Spring Runoff… Words no angler wants to hear, but like most things in fishing you just got to work through it. A few of the guides and shop guys got out on the water and explored the Northwestern quadrant of the park with some surprising success on smaller creeks and streams. The Gardiner River was one of those sweet spots over the past few days! Although the water more closely resembles a churning cauldron of chocolate milk than a mountain stream, the fishing was GOOD with Brook and Brown trout eager to eat Stonefly nymphs of various life stages. The water is moving quick and the runs were deep leaving little choice in tactic, high sticking your larger nymphs and weighting your smaller nymphs under an indicator.
In addition to the Northwestern quadrant, we also headed over to the Madison Drainage to find better water, lower flows, and all in all better conditions for hungry trout. The water is not quite ideal as there is still a tannin hew (which almost looks like Richard’s tea), but fish were rising to drys and crushing nymphs with authority. The water was more crowded during this venture as you can expect this time of year, but fending off the crowds proved worth while giving us a taste of what’s to come over summer. This will be the best time to enjoy this drainage as water levels are dropping quickly providing clearer and slower water, soon enough this water will be nearly unfishable once the waters warm. Don’t hesitate or you may need to wait till fall for this fishery to become more active again!
For the most up to date river conditions and river know how drop us a line at (406) 848-7314. Tight lines and hang in there, clear water is around the corner!