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MONTANA FISHING OUTLOOK
Yellowstone River – June 14, 2011 – East of Livingston, Montana
As I write this it is past the middle of June and the snow pack in the mountains of western Montana is just beginning to show signs of melting. We continue to have cool weather with significant rain which is adding to the flooding. Checking the snow pack and water equivalency levels on the Internet will reveal significant amounts of snow and water still waiting to runoff and most of the waterways in Montana and the surrounding states are already at or near flood stage. Many waterways have exceeded historic flooding levels and all the reservoirs are at or above capacity. You can check on current snow pack levels and stream flows in Montana and Wyoming on the websites listed below.
There are still places to fish in Montana and the surrounding states, however, do not expect the fishing to be anything like you may have experienced in previous years. Rivers like the Big Horn and the upper Missouri below the dams will have relatively clear water but stream flows will be extremely high and most of the fishing will be done from boats, Currently on the Big Horn River most of the fish are being caught by fishing nymphs like a San Juan Worm using two 3/0 split shots and a 12 foot leader. High flows are expected to continue through July and river levels are expected to stay above normal well into the early fall.
If you are planning a trip to Montana or the surrounding states it would be advisable for you to check before you plan to travel. Fishing opportunities exist but until at least late July the options will likely be limited.