Madison River

Dam: 1,950 cfs

Kirby: 3,220 cfs

Varney: 5,290 cfs

After a tough couple of days due to dropping water levels, the Madison has stabilized once again and has been fishing very well.  Visibility remains at just over a foot, and all the creeks are still gushing with mud…even Squaw Creek which I’ve never seen turn chocolate brown like it was yesterday.  That being said, the worm bite has really picked up on the river as more and more wriggling annelids are being ousted from their earthly dwellings– The San Juan color of choice has been hot pink, but we also got some good reports from anglers fishing the more common red worm as well.  There’s still not a lot of bug activity going on in the wade section, but we have seen quite a few of the large gray spotted sedges dancing on the surface ( size 8-10) as well as a few grannoms (#16) thrown into the mix.  Fish have been rising sporatically to midge clusters in the mornings, but not enough to make us take off the indicators.  Speaking of which, the nymphing has been excellent over the last two days.  The stonefly/rubberleg bite is still day to day, but again, the worm bite has more than made up for it.  Our best droppers have been #16 red krystal serendipitys, #16-18 purple lighting bugs, #16 $3 dips, #16-18 caddis larva, and #18 red and black midge pupa.  When the clouds have rolled in, baetis nymphs and emergers have been doing well too.

As far as where to fish, we would still recommend concentrating your efforts between Raynolds and Lyons Bridges, as there tends to be more holding water at these flows.  We did drift down to Windy Point the other day, but both boats never got a fish while floating.  However, every likely place they stopped was very productive, particularly the first two miles below Lyons Bridge.

As always, we will keep you up to date as conditions change, and hope to see a bunch of you up here for the big weekend.