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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
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    4,652

    Default Early season Blow Out!

    Head for the hills, Kiddos! Or at least to the over side of the divide, wowser. Western Montana is experiencing yet another crazy water year to start the season. I posted a while back how odd the early spring was with March normally being about the most stable month of great early fishing this year was wacky. But what I'm seeing right now is just nuts. Rock Creek is pushing 3500cfs today. For perspective the median for today is about 670, and safe fishing ends at about 750. 3500 is nuts big and probably close to a normal peak run-off. The Bitterroot River in Missoula is over 16,000, the last time I fished it, a month ago, it was in the 1,000 range. Again, big numbers. The Clark Fork down by St. Regis, which is a big river always, is 40,000cfs!

    We had one week of warm weather with a few days that pushed over 75 degrees, so that started the push. It is cool today and supposed to stay this way. We had some rain too, but this still strikes me as very strange. Last year we had a snow pack twice of normal and major flooding across the state. It is impossible to predict anymore. You used to be able to count on run-off starting about May 15 and cranking up to a peak about June 15 with nice fishing by July 4. This year could be a lot earlier even though we have a really nice historical snowpack. It's happened before. Then again, it could rain all of May and the rivers would stay high till June.

    Guess I'll have more time to sit at the vice. I'm going take my girl to the stocked kiddie pond in town... Yeah, she's not yet 4, so I might get some funny looks giving her a fly rod... But I'll have to demonstrate a cast or two, right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    15,520
    Blog Entries
    113

    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    Sorry to hear this John,

    On the upside, those trout parks can be a ball. I fished once at Rainbow Paradise near Coudersport Pennsylvania it was great fun. White marabou muddler and lob it as far out as you could, then strip it in and hope for a big one. I thought of that as high water therapy back around 1989

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Jackson Hole, WY
    Posts
    2,868
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    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    All our rivers are going too. Though it cooled down for a few days here by next weekend we will be in the 80's. Hope this means a faster runoff than usual. Love for our main season to start in early June!!
    Davo
    My worst day on the water beats my best day anywhere else hands down!!

    Upstream Anglers and Outdoor Adventures

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Now in Sedona AZ
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    A very strange year down here in Colorado too. The Lilacs are in bloom and the Cottonwoods are way too early green. Three weeks before normal.

    Our snow pack is way (as in 30% of average) below normal. There is a slight runoff on the bigger rivers (Colorado, Eagle, Roaring Fork, and Gunnison) but zero for the smaller creeks.

    The only saving grace from the drought of 2002 is that we had zero precip in April and May then, and this year we have had two fire damper medium sized storms in April so far. May will tell the tale.

    I turned on our lawn sprinkler last week. Last year it was the last week in May. Ouch! Water costs a ton here!

    Chris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    4,652

    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    Ard: the regulations are something like 10 years old and younger only, but a dad has to give some lessons right? Just saw a friend tonight who said he went by the pond last week and saw a guy with like an 18" fish on his tailgate! Of course it's just a put and take thing, but at this point I'll take the tug of an 18" trout!

    Davo: fishable water in June means one thing around here -- salmonfly maddness! We had a couple "good" years back in the drought years, 2000, 2001. But I'd rather have healthy water in August and September, those same years the state shut down all fishing in the main rivers.

    I hear ya on the water costs, fishnskiguy. Every year I remove a little more of my lawn, we have very little left. I hate lawns - I am allergic to grass, I hate mowing and water is too precious to just dump on the ground!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Jackson Hole, WY
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    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    Quote Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
    Davo: fishable water in June means one thing around here -- salmonfly maddness! We had a couple "good" years back in the drought years, 2000, 2001. But I'd rather have healthy water in August and September, those same years the state shut down all fishing in the main rivers.
    Same here Dean, we get an awesome caddis hatch here in June. I've only seen it twice cause we usually have runoff when it occurs. With the Dams here we do okay on the main rivers for water. The main draw back of early fishing can be a bad fire season in late summer and early fall.
    Davo
    My worst day on the water beats my best day anywhere else hands down!!

    Upstream Anglers and Outdoor Adventures

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    4,652

    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    Do you have any salmonfly waters down there?

    I've already heard grumbling about fire season...it's the perennial springtime blather; I don't take part in it any more until after June. If it rains in June, we'll be OK. But man, we've had some real doozies here, those years - 2000, 2001, 2002 - the Missoula Valley was a nasty place to be, I remember visibility being less than 1/2 mile mid day, street lights on...camp fire smoke in your house. Let it rain!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Jackson Hole, WY
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    Default Re: Early season Blow Out!

    Quote Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
    Do you have any salmonfly waters down there?

    I've already heard grumbling about fire season...it's the perennial springtime blather; I don't take part in it any more until after June. If it rains in June, we'll be OK. But man, we've had some real doozies here, those years - 2000, 2001, 2002 - the Missoula Valley was a nasty place to be, I remember visibility being less than 1/2 mile mid day, street lights on...camp fire smoke in your house. Let it rain!
    Not so much here on the upper Snake, but we get salmon flies on the south fork and other rivers.

    Fire seasons really fill our valley with smoke. Don't mind rain in June for that reason. Just would like to see the snow gone by then,
    Davo
    My worst day on the water beats my best day anywhere else hands down!!

    Upstream Anglers and Outdoor Adventures

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