Happy Friday, Madison Valley! We’re still well below freezing but the fish are biting for those who are willing to get after it. A solid dusting of snow is currently being predicted from Ennis all the way down to Quake Lake. Gear up by watching your favorite season of “IRT” and you’ll be ready to hit the open road. In local news, the Public Land Water Access Association will be holding a community event at Burnt Tree Brewing and the Gravel Bar. Swing on down to participate in a raffle with prizes from the Madison River Fishing Company, Shedhorn Sports, and Willie's Distillery!
The snowpack in Madison County is currently sitting at 117% with hopefully a few more powder days ahead. Discharge out of Hebgen Lake has fluctuated from 955 CFS to 934 CFS since February 25th. Flows through Kirby have been consistent as well, flirting between 1030 CFS and 1010 CFS over the course of the last week. Water temperatures have been finding their way into the high 30’s, with the weekly high reaching 41.9° on the 25th at Kirby.
Let’s talk trout. The Upper Madison is still gorged from Ennis Lake up past 8 Mile. Any trout fishing opportunities on the Upper will need to be conducted from Varney to Quake. I’ve witnessed a few solid midge hatches around Three Dollar over the last few weeks. Move slowly and look for heads in slow pocket water if you’re committing to a dry fly mission. I’ve picked fish out of the usual walking-paced water as well as shallow medium-paced water, so don't be afraid to play with the depth you’re fishing in uncharacteristic “winter water”.
While the fishing has been consistent, the postholing required to reach prime water is relatively strenuous. My old man was a great athlete back in ‘74, but I wouldn’t feel too great about dragging him through the snow to get to the river - take that as you will (Sorry Timbo). Be prepared for a laborious trek through Hoth should you have the itch to get out. As always, tight lines and have some fun out there!
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.
We're in the midst of our annual Fly SALE. Checkout our SALE flies here for killer deals on your favorite patterns. Needing some extra insulation to fight the bitter cold? Give our Cold Weather Gear Page a peak. If you're interested in what the river looks like here in town, give the live cam a gander below!
- MTS Guide Danny Eiden