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  • Sunday, May 08, 2011

    Lowlands Alert

    THE QUICK & THE WARM
    It Happens Rapidly
    firehole river spike !
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    .. It only took a couple of days to drive the snow from our streets and to raise the flows in the local rivers. The Firehole River has flows on the way to the moon, and the Madison River is not far behind. Hebgen Lake is only 10' from being full. The inflowing water from the Madison River will hasten the coming of "ICE OUT."
    .. We've had a few warm days of 50° F. Bingo, the optimists are calling it Spring. But there's not a blade of green grass, nor blooming flower to confirm the sentiment.
    .. The recent warmth was punctuated with cold rain. Precipitation of several kinds visited us during the last few days. Thundershowers, a bit of hail, soakers for hours on end, and busy drizzles were evident in the neighborhood.
    .. We take this opportunity to warn our lowland brethern that the color is coming, the flows are increasing, and big water fishing is in for a rough time of it for the next few days, (or weeks if this weather continues.) There's still, on the level ground, between one and three feet of snow. It has to go some where: sooner or later.
    .. So, how's the fishing and catching? The reports from intrepid fishers on snow machines continue in a glowing fashion.
    .. The estuaries of Hebgen Lake are full of hungry fish. They are in the deep water next to the ice and in the shallow water next to the ice.
    .. They are taking small flies that sink slowly. No pattern predominates right now. The neighbors are using slow sink tip lines with an even slower finger retrieve.
    .. The Madison Tailwater, between the lakes, has better access this week than last. Of course it's getting a bit crowded too. Prince Nymphs and Pink Eggs are the ticket to catching in this easily reached river segment.
    .. For those with more adventure in their hearts than their legs the outlet of Quake Lake is a good destination. Barked shins are a distinct probability in the snow covered boulder field. But it's not too far to the water's edge, and there's usually some bait or gear guys there to help you with fly selection.
    .. It's early and still drizzling. We're off to the park for a quick look-see; then down canyon to catch the edge of the silt plume at Taylor Fork. It should be distinct for about 12 more hours. Then the chocolate sauce will cover the width of the Gallatin River.
    .. It's just three weeks until Yellowstone National Park opens for fishing. Should this weather continue unabated it will take some real river skills to find places where the willing fish will eat your fly.
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