2013 Runoff Update – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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2013 Runoff Update

So, here we are towards the end of June and I think it is safe to say that the runoff is officially over! Water clarity and flows can change very quickly this time of year dependent on rain, so it never hurts to check the flows before you head out. If the flows have “spiked” or are in the process of increasing rapidly, then it’s probably best to look for other options. Most of the snow in the high country has found its way down by now, so we are seeing local rivers just now coming into very good conditions as the start of the Salmonfly hatch gets underway.

The Salmonflies are officially “out” in the region and look for things to get wild around here oever the next couple of weeks. You can find the big bugs on the Upper Madison right now between Ennis and Varney Bridge, but they are already starting to show up throughout the rest of the upper river today. By the time you read this…they will be just about everywhere on the river. The Yellowstone is improving in clarity everyday and the bugs will be showing up there any day as well, so pay attention as that can be one of the best places to fish the Salmonfly hatch from a drift boat! There are some bugs around on the Gallatin in the canyon, but flows are still pretty high for safe wade fishing so be sure to take a look before you step off the bank. The next few weeks will offer some of the most enjoyable dry fly fishing of the year here around Bozeman this year, so get out here and on the water if at all possible!

We continue to have a very good outlook for water conditions for the rest of the 2013 season thinks to lots of moisture throughout late May and most of June. Although our winter snow pack was looking good in late spring, we experienced an unusually dry April and early May which caused some concerns for the summer water outlook. However, things are now on a pretty normal cycle in terms of long term averages for moisture levels, so we are thinking that everything should be in good shape provided we have a relatively normal summer weather pattern.

The great thing about coming to Bozeman to do some western trout fishing is that we have variety and choices like nowhere else in the region. There are always options around here which isn’t always the case in many western destinations where the focus is on only one or two fisheries. Here, we have the Yellowstone, Madison,Gallatin, Jefferson and countless small to mid-size streams to choose from if conditions do get tough come late July. In addition to the rivers and streams, we’ve got a handful of private spring creeks in the area and several large reservoirs which always make for some late summer variety when the water temperatures warm up during low water years. Better yet, you won’t find the crowds and overwhelming aquatic vegetation so common in most of the regional tail waters this particular year.

2013 is off to a great start here in Bozeman and it looks like we will have one of the better seasons we’ve seen in the last few years. Our guide service is getting booked up from mid-July through September, so please make your reservations now for this time period to ensure that we are able to accommodate your trip. We have plenty of openings up until Mid-July this year as many folks opted to avoid the runoff altogether. That said, things are now good and we’d strongly recommend coming out on short notice over the next few weeks as conditions are great, crowds are small, and the bugs are out!