Mid-March and although winter is hanging tough, fishing season is here. Warmer temps this past week brought out lots of wading and floating anglers on the Upper and Lower Madison. We’ve heard many solid reports recently, and even had some positive experiences of our own.
The primary tactic this time of year is indicator nymphing. It tends to be the most consistent and produce the most action. Some MVP flies: Black and Tan Turds, Orange Egg patterns, SJ Worms, Zebra Midges, SH Pheasant Tail, and Mega-Prince among others. Just remember, variations on a theme.
Streamers will work too! In fact, they are very effective at times. The Key here is the depth and speed of retrieve. Fish ‘em deep and give them some action, but not too fast. Dark grey and black are go-to colors.
Finally, dry flies! We are seeing substantial midge hatches mid to late day. And you can locate some pods of rising fish at times in the very Upper and Lower reaches of the Madison. A Griffiths Gnat or #20 Parachute will usually get it done if they’re are rising.
We are on the cusp of the first spring Mayfly hatches on area waters too. Keep your eyes out for Baetis, or Blue Winged Olives (BWO) coming soon. This hatch can produce some very fine dry fly fishing. Always best to locate rising fishing, and then fish to them on foot with a light rod and long leader using 4X or 5X tippet.
Soon after the Spring Baetis will be the Mother’s Day Caddis. This hatch usually begins sometime right around May 1st. Concurrent with the Caddis will be March Browns. Sometimes in early May, depending on water and weather conditions you can encounter Midges, Baetis, Caddis and March Browns all hatching at once and fishing taking dries throughout the afternoon. We are always in search of this elusive, but attainable circumstance. Remember, “you won’t know if you don’t go!” So get out and enjoy some spring fishing. Or take advantage of our Spring Special with $450 full day Madison guide trips.