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We’re in the groove here in the Madison Valley. Post Salmonfly, pre-hopper, right smack in the middle of summer…time. It’s been good too. Several of the most perfect days you can ever imagine here lately. Bright blue, cloudless skies, virtually zero wind, uncrowded river and fish biting…heaven.
After another snowpack miscalculation earlier this spring we’ve gotta give props to PP&L (and Mother nature as well). A few days of heavy rain and low but not painfully so, flows out of Hebgen, they managed to get the lake full a week or so ago. They’ve now decided…wonder of wonders…to give us more water in the river for no other reason than… (drumroll please) they CAN!! Holy smokes!! Not quite sure how we should be taking this…is it an attempt at doing things a bit differently perhaps? Maybe a little good PR? Maybe they just want to keep us off their backs as much as possible. Don’t know and right now, don’t care much….that’s all a long way of saying things are really good out there right now. Plenty of water in the river, cool overnight temps keeping that water nice and chilly and thinned crowds.
The bug situation isn’t bad either; still some mayflies and caddis around mid-morning most days. The nocturnals are still ramping up…slowly. I see a few more each day I’m out there. Adults in places along the entire length of the float section. I’ve been throwing Chubby with mixed results. The Purple Haze off the back has so far garnered more attention than the big dry but we have scored several nice fish on it in the pact week nonetheless. In theory it should get better and better over the next couple weeks. Keep trying the Chubbys and medium sized hopper patterns and don’t forget to skate ‘em a little.
With the flow bumping up over the past few days the streamer/bead head bite has really been the ticket. We’re still running those Trevor Sculpins (we’re going to buy Trevor a bunch of beers after the seasons over) but we’ve switched from olive to the gray version here lately. Been hanging Lightening Bugs, red Copper Johns, Shop Vacs and such off the back. Yesterday we had about 2/3 of our fish on the bead head and 1/3 on the streamer including a 21” beast of a brown…congrats Austin!
We’re all loving the looks of things out there right now. Looking forward to getting back to the dries when the flows stabilize and the nocturnals really get cranked up.
Stay tuned for continuing River updates!
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