Madison River Fishing Report for May 13th, 2017
Dam: 1,700 cfs
Kirby: 2,700 cfs
Varney: 4,330 cfs
Madison River fishing report. Well, a lot has changed from our last report in late April and just about all the rivers in the region are in the midst of a very solid runoff that is likely to stay put for quite some time. That said, the Madison between Quake and Lyon’s is currently running at about 10″-12″ of visibility and green. You can still find about the same clarity from Lyon’s down to Windy on the right side of the river, but the mud is pretty well mixed by the time you get to Palisades and you’ll be looking at about 6″ of clarity from Pal down to Ennis. Beaver and Cabin creeks have been pumping a lot of chocolate milk into Quake, but there has been enough clear water coming out of the dam to keep it on the greener side of things for the time being.
The fishing in the wade section was a little slower when the water starting coming up and the mud plug finally hit the river, but it has since been fishing very well with nymphs and streamers. You’ll see a handful of fish rising to blue wings and midges throughout the day, but you’ll want to stick to the sub surface mentality until visibility improves. Some of our better nymph patterns this week have been #8-10 Pat’s Rubber Legs, Red and Pink San Juan Worms, #16-18 Purple and Olive Lightning Bugs, #16 Olive Caddis Larva, Zug Bugs, and darker colored baetis nymphs in size 18. With flows continuing to rise, make sure to target the slowest water you can find and don’t pass up on any good holding water near the bank– Just about every good Brown we’ve seen over the last five days has been within 2 feet of the grass and in less than 2 feet of water.
The streamer bite has also picked up with all the fish being pushed to the edges. Generally speaking, we tend to do best on a variety of olive streamers when the water is green, especially when you have cloud cover. Olive Peanut Envys, Dungeons, and Boogie Men have all been producing some great fish along the bank, and Black Dungeons have also been doing well during periods of lower light. When the sun has been out, we’ve had good eats on yellow dungeons, big hole bugs, black/olive double screamers (silver body), and olive/white CH Barely Legals, but there are always other colors to put into the rotation if you can’t seem to figure it out. The one thing we will say is that that the streamer bite has been a little slower first thing in the morning, but it seems to be turning on around 10:30 a.m. to noon depending on the day.
As always, please watch your step out there as there are still plenty of spawning redds throughout the entire river. We realize that is easier said than done when you have dirty water, so knowing the characteristics of the type of water you are likely to find them in is just as important. If you are fishing in a smaller channel, there is a good chance that there will be more than a few in there so you might want to stay away from the tailout leading into it as well as the bottom portion going back into the main river. Most of the redds we’ve seen are still visible though, so if you see see any freshly cleared gravel please do your best to not walk within 10 feet behind it. Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.