Madison River

Dam:  963 cfs

Kirby: 1,110 cfs

Varney: 1,370 cfs

It’s been a warm and windy week here on the Madison, and fishing has been day to day below McAtee.  We did a streamer float from Varney to Town yesterday (yes, the Ennis take out is open), and caught 6 nice fish including a few pre-spawners coming up from Ennis Lake.  Probably hooked another 6 that did the old teflon slip, but the action seemed to stop as soon as the 25 mph gusts started ripping through the valley.  We tried a bunch of colors, but olive and tan seemed to be the only ones that were getting any attention.  It’s still early, but water temps around Varney are peaking at between 45 and 46 degrees, so hopefully it will start to get a little more productive in the coming weeks.  As for the section Between the Lakes, it has been pretty busy (and downright crazy on the weekends), but the fish are in and catching has been good to excellent.  Nymphing is the name of the game right now, but streamer fishing should start to get better once the water temps get above 40 degrees.  Egg patterns, small rubberlegs, red brassies, rainbow warriors, and midge larva/pupa are all good bets this time of year, as long as you get them on the bottom.  We would also like to remind everyone out there to look out for spawning redds.  If you don’t know what one looks like, just pay attention to any bright spots in the river that look like they have been “dusted off” by fish.  The eggs  generally end up 3-10 feet behind the redd, so if you must walk across one, please walk in front of it.  We can’t tell you the number of times we saw people standing below redds last year, and future generations of Madison Rainbows depend on those eggs to…ummm….not be crushed underfoot.  We are NOT river keepers, and the Madison belongs to each and everyone us.  All we’re saying is to give these fish a chance, and if you do see someone standing in these areas, just politely explain to them that we are trying to cut down on egg mortality.