May in Montana. Guides are usually either slamming the vise getting ready for the piles of golden stones and salmonflies they’ll need come summer, or they’ve hightailed it for good water to fish while we wait for runoff to end. Usually. This May, though the rivers and streams are up and off color, they still remain incredibly fishable. Guides are working. Outfitters are kicking themselves for not taking those gamble trips this winter. But can it last? Well… Full On Blow Out is imminent. Some would say already begun.
Those are lies the media tells you. I choose to believe this spring will hold out forever. I also believe in faeries and that the slimer ghost from Ghostbusters is definitely a real and potent phenomenon, and if you own an upscale hotel in Manhattan, you should insure yourself properly.
The straight dope is that the rivers are teetering on the edge, but the car is off the rails. This might be the break you need to air out those waders and get your boxes organized, because capital R Runoff has begun. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Before you hang your head and put the rod up, have hope. Because this is sure to be a very short runoff season, and a very big bug year. Birds and fish are going to be very happy. And if you eat bugs, you’ll be thrilled as well. Since I toss fake bugs at fish, I’m looking forward to it. In the hopes that it keeps your spirits up, here’s a Throwback Thursday shot of what was going on up Rock Creek in May 2014, which was a damn sight more violent runoff than we’ll suffer through in 2015. Notice the chocolatey tones of the water, the churning of the rapids, and the oh-hell-no-I’m-not-wading fishing options.
We’ll make it through runoff fairly quickly this year. Here’s to the power of nature, a speedy runoff, coming out the other side into swarms of salmonflies that didn’t get swept downstream this year, and a #TBT to last year’s runoff.