When your Smith River crew consists of seven adults and six kids between the ages of 5 and 9, but you already have over 100 trips down the canyon combined, you know you are ready for an exciting ...More
When your Smith River crew consists of seven adults and six kids between the ages of 5 and 9, but you already have over 100 trips down the canyon combined, you know you are ready for an exciting adventure. The match of youthful exuberance and experienced moderation finds it's sweet spot on a 60 mile river float.
Four hours of rain that interrupts an otherwise glorious weather window, we can deal with that, especially with a golf umbrella. Four Echo Gecco kids flyrods rigged and ready, some getting used, some less so - there's more to do than fish on a river like this. Bring your bucket and binoculars.
Unlimited crayfish, bull and gardner snakes, Peregrine falcons, beaver, gobs of geese, never ending canyon walls, the occasional trout - the Smith is an outdoor lovers paradise in so many ways.
Nightly games of Mafia around the campfire, belly laughing and enjoying good, cold beer after long days in the sun. Sleep is sound, so much better than home, except when the wind blows.
But it's the water that holds it all together. It's the river that sends us down the canyon, shares it's magical creatures with us, cools us off on the lower end when the heat has set in. The river is the glue to this whole trip, to so many great trips, and I would say the Smith is stickier than most. At least it's stuck in my mind, and after two days home I can't wait to get back.
Our weather and water conditions continue to be pretty interesting this year in Montanaland, and the big news is that run-off is tapering down more quickly than expected on many of our blue-ribbon ...More
Our weather and water conditions continue to be pretty interesting this year in Montanaland, and the big news is that run-off is tapering down more quickly than expected on many of our blue-ribbon rivers are they are coming into excellent shape for some of our most exciting hatch cycles of the season. This is great news for all our anglers who will be arriving in the next few weeks to fish in the Helena, Missoula and Bozeman areas.
Here's a quick breakdown of what we're seeing and hope to expect for the rest of June in Troutopia:
The Missouri River has dropped from roughly 20,000 cfs to 13,000 cfs in the last five days, which is a major change. The PMD mayflies and caddis have begun to come off and we are likely going to stabilize somewhere in the 10-12 thousand cfs range for a bit, which will likely be good enough for some headhunting dryfly fishing. We caught our first dryfly eater in a few weeks on a PMD cripple on Thursday, and it was a moment of glory after too many weeks of deep nymph fishing - we are excited for more of that!
The Land of Giants continues to fish well and will also get better as the flows drop through that section of the river. The walleye bite has started to pick up too, so good mixed bag fishing there is back in the mix.
The Madison River is also dropping nicely and coming into great shape for the arrival of the salmonfly hatch later this month. The Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers are still riding high and will take a while longer before they are fishable again.
The Blackfoot River has dropped from a high of 19,000 cfs all the way down to the 6,000 cfs range, which is getting close to the magic flows for that freestone. The salmonfly and golden stonefly hatches here should also be popping in the next 2-4 weeks and some glorious dryfly fishing will be taking place.
The upper Bitterroot River has also dropped into a great level and this river should be fishing well very soon and get better as we go. The Clark Fork is going to be a little while still.
So overall, we are pretty pumped about the prospects of our June fishing opportunities across Montana, and we are ready to put away the bobbers and hunt for some rising trout. The reward for muscling through a period of high water is about to happen, and you should definitely get yourself on the water soon to find your moment of trout nirvana.
Contact us today to get in on the action!
Strike indicator that is…
It has been an epic start to our early season and the front end of our annual run-off here in troutopia. Some rivers have already seen near record-breaking flows, ...More
Strike indicator that is…
It has been an epic start to our early season and the front end of our annual run-off here in troutopia. Some rivers have already seen near record-breaking flows, while the high water destiny of other watersheds remain unknown. One river in particular, the Blackfoot, already topped out at 19,000cfs; which nearly missed the historical record set in 1964. At this time, we are currently looking forward to the dropping flows and the fantastic fishing ahead. Eventually the bobbers will come off and we will be spending the majority of our time fastening dry flies to the end of our line.
For now, most of us are out there chasing large and brightly colored floating pieces of foam that are suspending large amounts of lead and a couple of sinking flies. While you can describe most of our rivers using adjectives like: enormous, muddy, un-fishable, not safe, off-color, and fast there are still some great fishing opportunities for those in the know.
The Missouri has been steady and relatively clear this past week and the fishing is consistently good. Lots of nymphing going on out there, but streamers and the occasional rising fish can be part of a day on the river. Besides the Mo, anglers who have been out on the Madison and Paradise Valley spring creeks are reporting successful days on the water as well.
Although it’s a tricky time of year, with a little planning, it is a great time to fish Montana. You just have to be willing to adapt and remain flexible. Many groups of anglers continually return this time of year and leave with smiling faces and fish stores to share at home, even in high water seasons like this. It is going to be interesting to watch the water game play out for the rest of the month and into June. While we don’t know exactly when and how conditions will change, what we do know is that we will be out there enjoying our time on the river. See you in troutopia soon my fishy friends.