Madison River Fishing Report for 5/13/2016

Dam: 671 cfs

Kirby: 1,040 cfs

Varney: 1,700 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  The fishing on the Upper Madison has been exceptional over the last week, and you will be hard-pressed to beat the nymph and streamer fishing that is taking place on the upper 12 miles right now.  Visibility is still around 20″-24″and the river is running at a murky green above the West Fork.  Once you get to Lyon’s Bridge, the West Fork is still putting in a pretty sizable stripe of brown mud on the left side of the river, which seems to be mixing somewhere between Windy and Palisades.  Downstream from Palisades expect to encounter 10″-12″ of visibility all the way down towards Ennis.  The nymph fishing is still good in the float section, but you might want to consider doing a shorter float where you can hop out of the boat and isolate water, as it can be tough for fish to find your flies in dirty water with just one pass through.  Pat’s rubber legs, san juan worms, and zonkers have all been good lead flies for fishing on the run, and some of our better droppers have been caddis larva, lightning bugs, and princes.

     If you are planning on hitting the wade section between Quake Lake and Lyon’s then you’ll want to stick with the nymph or streamer program as well.  Black, coffee/brown, and olive/brown rubber legs, olive hydropsyche larva, purple lightning bugs, tung. bruised baetis, Galloup’s BWO nymph, small princes, san juan worms, yellow sally nymphs, and $3 dips have all had their moments in the spotlight over the last 5 days and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.  We are still seeing good numbers of BWOs hatching around 1:30 in the afternoon, and there is still some decent dry fly activity to be had when you hit it right.  If you come across a pod of fish rising to duns, an #18 purple haze or parachute adams has been about all you need to pick them off.  With water levels dropping steadily over the last week, we are seeing fish back on the faster seams especially as water temperatures begin to rise during the afternoon.  As we said in the last fishing report, the two most common mistakes that separate a fair day from an excellent day of nymph fishing is not changing your depth and not changing your flies. Make sure you have enough split shot to get right on the bottom, and be sure to keep changing up your patterns until you find what they are looking for. 

The streamer bite throughout the upper 12 has been extremely productive as well.  When the clouds have settled in we have been doing best on olive and black dungeons, peanut envys, and black/olive double screamers with the gold body.  As soon as the sun hits the water, yellow dungeons and pearl necklaces, natural dungeons, olive/white barely legals, and olive boogie men have been the way to go.  We have been finding good numbers of browns stacked up in the slower water along the banks, and with the limited visibility they have plenty of water to hide in.  Just make sure to cover plenty of water and you should do well out there.  As always, please watch out for spawning redds when wading the river this time of year, and be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.