Summer Fishing’s Heating Up
If you’ve checked the news in southwest Montana lately then headlines like “River Closures” and “So and So Fire Increases to 8,000 Acres” might have you thinking it’s like hell’s kitchen up here – it’s not. The water temps are a little on the warm side, not because it’s been particularly hot, but because the water feeding the rivers right now are starting warmer – the reason?
Well, March is an important month for us. We usually see 3-4 big snow dumps in the mountains, but this year we didn’t see any in March. So, our snowpack was on the small side going into the season, but we had lots of rain late spring and early summer which evened things out somewhat, in terms of water volume. So instead of cold snowmelt feeding the rivers, we have warmer rain water and water that has been holding in lakes and reservoirs feeding our rivers and lakes.
Also consider that we have been spoilt by some really good water years recently. Looking at the historical graph this year is actually on the high side of average for water. The water temps are just a little higher because of the different source feeding the watersheds. What does all this water talk matter when the fishing has been great lately?
What about the river closures you say? Well the nearest river closure that affects our area would be the lower stretches of the Madison River. On a typical water year (and this year for that matter) the weeds get absolutely horrendous this time of year, and fishermen usually avoid that section of river anyways.
Fishing has been good and the Yellowstone hasn’t slowed down like it did last July. Hoppers are starting to show on many rivers and the trout are looking up for big foam patterns. We are still seeing good dry fly action with PMD’s on most rivers in the mornings as well as various caddis in the mornings and throughout the day. The nymphing is also good, but there’s been enough dry fly action around to keep us on top for the most part. Check our fishing reports page for the latest and greatest.
The weather has been really nice so far this summer with temps rising to mid 90’s only a few times, as well as short afternoon showers to cool everything off. Really it’s a great time to be in SW Montana chasing trout. Stop by the shop if you’re in the area or check out a guide trips if you need some help on the water or just want to have a good time.