Montana Spring Snowpack Summary

Spring Snowpack Summary

By: James “Jimbob” Terry

As we roll into May (which is my birthday month for those wondering) snowpack across the state is looking less than ideal, but not dismal! The Upper Madison is looking good enough, and I think our nearby rivers are too. Keep in mind while reading these percentages are taken from a 10-year average.

On March 1st, we were sitting at 73% of our ten-year average here in the Madison River drainage and some of our neighboring watersheds as low as 65%. Fast-forward a month (April 1st) and those numbers climbed substantially across the board thanks to our typical spring snow.  Despite some abnormally warm weather, most watersheds in the state were able to enter May with 70% of average or more, with 81% here on the Madison River as of this morning!


One saving grace we have here on the Upper Madison River is the river being fed by Hebgen Lake. Hebgen Lake is situated at the “Top Floor Of The Trout Hotel” and is fed by the way upper reach of the Madison River coming out of Yellowstone National Park and a few tributaries. The lake is dammed at the north end, and above 100% of average pool currently. Also, Northwestern Energy has gone ahead and proposed a pretty drought friendly water management plan. Essentially the lake gives us the ability to “pulse” some additional cold water into the river as needed due to the depth of the water at the dam.

All things considered, we’re in good shape, but we wouldn’t turn down a May snowstorm or two, especially for the neighbors! Fishing has been lights out so far this spring with some great dry fly opportunity starting to show up. Give us a call and get out with one of our awesome guides!


Fishing Reports and Trips

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