Madison River Fishing Report 5/12/15

The Upper Madison River opens this Saturday, the 16th. It looks amazing and has been fishing great!! The forecast doesn’t show any major changes coming so next Saturday the 16th (Montana’s general fishing season opener) sets up to be one of the best in many years. We haven’t seen the river running this low and clear here in town on this date in a long long time.  It’s currently flowing 789 cfs at Kirby Ranch compared to a long-term median of 1,100cfs on this date. It’s not exactly what we really want to see either. Snowpack this winter was disappointing which has had many area rivers running lower and clearer than normal so far this month. But when life gives you low spring water, you go dry fly fishing!!

We have been seeing great hatches of Baetis, March Browns and Caddis here and the fish are on them. Mornings have been a little slow with nymphing being the most productive tactic, but by mid-afternoon the action has been picking up as the hatches begin and fish feed on both nymphs and adults. The dry fly action isn’t always consistent, but there are usually at least a few pods of risers to be found by the patient and persistent angler.

And speaking of dry flies, if these generally lower water conditions persist the Salmon Fly hatch should be pretty awesome too. The question will soon become, “when will they hatch?” And the answer is somewhat uncertain. Will we see it come off 2 weeks early, or more? Or will it come right on schedule. Place your bets. Leaning toward the early prediction myself…

Streamer junkies will also be happy to hear that we’ve seen a solid streamer bite over the last few days. Several big fish have puked up dead sculpin in the net.

The shop is open 7 days a week now from 8am – 6pm so stop in for the latest MVP flies, ideas, gear and shuttles.


Saturday, May 16th isn’t just opening day in Montana. It’s also the date of the first ever Ennis Fly Fishing Gear Swap, hosted by Trout Stalkers and The Gravel Bar.  Sellers can offer their used gear for sale, and buyers can shop for great deals on quality used gear. All sales proceeds will be split 70/30. You will get 70% of the proceeds if your item(s) sell and the remaining 30% goes to benefit the non-profit organization of our choice. We have chosen to donate the proceeds to the Madison River Foundation. 

Check-In:  Friday May 15,  10am – 5pm

Fly Swap: Saturday May 16,  12pm – 5pm

Tap into Ennis – Brew & Spirit Festival 3 -7pm Lyons Club Park