The MO just got another bump of water this afternoon. We’re now over 8K. They are making room in Canyon Ferry for runoff as their is more going out then is coming in right now. The MO at over 8K is a much more difficult river to wade fish and most places are a no no. Be careful out there. (Read Brad’s post about wading the MO) If you have a boat (or hey, rent one from us!) then you’ll do fine. It’s a deep nymph thing again so bring plenty of split shot and 1″ Thingamabobbers. Is it like 2011? Not exactly, but we should see flows around 15K in June (based on the 1946-2013 data provided by the BOR and MT FWP for peak flows below Holter Dam.)
The one person who is lamenting the sudden bump in the flows today is Bag Limit Bill, who was on his first day on the river as a Montana Fly Fishing Guide (flying under the Montana Fishing Outfitters flag). He did have his clients manage to catch some fish but it wasn’t like yesterday when it was on fire (see Bill & Ed’s report from this morning). We thought it would be an easy first day for Billy but those “dam people” threw a wrench in the machine and made for some tougher fishing conditions. (It always takes the fish a day or two to settle into the new higher flows.) We have some handy links for streamflows and snowpack on our Streamflows page on our main website.
Swing by our Craig shop, say congrats to Bill and get your shuttle or rental boat.
Where did the info about 15K come from? Cite your findings please.
Dear “Concerned Reader,” concern yourself not, my findings come from the 60+ year median for the peak high water flows (which usually occurs in June) for the Missouri River. According to the Bureau of Rec data for Holter Dam flows, the median for more than 3 decades of data, is a peak of around 15K. Most folks that have been fishing the MO have only been doing so since 2000, which was the start of our 8 year drought. Then 2008-2010 we had more “normal” flows and reached the mid-teens range. Of course, 2011 was above “normal” and we got up to 23+K. For the past 2 years we were back down in the drought flows. From my understanding, BOR has stated they would like to keep flows below 15K but Mother Nature may choose otherwise. Our Fisheries Biologist, Grant Grisak, has a nice graph showing that 15K average peak flows. I posted some of Grant’s info on https://crosscurrents.com/News_%26_Events.html including a flow graph. Please check it out when you get a chance. Thanks for checking out our blog and commenting. See you on the river!