Spring has sprung, and so have the river conditions on the Madison. Flows at Varney are currently 1,500 cfs rising steadily for the 3rd day in a row. Temperature trends also are on a 5 day bender, reaching about 53 degrees fahrenheit yesterday afternoon and headed into the 70s today and tomorrow. This has all sorts of implications for your fishing outlook.
Number one, the caddis around these parts seem to think it’s Mother’s Day already. I used my windshield wipers a few times as I drove through the canyon to Bozeman yesterday. Grannoms in the size 16 range were prolific around 2:30PM! What this means for you is, it’s time to dig around and sift through all those midges and beadheads you’ve been using all winter and find yourself a Goddard, X Caddis, or Elk Hair Caddis for top water action; Sparkle Caddis, Soft Hackles, or my very own Pubic Caddis for subsurface nymphing, which you can find in our shop. It’s now the season of the Caddis, and the trouts are noticing. Come get some!
Also on your radar should be those rabbit strips you’ve ignored since Halloween. You know this is a big Sheila house down here. That fly is just plain dirty. Floating line, 7 ½’ 3X leader loop knotted to the eye of that temptress, and hold on tight as you swing it through the holes. Also options are Trevor, The One, Wooly Buggers, and Zonkers. We have some new streamer patterns in the shop now, so come check those out. We’re definitely going to do some R&D on those in the coming days and will report back our findings. Also new in the shop for all you hard core streamer strippers are some handy finger sleeves for protecting your precious digits. They basically make you feel like Lebron on the river. Look good, feel good; feel good, fish good, right? Come check those out.
Next are eggs, worms, and rubber legs. All you nymphos better recognize, If you don’t have these three in your packs/vests/hipster fanny packs, you best be changing that. These rainbows and browns are gorging on all three of these food items as the water rises and dislodges them. Take a look at the water column for a minute or two next time you’re out. You’ll likely see a few Pteronarcys squirming frantically coming down the river. Finally, put your sissy 4x, 5x, 6x leaders and tippet back in your closet until you go back to the toilet bowl hole on the Frying Pan this winter. No need to mess around out here right now with these flows/conditions. 2x and 3x or heavier will be your saviour for all things subsurface.
Last up are flows. Be safe out there kids. While we’re not sure exactly how high runoff will be this year, the Madison is already a swift river and will be quicker than usual over the next two months. You need to be prepared and paying attention while you’re buddies are ripping lip in the bow of your boat. Be sure to check out these pages if you need info on Madison River flows or the weather in Ennis
The next time you’re on your way to Varney Bridge, stop in at the shop and say hi. We’ve got some sweet new lids in among other shirts, pants, waders, boots, sandals etc. We also have a fresh lineup of Trout Stalkers logo gear available on our online store.