Madison River Fishing Report for May 26th, 2016

Dam: 722 cfs

Kirby: 1,080 cfs

Varney: 1,910 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  Despite an ever changing set of storm fronts moving in and out of the region over the last week, the Upper Madison continues to fish extremely well in the wade section between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge.  Crowds have been fairly low on the weekdays, but expect to have some company around on Saturdays and Sundays especially if the sun is out.  Visibility has also been in a constant state of flux, but for the most part you can expect to see roughly 16″ of green water (give or take a couple of inches) if you decide to head over this way. Cabin and Beaver Creeks, as well as the West Fork of the Madison are still putting in a good amount of dirty water, but not nearly what we saw a few days ago.  The mud line from the West Fork above Lyon’s Bridge doesn’t seem to be mixing until just after Palisades, so you can still find some decent visibility from Lyons to Pal right now. Nymphs and streamers are still the name of the game, but you will also have a chance at some good dry fly fishing between noon and 3:00 p.m. if the wind isn’t ripping the BWOs off the surface film.  If you do find rising fish sipping on baetis, then a #18 purple haze, tilt wing dun, or floating nymph has been about all you need aside from a good drift to get into them.  As far as effective nymph patterns are concerned, we are still doing best on red and pink san juan worms, pat’s rubber legs, small prince nymphs, #16-18 hydropsyche caddis larva, bwo nymphs, #18 BWO Barr’s emergers, and zebra midges.  As always, make sure to keep changing up your flies until you figure out what they are eating on that particular day, as they seem to be changing up quite a bit with all the available food sources in the river right now.  The one true constant seems to be BWO nymphs and emergers between 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., and that shouldn’t change for at least a couple more weeks.

Streamer fishing has remained excellent throughout the wade stretch, and while the float section has had its moments, it will be hard to beat the consistency that we are seeing up high.  Boogie Men and Sex Dungeons in black, olive, and yellow have been the hot patterns this week, with envys, pecs, barely legals, and silk kitties not far behind.  We are still finding most of our good browns tight to the bank, but we have also seen some great fish come out of pockets a good ways out, so make sure to cover all the likely holding areas and keep changing up your colors and profiles and you should do well out there.  Also worth noting is that we seem to be eliciting more of a response on a faster retrieve over the last few days, especially as water temps start to climb into the high forties and low fifties during the afternoon hours. 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.