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Thread: Montana in June

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    west central Florida
    Posts
    5

    Default Montana in June

    I'm planning a trip to Montana next summer & need some help.

    I want to fish the Gallatin, Madison, Jefferson and Missouri rivers.

    I've been told that the best time to fish the Missouri is mid to late June as there is less floating weed below the dam. I fished there 2 years ago & there was too much weed in the water to effectively fish it.

    What conditions could I expect on the Gallatin, Jefferson & Madison during that period? I know you can't predict the weather especially that far out but can anyone give me an educated guess on wading these rivers (& any others between Bozeman & Dillion) from Jun 10th to 25th, 2019? Would the spring runoff be over?

    I'd appreciate any advice you can give me.
    Thanks!
    Bob East

  2. Default Re: Montana in June

    I think the runoff will be very high, certainly too high for wading. I guess if I were to float I would want to be with a guide who knows what he is doing.
    Last season we had two drownings near Missoula. Both anglers were floating.
    Randy

  3. #3

    Default Re: Montana in June

    Unless you want to wade fish the west side of Yellowstone Park--Firehole, Madison and Gibbon--stay home in June. As Randy said: ALL the major systems will be in runoff. Even the Missouri below Holter will be high.

    Runoff | J Stockard Fly Fishing

    Although there are a few spots on the Madison below Hebgen that remain fishable during runoff, you find the 500 other guys who thought June in SW Montana was a good idea along side you.

    Come in late April/Early to mid-May if you want endless, uncrowded wade fishing opportunities.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Montana in June

    What Mikemac1 said. In a typical year, the runoff doesn't subside until late June. There have been a few years when the snowpack was way below normal that the runoff was done by mid-June, but planning a trip for June is iffy at best. It's basically the worst time to fish Montana. You will be gambling if you plan a trip for any time between the first week of May and the first week of July, but you're almost certain to lose your gamble if you plan one between May 15th and June 20th.

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  7. Default Re: Montana in June

    This year runoff went well into July. I didn't begin wade fishing until about mid-July.
    Randy

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  9. Default Re: Montana in June

    Fished the 4th of July week a few years back and almost could not get under a few bridges during float.

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon
    Posts
    1,396

    Default Re: Montana in June

    It's impossible to predict conditions. They can vary dramatically from year to year. Last year was a prime example. Go for as long as possible be flexible and hope for the best. June can be great, but then again, maybe not...

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Montana in June

    June is the height of runoff in the Rockies- look for yourself. Each of those rivers has a USGS site with historical flows. Type in the dates you are considering, with a previous year attached, and see what the level was. Compare that to july, August, etc. I would consider the Missouri the outlier on your list- as it is the tailwater all the guides flock to when everything else is unfishable because of high water (late May and nearly all of June)


    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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  15. Default Re: Montana in June

    Check the snow pack reports also local fly shops. To date the snow pack is marginal but that can change quickly. I live on the Yellowstone River north of Yellowstone National Park and each year is different depending on the snow pack and the weather at the time the snow begins to melt. There are always places where you can find some fishing; tail waters like the Big Horn and the Missouri and the various spring creeks, but high water does limit your options.

  16. #10

    Default Re: Montana in June

    Quote Originally Posted by beast_3 View Post
    I'm planning a trip to Montana next summer & need some help.

    I want to fish the Gallatin, Madison, Jefferson and Missouri rivers.

    I've been told that the best time to fish the Missouri is mid to late June as there is less floating weed below the dam. I fished there 2 years ago & there was too much weed in the water to effectively fish it.

    What conditions could I expect on the Gallatin, Jefferson & Madison during that period? I know you can't predict the weather especially that far out but can anyone give me an educated guess on wading these rivers (& any others between Bozeman & Dillion) from Jun 10th to 25th, 2019? Would the spring runoff be over?

    I'd appreciate any advice you can give me.
    Thanks!
    Bob East
    There is runoff and then there is runoff.

    Runoff in a river without a dam is muddy and difficult to predict.

    Runoff in a river system with a dam is better and even better is a river system with 2 dams next to each other. The first dam catches the discolored water and the allows the water to clear and then the second dam creates a second lake that allows the water to clear even more.

    Which of the rivers that you have mentioned meets the above criteria?

    The Madison has Hebgen Dam and Hebgen Lake which then empties into Quake Lake and the dam below it. Depending on the snow pack, the dam releases can be high, medium, or low. In a low snowpack year, the water will be fishable because the dam operators will be storing water in both lakes for releases in the summer. In high snow pack years, the flow below Quake will depend on how full both lakes are when you arrive to fish.

    Secondly, even if the snowpack is high, the fish in Hebgen Lake have to eat and the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake is easily fished with US Forest Service roads that are along both sides of the lake.

    Google Maps

    Google Maps

    You can fish the main body of Hebgen using FS road 167.

    Google Maps

    If you bring a float tube or a pontoon boat there even more opportunities with Cliff and Wade lakes which can be reached by following the $3 bridge road (USFS road 8381) to the lakes.

    Google Maps
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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