Madison River Fishing Report for May 14th, 2018

Dam: 1,390 cfs

Kirby: 1,850 cfs

Varney: 2,590 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  The Upper Madison has seen a drop in flows over the last week, as North Western energy looks to fill Hebgen Lake in order that have enough water for the big flush taking place around June 1st.  In case you haven’t heard, they will be flushing the river around the first of the month and you can expect approximately 3,200 cfs pouring out of Hebgen for at least three days.  In the meantime, we are still sitting at roughly 14″ of green visibility above the West Fork of the Madison and the Upper 10 miles have been fishing well with both nymphs and streamers.  If you are looking to float the river we would suggest doing a shorter one right now and pulling over to work obvious holding areas rather than fishing it on the roll, as the visibility above Windy Point down to Ennis is around 8-10 inches.

Nymphs are still the way to go these days and we’ve been doing well on a variety of patterns.  They are starting to get a little gun shy of the girdle bug around the popular access points, but they have been eating them with a lot more enthusiasm when you take a little walk downstream.  Olive and Brown and straight black have been the best colors as of late, but we have also had a good worm bite over the last week as well.  Some of our more productive droppers have been caddis larva, black zebra midges, prince nymphs, purple lightning bugs, and darker baetis nymphs and emergers.  Just make sure that you have enough split shot on to get right on the bottom and you should get into fish.  There has been a good hatch of BWO’s in the early afternoon but we haven’t seen too much in the way of fish eating them with any consistency.  That said, it never hurts to throw a small purple haze when these little sailboats are on the water as we have seen fish eat dries in far worse visibility.  There have been good numbers of caddis and March Browns down by Ennis as well, but again it doesn’t seem like there is too much in the way of surface activity.

The streamer bite in the upper stretches has turned finally turned a corner over the last week, and we are starting to see more fish chasing along the edges.  With green water we tend to do best on black and olive patterns when the clouds roll in and sex dungeons, peanut envys, and silk kitties have all been getting it done recently.  If you find yourself fishing under bright skies, natural and yellow dungeons, olive/white CH Barely Legals, black & olive (silver body) double screamers, and white silk kitties are always a good option.  We are finding a lot of good fish tucked in close to the bank in areas that most people walk right by on their way to more obvious holding water, so if it looks fishy….fish it.

Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.