In spite of the long hard Montana winter and huge snowpack, runoff on the Madison is officially over and the river is looking and fishing great! The Madison peaked right around June 1st, which is incidentally the historical peak of runoff on the upper river. It has basically been dropping ever since, notwithstanding the recent small rain bump over the past few days.
Madison River Fishing Report
The Madison Valley has finally experienced a few days of 70+ degree weather and sunshine, and while we all have certainly been enjoying it (sunburn and all), it has prompted the beginning of run-off. Levels are up, and the West Fork has been dumping sediment and coloring up the mid-sections of river all the way through town. That being said, there is still good fishing to be had. For those who are not fans of dirty water, head up river to the wade sections around Raynold’s and Three Dollar. You will find the best water conditions there until/unless a big Cabin and Beaver Creek mud plug makes it through Quake Lake.
Quick report on the current state of the Madison. While many other area rivers are blown out, both the Upper and Lower Madison have been hanging tough these past few days and fishing has been decent. The river is up over 2400 CFS at Varney, 2000 at Kirby Ranch and just over 2000 in the Beartrap Canyon. It is still holding its green color though and fish can be caught. The West Fork and Indian Creek are contributing some mud to the Upper river. However all of the other Upper river tributaries above Palisades are running clear.
At long last April is here!! For much of the Eastern U.S. trout season officially opens on April 1st or thereabouts. We are fortunate that we can fish year-round here in Montana. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you would want to. Winter around here can be long and tough as we have been reminded this year. However, in spite of the current cold and snowy conditions spring is starting to show up intermittently and it is definitely fishing season. In fact, we have long considered April 1 to be the official unofficial start to our guide season which now runs through October. So come on. Let’s fish~! Here’s a recent review of what’s happening on the Upper Madison:
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.