Madison River Fishing Report for June 20th, 2018
Dam: 2,510 cfs
Kirby: 2,990 cfs
Varney: 3,710 cfs
NorthWestern Energy had been holding flows back last week in order to fill up Hebgen and with all the rain we received it got to full pool in a hurry. With a full lake and a lot more water coming into it than they were letting out, it was time to bring up the flows in a big way and we are back to almost 3,000 cfs at the Kirby Gauge. Nobody knows when they will start to bring the water down, but our best guess is that it will start to drop over the weekend.
Fishing in the upper stretches remains good to excellent, and we were surprised how many fish were still looking to eat today after such a rise. Nymphs and streamers are still the name of the game and will continue to be so until we start to see the river drop once again. We are still doing best on smaller nymphs in the upper wade section between Quake and Lyon’s, and while you can definitely get them to eat a rubber leg or worm right now the caddis and baetis game has really been where its at. Green and olive caddis larva in the #12-18 range have been on the menu over the last several weeks and basic pupa imitations like soft hackles have been getting it done during the afternoon emergence. If you head out earlier in the morning, we are still doing well on midge larva such as zebra midges and other small attractors. The float section has been a different story though, and we have been picking up fish on larger patterns such as rubber legs and worm imitations with far greater consistency. If you do decide to float, you’ll want to stay away from Lyon’s to Palisades until flows start to drop below 2,800 cfs as Sun West and Wolf Creek Bridges are still way to dangerous to float under right now. If you have a high side boat you may want to wait until it’s more like 2,500 cfs.
Streamer fishing has been good over the last week as well and we had some good days in the upper float sections between Lyons and McAtee on a variety of articulated patterns. We’ve also had some good reports rolling in from people in the wade section as well, and Peanut Envys, Mini CH T&A’s, Double Screamers, Sex Dungeons, and Boogie Men seem to be some of the better streamers for us as of late.
As far as Salmonflies are concerned….the banks are lined with nymphs staged up for the big dance and we should see our first big emergence down by Ennis as soon as the water begins to drop. Our best guess is that it will happen by next week, and we will keep you posted as soon as we see the first adult. Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn,