News Flash: Run-off is over. And while that may sound like good news for the immediate here and now, it foretells of pending low and warm water for the remainder of the year. The month of June has been most interesting. Two episodes of much hotter (all time record breaking) heat waves which resulted in extreme snow melt from the high country. If you look at the mountains and plateaus of the Beartooths, it quickly becomes evident that the white stuff is pretty much gone. Further evidence you ask? Well the Robertson Draw fire and the extreme fire behavior should be sufficient to make the point. I spent a large portion of my ill spent youth chasing fire across the Beartooth and Pryor Mountains, and I’ve never seen the likes of what we witnessed last Tuesday evening. Flames lengths of 200 feet or more ripping across the east face of Line Creek Plateau and eventually Mount Maurice should serves as an absolute wake up/early warning. And it’s only mid-June. Saddle up kids, it’s gonna be a summer, possibly another 1988 or worse. Only time will tell and pray for rain. But all in not gloom and doom.
Given the above information, what does it mean for the average Joe fisher-folk? As you may be aware, MFWP is already talking about restrictions. It likely won’t happen until mid to late July, but if we stay the course of our current weather pattern, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will happen. Thus, fishing will evolve into an early morning endeavor. Hoot Owl restriction typically kick in at 2 pm. And remember what I’ve said before, 70 degree water temperature quickly becomes lethal to trout, we need to stop at 68 degrees and give the fish a break. One other thought …. buy a thermometer and use it. And though, I’ve never extolled these thoughts this early in the season, this year is gonna be weird and maybe it’s the new normal (man I hate that term).
One last thought …. hoppers! If you don’t have them, get them, you are going to need them. As hopper-iferous as last summer was, I think it will pale in comparison to what this year is going to be like. I’m seeing bizillions at my house. All sizes. All colors. They are ravenous and growing fast.