Madison River Fishing Report for May 24th, 2017
Dam: 1,700 cfs
Kirby: 2,300 cfs
Varney: 3,100 cfs
Madison River fishing report. The Upper Madison has cleaned up nicely since last Saturday and we are now sitting at roughly 3.5′ of visibility and green above the West Fork. We should have relatively clear water for the next 3-5 days, but it looks like Cabin and Beaver Creeks are pumping mud into Quake again so my guess is that the plug should hit river by Saturday or Sunday.
The fishing has remained excellent in the wade and float stretches over the last week, but it may start to get a little more challenging below Lyon’s as water levels continue to rise and visibility decreases. Nymphs and streamers have still been the most productive means of catching fish, but we have had some good reports from guys throwing BWO’s during the afternoon over the last few days. We are still doing well on larger nymphs such as san juan worms, pat’s rubber legs, and cranefly larva but it isn’t quite as easy to rack up the kind of numbers on them that we saw from Mid-March through the first two weeks in May. That should change again when the mud enters the system, but fish have been eating smaller patterns extremely well throughout the day. Olive and light green caddis larva, zebra midges, black three dollar dips, Kelly’s BWO nymph, BWO Barr’s emergers, and yellow sally nymphs have been some of our most consistent producers this week. We seem to be doing best on rubber legs, worms, caddis larva and midges from early morning until noon and then it has been all about the baetis. As soon as you start to see the first signs of the hatch, switch up to Kelly’s BWO nymph in size 18 and trail a #18 BWO Barr’s Emerger behind it and you should start getting into fish in no time. If you do encounter heads poking up in the slicks, two of our favorite pattern on the Upper Madison are Nyman’s BWO Cripple or Kelly’s Tilt Wing Dun.
Streamer fishing has also been good lately, but the most productive colors seem to change depending on how low you go. On the lower river towards Ennis, you’ll want to try a good selection of brighter colors with the decreased visibility- yellow, brown/yellow, white, and natural/copper are some of our favorites when the sun is out but it is hard to beat straight olive or black when the clouds settle in. Up high in the wade section, we are still doing best on olive envys, barely legals, silk kitties, and trevor sculpins in a variety of different colors and the late morning to evening time period seems to be the most productive.
As always, please watch your step out there as there are still plenty of spawning redds throughout the entire river. Future generations of Madison River rainbows depend on our ability to not disturb their spawning grounds and there is plenty of other water to find fish right now. Most of the prime spawning areas are usually in small side channels, tailouts, and around gravel bars so please watch out for any freshly cleared gravel and remember not to walk downstream from them as most of the eggs tend to settle anywhere from 3-15 feet behind the actual redd. Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.