May 18, 2009

Fishing the Channels on Montana’s General Stream Opener

For us, it’s always a countdown to the 3rd Saturday in May because it marks MT’s General Stream Opening Day, which means the famous “Channels” section of the Madison, right behind the Ranch, can be fished. Dan Larson had the following report on opening day…

With sunny upper 70’s and no wind, we geared up and headed out to wade fish the Channels Section right behind the Channels Lodge. Although the river had risen couple hundred CFS in the last day or so, the water was great - 56 degrees, foot and a half visibility, lots of caddis EVERYWHERE. As high clouds came by we saw baetis and a march browns. I even had a couple of big 1? stoneflies crawling over me - a little creepy at first.

After trying a couple of different combos, I tried the old brown girdle bug and small silver Deleckta Spanker. Bingo! In the next 90 minutes we landed a dozen wild trout - mostly rainbows from 14-17?, but a couple of nice browns as well.

With all the caddis about I just wish I would have stayed on the river for sunset and some dry fly action! Next time. Instead, we hit the pond once more - with lots of risers working the March Browns emergence. More fun!