Madison River Fishing Report for June 18th, 2017
Dam: 1,610 cfs
Kirby: 2,190 cfs
Varney: 2,840 cfs
Madison River fishing report. The Upper Madison is still running at over 2,000 cfs above the West Fork and just under 3,000 cfs at Varney but it’s in great shape and fishing well. Visibility has improved to around 3.5-4 ft and green, and with the forecast calling for fairly sunny skies and warmer nights, my guess is that we should start to see a drop in flows here soon.
The most significant change we’ve seen since our last report is that the float section has started to pick up throughout its entirety. The river is big, but the fish are happy and eating well right now and we’ve had some great days on a wide variety of nymph and streamer patterns. We’ve also had some decent dry fly fishing on caddis as well, but it’s still a little too high for any consistency…that should change here very shortly and we should start to see big bugs beginning to emerge in good numbers over the next 7 days. There have been some adults spotted around town, but the hatch is still far from really getting going. Our guess is that we should start to see the first good emergence by this coming weekend, but it could always be earlier with the warmer weather headed our way. The nymphs are certainly staged along the banks, and larger Pat’s Rubber Legs in Black and Black/Brown have been picking up some really nice fish from Lyon’s all the way down to Ennis. Some of our better droppers have been shop vacs, worms, caddis pupa, $3 Dips, caddis larva, and yellow sally nymphs, but lighting bugs and psycho princes have been good out there as too. Dead drifting smaller streamers such as mini loop sculpin and zonkers is also a good option, and we’ve also had some good days stripping larger patterns such as sex dungeons, silk kitties, double screamers, and barely legals. Either way, you’ll want to target the softest water you can find and that doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to the banks as there are plenty of rock slicks, gravel bars, and drop-offs below islands that will hold a good number of fish.
The wade section between Quake and Lyon’s has also been fishing well, but they seem to have gotten off the rubber legs/worm program a little bit since the clarity has improved. That said, you will do well by sticking to smaller caddis larva, baetis nymphs and emergers, serendipities, and caddis pupa. Streamers are still working really well up high and we’ve been doing best on white, yellow, black, olive, and olive/white patterns tight along the banks. You can still find some good fish a little farther off bank, but 99% of the good browns we’ve been seeing have been tight to shore in water that most people have been walking by on their way to more productive nymphing water. If you are throwing streamers right now, make you’re covering every foot of good holding water along the banks and you should do well out there. Just remember to keep changing up your colors until you dial in the right one.
As always, be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.