7 Months of Winter in the Madison Valley
April 15 marked a very important day for Ennis Montana. Historically it is the day people submit taxes late. But for Ennis this year it is so much more. It marks exactly 7 months of winter.
You see that exactly 7 months ago we got our first snow fall in the Madison Valley. The beginning of September started out warm and mild and the dry fly fishing was out of hand on the Madison river. The fish were eating hoppers and ants and almost any dropper that you could hand behind a dry. The day prior was warm with highs in the 60’s and we were still wet wading with sandals. By afternoon a cold north wind was blowing and dark clouds stacked up on the Gravely Range. By the next morning the white stuff blanked the valley and highs that day were only in the low 20’s. Winter had arrived on the Madison River and it really freaked the fish out. It was like being at a really great party and waking up in jail.
Old man winter has held this area from that day 7 months ago and is just now loosening his grip. It has been a long winter in the Madison Valley. Snow pack levels are well above normal and filling Hebgen is a certainty not just hoped for. A bunch of the old timers talk about winters of their youth and this one probably compared to those.
While we have seen plenty of winter this year sunny days are ahead. The state of the river, fish and all that we love about the Madison River are doing good. We dream of wet wading on sunny summer days to come.