The Upper Madison River opens this Saturday, the 16th. It looks amazing and has been fishing great!! The forecast doesn’t show any major changes coming so next Saturday the 16th (Montana’s general fishing season opener) sets up to be one of the best in many years. We haven’t seen the river running this low and clear here in town on this date in a long long time. It’s currently flowing 789 cfs at Kirby Ranch compared to a long-term median of 1,100cfs on this date. It’s not exactly what we really want to see either. Snowpack this winter was disappointing which has had many area rivers running lower and clearer than normal so far this month. But when life gives you low spring water, you go dry fly fishing!!
Madison River Fishing Report
Fishing on the Madison has been nothing short of spectacular this spring. The unseasonably warm weather got the action started much earlier than normal this year. We had several good days in Febraury, many in March and April has come in like a lion! The river has been running around 750 CFS (Kirby) recently which is pretty low. This has us predominantly fishing the Varney to Town stretch. Macatee to Varney is open to fishing but the low flows can make for a pretty bumpy ride through the Cameron Flats...
The warm weather recently has certainly made for some nice winter fishing conditions. I guided the Madison yesterday for the first time ever in the Month of February! The run from Varney to Burnt Tree was more reminiscent of mid-April than mid-February. It was a blue-bird day and I would give the fishing a grade of C+. Not a lot of fish, but some real quality Rainbows like the one you see here.
It was a spectacular New Years Day in the Madison Valley. In keeping with our 14 year family tradition we set out with some good friends in pursuit of the first trout of the year. I'm happy to report that it was a resounding success! We drove up to $3 bridge and saw hundreds and hundreds of Elk along the way. When we arrived there it was about 15 degrees above zero, with blue-bird skies and blazing bright sun. Kids and dogs all frolicked and played as we hiked from the highway down the snow-packed trail to the river.