With the weather in seemingly a constant state of flux, the flows and clarity on the upper Madison have been kind of all over the map in recent weeks. That being said, when the river has had a chance to level off for a few days we are seeing marked improvement in clarity and the fish are hungry. Cold weather and north winds the past few days have led to one of these stabilizing trends changing the color of the water back to greenish and the fish have responded with ferocity. Higher flows push more and different types of food into the river which gives both the trout and the angler lots of optionsto try ranging from high water classics like San Juan and squirmy worms, to big dark sculpin patterns or salmon fly nymphs with a smattering of caddis and mayfly nymphs in between. Top water selections have been a bit more hit and miss out there recently as we aren’t seeing the strong caddis hatches we were before it got colder, and mayfly hatches have been spotty and isolated. With that in mind, each day is different, and soon there will be copious hatches of all denominations. Get out, have fun, and don’t be afraid to try something new from your box, it might be the fly of the day!