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  • Sunday, May 20, 2007

    Rivers Looking Too Good

    Rivers Low & Clearing

    rain and snow in the forecast

    .. We took a quick scouting trip to our home waters and found swallows gorging on midges at mid-day along with fish rising on the Madison River, Firehole River, and Nez Perce Creek.
    .. The Madison River is flowing at about 575 fps, (about300 fps below the 79 year median statistic ,) it is light tea-colored and has over 2+ feet of visibility.
    .. The clarity at Barns Holes is surprising for this time of year.
    .. Trout were rising in mid-stream and smolts were leaping with loud splashing re-entries.
    .. There were no vehicle tracks on the gravel road, and no debris in the woods lining it. The road is already dead dry and dusty. The sky is a washed out blue of mid to late June. The grasses are bright green and short, some are beginning to turn brown and the wild flowers are wilting.
    .. Only a deluge of Biblical proportions will put this out of shape in the next week. The elk and bison are already scarce, probably moving to higher ground.
    .. The Gibbon River in National Park Meadows is not anywhere near bank-full and is flowing at about 150 fps, nearly 200 fps below the mean seasonal statistic. It looks sad and lonely with neither swallows nor large game in the meadows.
    .. The Firehole River is flowing at about 400 fps, just 150 fps below the median seasonal statistic. The early bear activity along the Firehole River near the Freight Road has continued, and the area is currently closed.

    ..The grass in the meadows along the Firehole River is very short and already turning brown as shown in the masthead photo. There are simply hoards of midges, and even some caddis.
    .. There were some Baetis in the foam around the Freight Road Bridge where the swallows were working. There were no bison on Fountain Flat between Nez Perce Creek and Fountain Ridge.
    .. Nez Perce Creek is looking as placid as an up-country chalk stream - not quite as clear though. The grass is a light green with dry spots and some is turning brown; the clarity is easily 3-4 feet.
    .. There is only a trickle of water coming out of the discharge channel from Hidden Pond. Midges are thick, and caddis are also present. No Mayflies were observed but conditions are ripe for an early Baetis or BWO hatch. Bring on the clouds with only a bit of water and the fishing will be great. On the other hand the water budget is shaping up for a "Fire Year."
    .. The areas, both up- & down-stream from the bridge, are also closed due to bear activity.
    .. Hotel Run has fish rising to something small - maybe this is the famous Pygmy-Midge hatch. We saw neither swallows nor bugs of any sort - left our glasses at the pub.
    .. There was a brief shower in West Yellowstone on Sunday evening. It made the dusty cars muddy, it concentrated the early pine pollen in the curbside ditches, and did very little to cool off the too warm evening. The weather pattern and the showers look a lot like Summer. This coming week will determine just how the opener goes.
    Click For Weather Forecast.