Little late on this, but Happy New Year in this first fishing report of 2022! Our year started off with a wintry bang with lots of snow and some cold, cold temps. Every inch of snow we get right now is just that much better water for next season. This is also the time of year to ski, snowshoe, tie flies, organize gear, and just generally take it easy.
Looking at the weather we are out of the wintry blast for a bit. Highs are forecast to be in the upper 30s and even low 40s every day in the 10-day. While this is great for getting out and about, remember what warm weather this time of year brings: wind. Our abnormally windy season is about to come roaring back.
After the very cold weather we had a few weeks ago, the Yellowstone River has a lot of shelf ice and slush. The photo above was taken Thursday morning at Mayor's Landing here in town. These warm days will help a bit, but honestly, give it a rest. Nothing much is happening, and if you’ve really got the itch there are better options. If you don’t feel like driving far, book a day on the spring creeks.
The Lower Madison is about the best bet for right now in our local(ish) area. Same as on the Yellowstone, mind the shelf ice, watch for floating ice chunks, and be careful wading. Also, be ready to deal with the wind. Crawfish patterns and dead drifted streamers fished down low in the rock gardens are a good option. Bring the midge box too… We’re still a bit early for the prime midge days out there but with these warm temps you never know!
The Gallatin in the canyon is a good spot this time of year too. There’s been considerable ice jamming down lower in the river, and that’s always a concern in the canyon as well. Especially with warmer temps. Be mindful and be safe!
If you’re not into getting blown around and breaking ice out of your guides every few minutes come down to the shop to stock up on fly tying material. There’s no better time than now to fill those boxes! Come on down to the shop for the latest info, gear to keep you warm, and flies you need.