***DO NOT FLOAT BETWEEN LYONS BRIDGE AND PALISADES FAS***
We’re in the midst of spring runoff in the Madison Valley and water levels are only going up from here. Starting May 26th, NorthWestern Energy will be increasing the volume of water releases from Hebgen Dam to flush fine sediments to enhance the quality of spawning gravels that support the healthy wild trout fishery. Flows will gradually increase over the course of several days to coincide with peak runoff in the West Fork of the Madison. To Protect the outlet of Quake Lake from erosion, Madison River flows will be maintained at about 3,500 CFS at Kirby.
The good news is that it looks like we may get through the peak of runoff a little earlier than usual. As I write this report, the Cameron gauge is trending slightly downward.The bad news is it’s still at 4200 CFS. So, we still have a while to go, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. If you're going to get out and scratch that fishing itch, the best water will still be from Three Dollar on up. You’ll find fish in the softest water along the bank, so very little wading is required.
One positive side effect of runoff is that it really streamlines fly selection. Big and nasty is the name of the game. Fish your black Dungeons, Sparkle minnows, big Pat's Rubberlegs, Squirmy worms, and Mega Princes just a few feet off the bank in the softest water you can find. Hang in there, the fist bumps and high fives are on the way!
Try to avoid fish pictures when you can out there. Everybody loves a great trout photo, but not as much as you think they do. We're in the midst of our annual Fly SALE. Checkout our SALE flies here for killer deals on your favorite patterns. If you're interested in what the river looks like here in town, give the live cam a gander below!
- MRFC Guide Bob Hogue