PP&L sale to NorthWestern Energy.
9. Hebgen Dam repair...progress and projections.
We lost a giant yesterday. Peter loved the Madison and he loved to fish, but mostly he liked to hang with fishing guide types and listen to the wind. Read about his incredible, interesting and adventurous life and you will be left amazed, as I was, to know him...he did so much...he left a lot of tracks. RIP.
I found this excellent history of tarpon flies written by Pat Ford. Some good stuff in here...
My yellow mouse home-tie tarpon fly
hook - Mustad 9175 short shank or Owner Aki 5170 or 5370...3/0, 2/0, 1/0...Gamakatsu SC17 and SL12S are also excellent tarpon fly hooks.
butt - yellow maribou
tail - stubby yellow saddle, splayed or married (fat base, fast taper hackle..don't use the long, thin stuff), add a bit of pearl Krystal Flash
head - spun, clipped Mule Deer hair
eyes - bead chain, hollow
This fly is designed to be fished shallow, just under the surface...great for laid up fish in the backcountry. Tarpon eyes look up...they will see it!
Have also caught permit and snook on this fly.
The main thing is...how does the fly look wet?...how it acts in the water is all that matters, not how it looks in your fly box or vise.
As tarpon get harder to fool these days, the trend is to smaller hooks, skinny flies and lighter shock tippets.
Property rights, landowner rights, water rights...all hot-button issues in Montana...always have been. I believe the landowner has solid rights, legal rights, historical rights.
But what about this? I have a stream going through my property that feeds into another stream that leads to the water rights of others down stream. Rights that are deeded...rights that are needed..for irrigation, for crops, for feed, for electrical power, for recreation...and I decide I am going to dam off the water...I am going to stop the flow...I am going to cut off everybody downstream...cut off their water...cut off their irrigation...cut off their legally deeded water rights. Can I just arbitrarily cut off the water because I own the land it flows through? Can I just go out into the middle of the Madison River and build a dam because I own the property on both sides of the river? Can I dam up the West Fork? How about Jack Creek? O'Dell Creek?
In Montana, water rights are sacred. I have the Ennis-Shriver Ditch running through my back yard. I have a deeded amount of miner's inches I am legally allowed to use. So do many other folks along the ditch including ranchers and home owners. Can I just decide to dam up the ditch to make a duck pond or a swimming hole for the kids? What if somebody upstream from me dams up the ditch? When beavers do it we blow them up!
Every year the flows in the Madison are a worry. We have had some scary low water years...the river needs all the water it can get from snowmelt, tribuaries and spring fed sources. Arbitrarily damming up and cutting off the free flow of water to the Madison River has little to do with property rights and everything to with an assault against nature.
This used to be a free-flowing tributary from O'Dell Creek into the Madison River before the Granger Ranch dammed it up and cut off the flow.