Dam: 654 cfs
Kirby: 903 cfs
Varney: 1,100 cfs
JUST A REMINDER THAT THE UPPER MADISON BETWEEN QUAKE LAKE AND MCATEE BRIDGE AS WELL AS FROM ENNIS BRIDGE TO ENNIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO ALL FISHING UNTIL MAY 16TH.
Fishing on the Upper Madison has been good this week, and it should only get better with the overcast skies and rain in the forecast through Sunday. The streamer fishing below Varney seemed to have slowed down last week, partly due to bright skies, low water, and lots of pressure; however, the creeks are pumping another 300 cfs down there and we’re guessing that will get the bigger browns back on the bite. There have been a lot of BWO’s hatching down there as well, and you’ll do best by throwing #18-20 sparkle duns along the slower inside bends and tail-outs downstream from McAtee down to Ennis Bridge. Nymphing is still your best shot at the numbers game, and a good assortment of nuke eggs, pat’s rubber legs, baetis nymphs/emergers, san juans, and midge larva should get you into fish throughout the day.
Fishing between the lakes has been really productive with nymphs, and there have been a lot of new fish showing up judging by the freshly dusted redds around the usual islands and gravel bars. $3 Dips, zebra midges, and nuke eggs have been about all you really need up there, but we’ve noticed some baetis activity around 1:00 in the afternoon as well– If you start seeing heads poking up, try dropping a #18-20 BWO Barr’s Emerger about a foot under your dry and that should get you into fish in no time. Cabin Creek has been putting in a fairly sizable stripe into the river, but you can still get into plenty of fish in the mud if crossing the river is not an option for you.
Also worth noting is that most of the lakes in the area are 80%-90% ice free, and you can now get a boat into Quake, Hebgen, Cliff, and Wade. It’s still iced over at Kirkwood Marina, but it shouldn’t be long before you can get a boat in there as well. We have seen fish up eating midges along Hebgen, and make sure you bring your crayfish box if you head up there (Black leeches and #12-14 Black snow cones are also good choices).