Welcome to the early days of spring runoff. The Upper Madison is rising with the warmer temperatures and we’re seeing high turbidity closer to town. The West Fork of the Madison is starting to pump in a fair amount of mud. River right still has clarity but that’s subject to change by the day. If you’re seeking clear water, head above Lyons bridge or wait until this thing is over!
Baetis and midge hatches are occurring all across the river. I’ve found a few caddis as well closer to Valley Garden. Keep your eye out for the occasional skwala on the side of the bank. Fish are relatively reluctant to look up with the high water. If you put a few casts into the soft water with a dry you just might be rewarded.
Water levels at Varney have jumped from 1330 CFS on April 29th to 2020 CFS today. Water temperatures have been in the mid 50’s during the heat of the day. We had an incredible year for snowpack, right now the Madison basin is at 122 SWE. Gear up for multiple weeks of runoff, there’s still plenty of snow up in the mountains.
This is a great time of year to throw streamers. Play around with your retrieval and see what’s working on that given day. Slow, elongated-strips have brought in a few great fish so far this spring. Get out there and have some fun - you probably need it after this winter!
Streamers: BH Krystal Bugger Black, BH Krystal Bugger Olive, Mini Dungeon Olive, Laser Legal Olive/White, Mini D&D White/Pearl, Peanut Envy Olive and Black, El Sculpito Olive, Eric’s Smooth Criminal Olive, Sculpin Leech Gray.
Rainbow trout are spawning right now so please be mindful of where you're stepping in the river. We're in the midst of our annual Fly SALE. Checkout our SALE flies here for killer deals on your favorite patterns. If you're interested in what the river looks like here in town, give the live cam a gander below!
- MTS Guide Danny Eiden