Spring News From Montana

In This Newsletter

  • Current Snowpack
  • Fishing Report
  • New Vacation Home in Ennis, MT
  • Opening Day to Fish Yellowstone National Park

Snowpack

Wow! We have made a huge turn for the better on our snowpack here in southwest Montana, since our last newsletter dated March 29th. On our snowpack in the Missouri River drainage (including Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson Rivers) Snow Water Equivalent (swe), which was only 74% of the normal, is now 100%. The Yellow River was at 75% of the normal but is now at 92%. Over the last 43 days, Mother Nature has been generous with moisture! Let’s hope this trend sustains throughout this summer!

Spring Snowpack in Montana

Fishing Report

Fishing has been good to excellent on our waters since we last reported in late March.

Blue bird day on the Missouri River
Jet boat trip on the Missouri River
Baetis Madness on the Madison River
Blue Wing Olive Madness
We Offer Large Group or Corporate Trips

Madison River – After a long delay, the Ennis fishing access site (FAS) is now open! All Madison River FAS sites are open and accessible. Fishing continues to be great on the Madison River, especially in the Madison Valley from Quake Lake to Ennis Lake. We saw some dirty water flowing into the Madison Valley from the West Fork and other smaller tributaries, but it has not yet slowed down the fishing. This is a reminder that once runoff is in full swing, the Madison, from Quake Lake to Palisades FAS, will fish well. The water will be off-color but don’t let that intimidate you. If you are fishing below the West Fork of the Madison, you will be confined to the east side of the river and the center down to Palisades FAS. The water clarity on the west side below the West Fork will be minimal and unfishable.

The lower Madison below the Beartrap Canyon from Warmsprings downriver will fish well too. Cherry Creek will dump dirty water into the Madison at Damselfly FAS, but don’t let this deter you.

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch came off on schedule but was shut down again by the colder-than-average temperatures for this time of year. We are also seeing March Browns, Blue Winged Olives, Skwalas, and Midges.

Montana Brown Trout
Spring Madison River Brown Trout
Montana Fly Fishing
Madison River Rainbow Trout
Madison River Brown Trout
Madison River Brown Trout

Recommended Patterns

  • Nymphs/Emergers
    • Pats Stonefly nymph, black with olive legs – size 8-4
    • Pats Stonefly nymph, olive with brown legs – size 12-8
    • Lightning Bug, purple and pearl – size 18-14
    • Perdigon – Purdee John Brown– size 16-14
    • Spanker, pheasant tail, purple– size 16-14
    • Green Machine, pt or chartreuse – size 18-14
    • CDC Prince – size 16-10
    • CDC Baetis Emerger, green & purple – size 16-14
    • San Juan Worms, red & orange – size 6-2
    • Egg patterns, orange, yellow or pink – size 16
  • Dries
    • Adams & Parachute Adams – size 18-14
    • Purple Haze -size 16-14
    • Flushfloater Stone Skwala – size 10
    • American March Brown – size 14
    • Griffith Gnat – size 22–18
  • Streamers
    • Barely Legal, olive/white – size 6
    • Peanut Envy, olive – size 2
    • Mike’s Pec’s, olive – size 6

Missouri River – has been fishing very well in both the jet boat (below Hauser Dam) and drift boat sections (below Holter Dam). Crowds have been large in the jet boat section, with both boats and wade anglers. The flows have been lower than normal and stable at 3,000-3,200 cubic feet per second (cfs), and water temperatures 45˚-47˚ F. The lower-than-average flows have allowed the wade anglers to wade further out into the river, making it difficult for the jet boat to pass through without disrupting the wade anglers. The best days to avoid the crowds are when the weather is crummy.

The drift boat section below Holter Dam has been fishing very well, with smaller crowds. The section from Holter Dam to Wolf Creek Bridge is bottlenecked with lots of trout currently. However, we are catching fish downriver to Pelican FAS. Dry fly fishing has been the best on overcast days, starting around 2 pm.

Missouri River Brown Trout
Land of Giants spring Brown Trout
Missouri River rainbow trout
Drift boat trip below Holter Dam – Craig, MT
Missouri River Montana
Spring jet boat trip
Fly fishing trip Helena Montana
Missouri River jet boat trip
Missouri River
Dry Fly Fishing on the Mighty Mo
Fly Fishing Craig Montana
Spring Jet Boat Trip

Recommended Patterns

  • Nymphs/Emergers
    • Soft Hackle Sow Bug, pink and tan – size 16-12
    • Lighting Bug, pink & purple – size 16-14
    • Firebead Ray Charles, grey, pink & tan – size 16-14
    • Pill Popper – size 16-14
    • Perdigon – Purdee John Brown– size 16-14
    • Tailwater Sow Bug – size 16-14
    • Green Machine – size 16-14
    • CDC Baetis Emerger, green & purple – size 16-14
    • San Juan Worms, red & orange – size 6-2
    • Egg patterns, orange, yellow or pink – size 16
  • Dries
    • Adams – size 18-16
    • Parachute Adams – size 18-16
    • Purple Haze – size 18-16
    • Griffith Gnat – size 22—18
    • Biot Midge, black – size 20-18
    • Antonio’s Quill Midge – size 20-18
    • Morgans Midge – size 20-18
  • Streamers
    • Kreelex, gold/silver – size 4
    • BH (bead head) Wooly Bugger, black – size 8-4
    • Sparkle Minnow, olive – size 4
    • Zirdle Bug, olive – size 8 (dead drift as a crawfish pattern)

Ruby River – Flows are still low and holding around 100 cfs. Fishing continues to be great! Dry fly fishing with Baetis and Midges has been the best in the afternoons around 2 pm. Crowds vary depending on the weather. Pick the worst day if you  want to avoid crowds. Bring bear spray for the moose. The moose frequent the Ruby Valley and are in the calving season, and bear spray works just as well on an angry mama moose.

Ruby River Montana
Ruby River Montana
Walk wade trip Ruby River Montana
Half-day wade trip

Recommended Patterns

  • Nymphs/Emergers
    • Lightning Bug, purple and pearl – size 18-14
    • Perdigon – Purdee John Brown– size 16-14
    • Spanker, pheasant tail, purple– size 16-14
    • Green Machine, pt or chartreuse – size 18-14
    • CDC Baetis Emerger, green & purple – size 16-14
    • San Juan Worms, red & orange – size 6-2
    • Egg patterns, orange, yellow or pink – size 16
  • Dries
    • Adams & Parachute Adams – size 18-14
    • Purple Haze -size 16-14
    • Griffith Gnat – size 22–18
  • Streamers
    • Conehead Bow River Bugger – size 6-4
    • BH Wooly Bugger, black or olive – size 6-4
    • Zonker, natural or olive – size 6

Yellowstone River – The flows spiked a few days ago, making the waters  unfishable due to clarity issues. However, with the cold snap we have had in the last couple of days, the flows are declining again, which will make it fishable once more. Call us for the current conditions before you make your way to the Stone. 5/9/22 cfs at Livingston gauging station is 2880. May 7th was 4,500 cfs.

Gallatin River – Like the Yellowstone River, the Gallatin became muddy and unfishable, but is getting clearer again. We should have a small window this week when it will fish well, before it gets warm again starting this upcoming weekend. Contact us for the current conditions before getting on the water.

New Vacation Home in Ennis

We have added a new vacation home to our list of lodging options for you in Ennis. The White House in Ennis is within walking distance of downtown Ennis and just a 2-minute drive to the Ennis Fishing Access Site (FAS). This property is similar to our Noble Bison vacation house in Ennis. Click HERE for more details. Contact us today to book your stay before this too is booked up for 2022.

Vacation house Madison River Ennis Montana Fly Fishing Ennis Montana Vacation Home Ennis Montana Vacation house Madison River Ennis Montana Vacation house Madison River Ennis Montana

Yellowstone National Park 2022 Opener

Yellowstone National Park will open to fishing starting on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 28th this year. You must purchase a Park Fishing Permit. Your Montana or Wyoming fishing license will not work in YNP. You can purchase your YNP fishing permit HERE beforehand.

Follow us on our social media feeds such as Instagram and Facebook for more current and up-to-date information.

 

Thank you for staying connected with us on current conditions, reports, and news!