Nov. 9…2017. Hebgen is fixed! Nine years and $40 million dollars later…nice presentation last night by North Western Energy at Sportsman’s Lodge here in Ennis. Lots of good people worked long and hard on this project…Kudos!
This fish was released alive and swam away.
photos by Randy Brown
Sept…2017. Giant brown trout caught on fly in Colorado this summer. Thanks, Kevin!
Rod: Winston 8 ft. 3 1/2 wt. IM6, spigot ferrule. Blank deflected by Tom Morgan.
Reel: Hardy Lightweight.
Fly Line: DT 3F by Orvis.
Leader: 9′ 5X knotted by Dan Bailey
Flats hatch report: a few tricos and midge duns early…then heavy callibaetis from 11:30am into the afternoon. Many risers and slurpers but fish are picky.
Walk the earth.
Aug…2017. Thirty-five fish day on the Foamy Ant with Colin and Craig…best action was mid-day between 10am-2pm. Had a tooth pop out in the middle of fighting a fish. Craig said his dentist, Dr. Vinnie Boombatz, assured him the Super Glue would hold. If you, or any of your loved ones have suffered similar discomfort from this dentist, email me at yankamolar.com to join in a class action lawsuit. Neck pain?
Craig had his tooth pop out today in the middle of fighting a big rainbow. FISH WITH PAIN!
I examined Craig’s tooth and found it to be barbless!
Thirty five fish day today with Colin and Craig
Aug…2017. Beauty of a bow today for John Gibbs…well done!
July…2017. Big finish for Jerry & Tina! We did well this morning on the larger spruce moth imitation…I like to use a #10 EHC (elk hair caddis) olive body to match this hatch. Quite a few spruce moths out and about.
Teaching kids to fly fish is what I love to do!
George caught a one-eyed whitefish!
James caught a really nice brown trout.
High temperatures and low flows have triggered partial fishing closures on a half-dozen rivers in southwestern Montana.
“HOOT OWL” Fishing Restrictions In Place for Montana Rivers Effective 7/19/17
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced that fishing would be closed from 2 p.m. to midnight starting Wednesday on portions of the Big Hole, lower Madison, lower Gallatin, the East Gallatin and the entire Jefferson rivers. The restrictions will remain until conditions improve , and more restrictions could come.
These are the first “hoot owl” restrictions to arrive in southwestern Montana. They come two weeks later than they did in each of the last two years but are likely to remain for some time.
Travis Horton, FWP’s regional fisheries manager, said in a news release that though the region has benefited from a good winter snowpack and good river flows, “temperatures are high and could stay that way for a while.”
The affected river sections are as follows:
• Big Hole River from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the Mouth of the North Fork Big Hole River
• Big Hole River from Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Beaverhead River
• Lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the confluence with the Big Hole River
• Lower Madison River from Ennis Dam to the mouth
• Lower Gallatin River from Shed’s Bridge to the confluence with the Madison River at Three Forks
• East Gallatin River from Spring Hill Road Bridge to the confluence with the main Gallatin River
• The entire Jefferson River
July …2017. Epic morning on the flats…26 fish on the fly…25 rainbows to 18″…only one brown trout. Awesome midge chironomid hatch. Hot fly was my PTC nymph #16…had one fish straighten out a Tiemco 2457. One of the best mornings I ever had on the flats…water temps 66-70 degrees.
June…2017. Big bugs showing in Varney…river is still high but clarity is good. Next week-ten days should be fun!
June…2017. Beautiful morning float from Palisades to McAtee…we caught rainbow, brown trout and whitefish. Water temp @ Ruby Ck. 10:30AM: 54 degrees. Expect salmon flies any day now. Night water temps of 55 deg. the trigger.
June…2017. Fun day with Kathy and Sean. Nice big bow at the end that I netted five or six times!
June…2017. Good today with Amy and Justin…a dozen fish on the dark side with
Big Black. Water temp Cameron Flats 1pm: 54 degrees. River high, clarity good.
June…2017…Spring runoff Report from Bozeman Chronicle:
The upper Yellowstone River has swollen significantly, clocking flows above 20,000 cubic feet per second in recent days, and there’s still more water to come. One snow monitoring site inside Yellowstone National Park, in the Lamar River basin, still has 27 inches of snow. That’s almost 200 percent of the average level there for this date.
Snow levels inside the park have also buoyed the upper Madison River. Snowpack above Hebgen Lake was recorded at 151 percent of average after the month of May, and at about 97 percent of normal below Hebgen. Streamflows for the Madison in the next two months are forecast to be about 116 percent of average.
A healthy summer is also expected on the Big Hole River. The report forecasts that flows near Wisdom in June and July will be about 146 percent of normal, and 144 percent of normal from June through September. Near Melrose, the forecasts predict 122 percent of normal flows for June and July and 119 percent of normal for June through September.
River is high but fishable and shaping up…water temp @ Varney this afternoon: 56 deg.
May 9…2017. Big Hole river predicted to reach minor flood stage early next week.
One time many years ago I did a float on the Big Hole in June during the salmon fly hatch. The river was way high. Somewhere below Melrose I took a side channel to the right and ended up running aground in a farmer’s field surrounded by chickens and ducks. It was a long drag back to the main river.
May 8…2017. Madison rolling…Hebgen release: 1410cfs, West Fork 1910cfs and mud, Varney 2590cfs, Bear Trap raging at 3100cfs. River is fishable east side below West Fork and upstream at Three Dollar/Raynolds/Slide areas. PM Caddis hatches are heavy but so is the water. Be careful out there.
April…2017. So it snowed all day and got cold all day even though it’s almost May in Montana what the hey what the heck? Water temp 40 degrees to start the day. We caught fish and I showed off my primitive survival skills…toasty!
Ran into a heavy midge/baetis hatch at 3pm in the middle of a snow/sleet bluster…many fish rising lined up in a seam between heavy and soft water.
April…2017. Another good morning down low…a dozen rainbows on Brown Leech and Blood Leech. So far in April, 59 rainbows caught and only one brown on the lower stretch. Water temps: 44 deg. @ 9am…52 deg. @ noon.
April..2017. A good day down low. Fifteen rainbows all on the Blood Leech…slow twitch. Fish are podded up, pre-spawn. Water temp 46 deg…50 is trigger temp. for Spring rainbow spawn in Madison. Watson’s still got it!
March…2017. Excellent fishing today…24 trout to hand, 13″-17″… all rainbows, on Purple Death, Brown Bugger and Blood Leech. We stood in one spot and caught sixteen. The fish are still in winter mode, holding and podded up in the softer current spots. Cloudy, windy, light rain off and on….water temp 44 degrees.
March…2017. Amazing how the ice gorge in the Channels stretch of the Madison freezes underground and pushes the soil up into mounds and muffins. Now with the slow thaw in the spring, the uplifted dirt and pasture grass will settle back down and disappear as if nothing ever happened.
“Inflows were up to 1400cfs on Thursday but have declined. The last two days have
averaged about 1100cfs. At 09:00 yesterday, outflow was reduced by 10% to the
current level of 1160cfs. The snotel sites above Hebgen are now 113% while the
Madison Basin overall is 104%. Current elevation is 6527.81ft which is slightly
higher than the 10 year average. Precipitation for the month of March to date is
113% of average. Snowpack, precipitation, weather forecast and inflows are
watch my YouTube video of ice flow at Varney Bridge