Latest News: Historic flood hits Montana rivers

In the middle of the domestic runoff season in the United States, Montana rivers are hit hard by chocolate-colored water and an exponential increase in inflows from rain and snow this spring. As the flows have increased overnight, many Fly stores in the country in Bozeman have distributed photos and videos capturing this increase.

While Montana was desperate for moisture this winter, the weather this spring brought their snow above 100% of their annual average. This increase in flow has culminated in flooding and closure of many roads and bridges around the large Bozeman area. Please be careful and stay away from flooding these rivers.

Austin Schuerg by Bozeman FlyWorks shares: “What seemed to be a terrible year of snowy water in the first months of 2022, it came back quickly with dense water content and continuous spring rain that resulted in snow accumulations above the national average. This pile of snow and rain, along with large changes in daily temperatures, has resulted in a rapid and aggressive flow that has surpassed historical records in numerous rivers throughout Montana. The resulting floods appear to be causing severe damage to several rivers, fishing access sites and infrastructure of roads, bridges and buildings. Since the expected runoff will continue until early July, we recommend contacting your local Montana Fly shops in areas where you will be fishing for updated river conditions and access options. The National Parks Service just announced that they had closed all accessible traffic to the park, so the general public stays safe. The Gallatin River was 7,000 Feet Cubes per Second (CFS) and is currently over 8,000 CFS today. Yellowstone reached the peak of all time today, and if you go fishing, stay away from the Bozeman Freestone rivers.

Sam Rogers from Angler’s West Fly Fishing Outfitters shares: “Last night, the Yellowstone River and other surrounding rivers doubled in volume and even tripled today from heavy rainfall in Yellowstone National Park. The result is what the USGS claims to be a 500-year-old flood. The streams broke 50,000 CFS into the Yellowstone River this morning for the first time in recorded history. The Tom Miner Basin Bridge was removed from the towers around 9 a.m. this morning, and many homes, farms and properties were flooded by water up to 5 meters. Businesses are closing and roads in and out of Paradise Valley are also closing rapidly. Several other rivers in the state, The Gallatin, Stillwater and Rock Creek in the Beartooth Range, are experiencing this extreme flood. “We are under the advice of floods for a few more days.”

The Tom Miner Bridge was left on the Yellowstone River this morning. Photo taken by Sam Rogers.

While water leaks can be dangerous for any recreational river user, many butterfly shops and hardware stores promote safety as their number one priority. If you have any questions, please call:

Fly Shop Fins and Feathers (406) 586-2188

Bozeman FlyWorks (406) 219-8692

Anglers West Fly Fishing Outfitters (406) 333-4401

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