What’s Up With The Yellowstone?

Graph of  Discharge, cubic feet per secondHas it peaked already (on May 15th!)? Will it even go back up over 10,000 cfs again? Or is it going to remain fishable for the duration?

Around here, almost every conversation begins with, “what do you think’s gonna happen?” It’s causing more speculation than D. B. Cooper. Feel free to weigh in with some of your own hot air.

Calling All (Livingston) Guides – Dirty Water Bash Tomorrow

5th Annual Dirty River Guide Bash!

When: Tuesday, May 14 at 6 p.m.

Where: Montana’s Rib & Chop House, 305 East Park Street, Livingston

It’s time again for us to honor all of the guides that do so much for our little fishing town. Free beer and crayfish. Great raffle prizes. A fun time is promised. See you all there.

Thanks to Ryan Somes and the Rib and Chop House for the venue, food, and beer.

How Long Will It Last? Time for a Contest

Heading upward!

As our home river, the Yellowstone, reaches new heights every day, we find ourselves prognosticating about when we’ll be back on the water. How long will we be stuck in runoff purgatory, driving long distances in search of clearer rivers to fish? Waiting impatiently in the rigging line at the nearest tailwater? Paying our hard-earned cash for the opportunity to ply a spring creek or a private lake? Our guesses usually suck, so we’ll look to you out there for answers.

It’s time for our annual runoff contest. Last year we asked, How High Will It Go? This year, we’re going with a question that’s more important to our fishing lives. When will it end? We’ll set a somewhat arbitrary threshold. 10,000 cubic feet per second at the Carter’s Bridge gauge. That’s about the level when the truly intrepid will begin putting their boats back on the water. Not that you should, unless you’re quite good on the oars.

In the comments below, make your best guess of the date when the Yellowstone River will come back down to 10,000 cfs. The guess that’s closest to the actual day that the river first crosses that threshold is the winner.

What’s at stake? Well, blog bragging rights, for one. But we’ll really make it worth your while. We at Sweetwater Fly Shop will throw in half a dozen Salmon Flies (the imitation, not the real thing). If you’re in our area, they could come in handy this year. If you’ve got no use for the big bugs, we’ll substitute a dozen crappy flies from our bargain bin.

Vote early and vote often!

Guide Circus

The big city (Bozeman) is chock full of fish guides this weekend, even more than usual. They’re in town starting today for Simms’ annual Ice Out guide event. Chances are, some of the madness will spill over to our side of the hill, as many will use the trip as an excuse to get a little fishing (and bar-hopping) done. Just what we need, an even higher per-capita ratio of (out-of-town) fish guides!

Much of the 3-day event is just for the guides, but the general public can get in on a bit of the fun this year. The finals of the Guide Olympics competition are open to all comers (and free) tomorrow evening. Open to all spectators, that is, not competitors. The Guide Olympics features several events, including distance casting, drift-boat backing, and a cooler pull. Both the casting competition and overall winners receive $1000 in cash, so the competition should be fierce. The event will be held at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the MSU Campus, with the finals starting at 5 and continuing until 7:30. The event will be co-MCeed by world-famous guide, Hank Patterson. Come watch a bunch of fish guides doing their thing for prizes and glory.

A Round of Applause

A big cheer goes out to the 150(!) intrepid souls who participated in the 9th annual Yellowstone River Clean-Up. You are the truly committed, who didn’t let the early start and lousy weather get in the way of your desire to help the river that you love. Hopefully, your clean-up day went better than mine, which included a flat trailer tire and the temporarily abandonment of our borrowed boat during the nasty storm that blew through (and upstream). Thank you, Steve Wilson. I owe you a boat wash and a new boat strap.

Can’t Fish? At Least You Can Get Some Free Food!

With the Yellowstone currently around 17,000 cfs and other local rivers following suit, fishing opportunities are going to be limited for the next couple of weeks. What’s the fishing-obsessed to do? How about joining us at Sweetwater Fly Shop next Saturday, June 9th, for our first annual Blowout Bash. We will have manufacturers’ reps from Sage, Winston, Simms, Redington, Ross Reels, and Sweetgrass Bamboo Fly Rods on hand with the newest rods and gear to demo. You can also take advantage of 20% off everything in the store (except fly rods) for one day only. There will be door prizes, free burgers and brawts, and casting instruction for the kids. The festivities run from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; we hope to see you there!

Dirty River Bash A Winner

"I wuv my new wod"

Fun was had by all at the 4th Annual Dirty River Guide Bash held at Livingston’s Rib and Chop House last Tuesday. Some had a little too much fun; we won’t mention any names, but our shop was notably without a storefront manager on Wednesday (there was an alternate story, but…). Sweetwater Travel’s Scott Schumacher was especially pleased with the event; he took home one of the grand prizes – a new Hardy Zenith rod donated by the Yellowstone Angler. Congratulations also to Will Lassiter, who won the Scott S4 rod that we at Sweetwater Fly Shop added to the mix.

Thanks go out to Ryan Sones and the crew at the Rib and Chop House for the venue, piles of crayfish, and copious beer, and to all of the local businesses and artists who donated swag for the raffle!

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