RUNNIN' THROUGH RUNOFF
***DO NOT FLOAT BETWEEN LYONS BRIDGE AND PALISADES FAS - BRIDGES ARE NOT PASSIBLE, DUE TO HIGH WATER***
It’s beginning to finally feel like summer in Montana and here at MRFC we’re looking forward to another great season on the Madison! With an abundance of snow in the mountains and warmer daytime temps, we are now starting to see the full effect of runoff and should see peak runoff soon. Currently the flow at Cameron is 2530 CFS. The clearest water will be found as you go upriver. Wading anglers can take advantage of the cleanest flows above the West Fork at points such as Pine Butte, Three Dollar Bridge and Raynolds Pass. Although tough, fishing can still be very good and the adventurous angler will often be rewarded with some large and hungry trout.
As far as flies go, nymphing and streamers continue to be the best bet. A nymph rig with a dark Pat’s Rubberlegs, Mega Prince, or a Deep Cleaner with a worm or caddis pupa in tow will produce fish in the slack water along the banks. For streamer fishing, think profile. You want your streamers on the large and dark side. A black mini Dungeon or a smoke Sparkle Minnow have been my go-to flies in the off colored water. Right now can be a great time to get on the water before the bustle of summertime kicks into full swing. As the water drops and clears over the next week or so, Salmonfly sightings will be possible. Get ready. Prime time, big dries and sunshine are right around the corner!
Looking for some fly tying material to create these patterns? Check out our fly tying collection online or stop by the shop! As temperatures warm up, continue to practice your best fish handling techniques. Avoid fish pictures for the gram whenever possible so that we can continue to have healthy fish populations for years to come.
- MRFC Guide Bob Hogue