Madison River

Dam: 974 cfs

Kirby: 1,090 cfs

Varney: 1,180 cfs

As most of you know, the section between Quake Lake and McAtee Bridge is closed until May 18th (as is Ennis Bridge to Ennis Lake), so we’ve been heading up between the lakes over the last week.  Rainbows are just starting to trickle in from Quake, but they should really start to get moving over the next couple of weeks.  It’s actually an easy to walk down to the lake right now, as snowmobiles have packed the road down enough so that you aren’t sinking up to your waist on every step.  Small black leech patterns are always a good bet at the mouth, but zebra midges, red brassies/copper johns, rubber legs, and $3 dollar Dips are the way to go when fishing the actual river.  Given that we’ve had unusually warm weather for this time of year, it seemed like as good a time as any to break out the sinking line and start slinging a few streamers.  I wouldn’t say it’s hot and heavy, but good enough to keep us coming back, and there are some really nice browns in the system that seem to be  looking for a big meal. We’ve been doing best on black and olive sculpin patterns, as the spring streamer bite is usually more food based rather than reactionary .  If you’re looking to get in on the action, target the slowest and deepest water you can find and keep your retrieves on the slower side.