By this time last year, Missoula-area rivers were filled with float tubes and anglers, but with yet another flood warning this week, most river recreation seems a long way off. National Weather Service Hydrologist Ray Nickless says that that should start to change next week, at least for fishing.

"This week we have still gotten rain around the area so that always has runoff and dirties up the rivers," Nickless said. "As we go into next week we are looking at some really nice weather moving into the area and similarly the streams should start to fall even later this weekend and then into next week. I expect we will start to see a lot of these rivers start to clear up."

It will likely be weeks before the rivers are filled with college students and float tubes though.

"If you just look at the river you can kind of see that it is a little bit high for doing that kind of thing," Nickless said. "I would think sometime in July you would be able to get out there and do that, but I wouldn't think you would want to be doing that in June, at least on the rivers around here. I would wait until at least mid July or even later than that after looking at the way the river heights are now and even then, it still might be a little too challenging."

Though Missoula-area rivers are brimming, that’s not true elsewhere. Nickless says stream flows in other parts of Montana are actually below normal.

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