Madison River Fishing Report for June 2nd, 2018

Dam: 2,340 cfs

Kirby: 3,070 cfs

Varney: 4,550 cfs

The Upper Madison continues to hold its own in some of the biggest water we’ve seen in the last seven years.  Most of the river is blown out a mile or so below Lyon’s Bridge, and while you can certainly catch some fish in the channels around Ennis as we would still recommend heading up river and targeting the wade section between Quake and Lyon’s.  The flush that was planned to last three days turned into week due to all the water coming into the lake, but it looks like they might be slowly starting to drop the flows out of Hebgen over the course of the next week or two.  That said, we are still going to have a bunch of water for the remainder of the month but I doubt it will get back to 3,500 at Kirby again.  Visibility has improved over the weekend, and we are now sitting at 18″ above the West Fork.

Not much has changed in terms of fly selection since our last report, and the nymph and streamer bite continues to be good to excellent depending on the day.  San Juan Worms and Pat’s Rubber Legs are still working well out there in addition to a number of smaller patterns such as zebra midges, hare’s ears, $3 Dips, caddis larva, purple lightning bugs, and caddis pupa.   As long as you can find some soft water along the edges you can rest assured that it will hold fish…finding out what they want is all up to you as the menu has been changing a little bit every day.  As a general rule of thumb, if you make 30 good drifts in a likely piece of holding water without a tug you will are probably showing them something that they are not interested in.  Just keep changing up your flies until your crack the code and make sure you have enough split shot to be ticking bottom.  It’s as simple as that.  We are also starting to see good numbers of caddis hatching during the afternoon, and with the recent improvement in clarity it is very possible that we will have some good dry fly fishing out there.  Darker colored caddis adults like missing links and peacock caddis will be your best bet, and if you can’t get them to look up during the hatch we have been doing very well with a standard Hare’s Ear & Partridge Soft Hackle below the surface.

Streamer fishing has still been good along the banks especially in the afternoons and evenings, and it seems like the larger patterns are still the way to go in this big water.  Sex Dungeons, Boogie Men, Silk Kitties, and Barely Legals have been some of our better patterns, and they were really on the olive and black bite when we had the heavy cloud cover and rain last week.  As the clouds begin to dissolve into the week ahead, look for natural, yellow, and white to be the color of choice in bright sun and make sure to cover every inch of holding water out there.

On a final note, if you feel like floating the Upper Madison right now you will want to stay away from Lyon’s to Palisades.  Both the Sun West and Wolf Creek Bridges are extremely dangerous to float under, and this is not the time you want to flip a boat on the Madison.  Everything is good to go below Pal, but we would suggest sticking to the upper river above Lyon’s if you are looking for the best fishing at the moment.  Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.