The abrupt change in the weather recently, perhaps combined with lower than average spring runoff and flows has got "THE" hatch going about a week earlier than normal on the Madison this year. Although we aren't seeing a whole lot of fliers yet, the bugs are definitely hatching in the Ennis to 8 Mile zone. You can find plenty of shucks along the banks, and the Trout are just starting to key on the big dries. Hard to say if this is just a little early burst or the big show. Bright sunny, warm weather will defintiely help keep it progressing in both time and space, but temps look to be cooling off quite a bit this coming week with increased chance of rain. This may indeed slow it down a bit.
Historically we usually don't see it in full swing between Varney and Town until around the 20th of June. But there have been many years when the water flows were much higher on this date than they are now. After the big burst of high water resulting from the heavy rains of May, the Hebgen Dam operators have now been dropping the flows 10% per day, so the river is dropping and clearing fast. This makes for good dry fly conditions.
Let's not overthink it though. Get out there early and/or late and pitch your big dries into the big water and tease 'em up. This is one time of year when you can be confident that every big fish in the river will rise to a dry fly. The next few weeks on the Upper Madison are full of hope and promise~!
Stop in for more info and the MVP Sammy patterns.