Madison River Fishing Report for May 13th, 2020

Dam: 1,060 cfs

Kirby: 1,420 cfs

Varney: 1,790 cfs

The Upper Madison has been fishing well this month, and temperatures have been nice and cool in the evenings to prevent a premature, full-scale runoff for the time being.  We definitely have a little more color in the water than we are used to seeing this time of year, as we tend to get the first plug of mud through Quake between the third and fourth week in May historically speaking.  That said, the forecast is calling for highs in the sixties and a decent amount of rain starting on Sunday so we should start to see the beginning of our actual runoff here by next week.

The River between Quake Lake and Lyon’s Bridge is running with about 2.5′ of visibility and a nice green color.  We have seen a decent amount of Blue Wing Olives and Midges in addition to a few Skwallas around but nymphs and streamers are still the name of the game.  Pat’s Rubber Legs, Olive Caddis Caddis Larva, Woms, Kelly’s BWO Nymph, Zebra Midges, Princes and PT’s have all been effective out there with the best time period being from late morning and on through the evening hours.  Below the West Fork visibility will change from day to day, but you can usually find 2′ plus on the right side below Lyon’s Bridge until it mixes with the West Fork water around Windy Point.  From Varney down you can find around 2 feet of visibility for the time being, and we are just starting to see good numbers of Mother’s Day Caddis down there.  We should start to see a lot more dirty water coming out of the West Fork as well as Indian, Cabin, and Beaver Creeks by Saturday or Sunday though so this weekend might be the last chance to get some quality fishing on the lower river around Ennis for a bit.

The streamer bite has picked up around here as well, and a little color in the water is always a good thing for that.  Olive and Black have been the go-to color combinations in the clouds, and natural, olive/white, and yellow have had their moments in the sun.  It seems to be a little better on foot than in the float section, but that should change as warmer days start to bring water temperatures back into the fifties.

As always, please watch your step out there if you are planning on hitting the Upper Madison in the near future as we are seeing plenty of spawning redds throughout the river.