Although we at FishWater Outfitters are still here in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC, we have been paying very close attention to all the snow thats been piling up in South West Montana. We couldn't be happier with the amount of moisture that is in the mountains now and that will continue to come down throughout the spring. It has still been snowing in Montana and it will provide everyone with plenty of cold water that will hopefully last throughout the summer! Click the link below to see exactly where the snowpack is for the Madison River drainage.
We are fortunate on The Madison River to have a dam to retain most of the good cold water that will come from all the snow this winter and thankfully, after many years, Hebgen Dam is fixed! For the past ten years, all of us in South West Montana and especially in Ennis and West Yellowstone have been dealing with water that comes off the top of the reservoir instead of pulling from the bottom. This has been dumping much warmer water from the surface versus the colder water from the bottom. Which has had a direct effect on the river temperatures and in turn the fishing. FishWater Outfitters is anxiously awaiting the upcoming season as well as many other Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters to see exactly how the colder water will affect our trout fishery. I personally feel that it will only benefit the river, as the water will stay much cooler throughout the heat of the summer. This will also help our hatches and hopefully will not only extend the life and duration of the hatches but will bring back some of the mayflies that we haven't seen in quite some time.
In other news, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are trying to figure out a way to reduce the amount of commercial pressure on the Madison River. There have been talks of this happening for a handful of years now and I personally was part of some initial meetings with other Outfitters and FWP trying to figure out exactly what would be a good way of going about addressing the issue. Personally, I do not agree with everything that MT FWP has come up with in their new ideas. Again, these are just preliminary ideas and they are possibly going for public input on April 19th. Although I think it is unfortunate to cap the amount of Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters, it also is something that might prove beneficial in the long run. I highly disagree with MT FWP trying to close certain river stretches on particular days to commercial use. If their goal is to reduce crowding (per their surveys) then not allowing Outfitters to use a particular stretch on a given day would produce more crowding on the other stretches. I do understand that they are trying to alleviate some stretches for the general public. However, The Madison River has plenty of different options to have a not so crowded day. For example, don't go to Lyons Bridge at 9 am on any given day. There are plenty of ways to get around the mass amounts of boats that operate on a daily basis, you might just have to wake up a little earlier or go later in the day. Another major proposal is to close the two wade sections to all vessels, be it commercial or recreational. This seems absolutely ridiculous to me as an Outfitter in Ennis, MT. I'll talk more about this in another blog but, it seems as though their is something else going on in the decision process other than commercial use. Their are many, many wealthy home owners along the banks of both these stretches of river and I can't help but think that they are making plenty of noise so that they technically have private water. Ok, again, I'll post more about this in the future as we move into the public comment period. For now, check out a good article written by The Bozeman Daily Chronicle that highlights some of the proposed changes and also has commentary from another Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitter, Joe Dilschneider.
If you are visiting Charleston, SC for business, vacation or live near by and are interested in an inshore light tackle and fly fishing charter with FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell please click below to schedule your trip!
Also, if you are interested in fly fishing trips in Montana from the town of Ennis, don't forget that FishWater Outfitters and Ennis, MT fly fishing guides will be there from June to October fishing daily on The Madison River.
Whether in the beautiful Lowcountry Marsh surrounding Charleston, SC or floating down the Madison River in Ennis, MT, FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell will help you have a great day on the water and hopefully catch that fish of a lifetime!