- Hebgen 705 cfs
- Kirby 1,030 cfs
- Varney 1,680 cfs
- Good at 2-3 feet
The Upper Madison River has a slight green color but is continuing to drop and clear every day after it’s peak flow on May 31st at 5,610 cfs at Varney Bridge (FAS) Fishing Access Site.The Upper Madison River from Quake Lake downstream to Ennis Lake is fishing as good as it gets! The Pteronarcys Califonica or Giant Salmon Fly nymphs are on the move and very active as they migrate towards the river’s banks in getting ready for their annual hatch and the fish are ng fo them.
TACTICS & PATTERNS:
We are seeing adult Salmon Flies between Varney Bridge (FAS) and Ennis (FAS) and the fish are looking up for them’ The hatch will progress upriver quickly. The dry/dropper fishing has been quite effective but we’re getting some trout to at the big dry! There are also caddis and PMDS’ hatching in the afternoon’s and you’ll find big fish eating them along foam lines, inside edges and in the slicks behind big rock’s.
- Try a Turner’s Bank Robber, Rogue River Stone Fly, Carnage Stone, Chubby Chernobyl, Gypsy King, Kyle’s King Kong Salmon, MacSalmon or Improved Sofa Pillow in size #4-6.
- Add a size #8 Pat’s Stone as a dropper under your Salmon Fly dry fly pattern.
- Try a Goddard Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis or X-Caddis tan, brown or peacock in a size #10-12
- For PMD’s try a Parachute PMD or Sparkle Dun in size # 14.
The streamer game has picked up as water conditions have improved.
- Try a Mini-Loop Sculpin, Zonker in Natural, Copper, or Stalcup’s Flash Fry in natural or olive size # 2-6, Big Gulp Sculpin inOlive Brown or Black Crystal Bugger in size # 4-8.
- Try dead drifting your streamer under an indicator if the fish aren’t willing to make chase.
- Add a beadhead nymph dropper or smaller streamer pattern if you’re getting short strikes.
- For a more complete list check out my Top 10 Streamers for SW Montana.
Dead drifting one or two flies under a strike indicator is very productive. Large numbers of Pterynarcis (Salmon Fly) nymphs are migrating towards the bank as they prepare to hatch so expect trout to follow. Target hard edges, deep buckets and let your Stone fly nymph swing at the end of your drift, as this often brings more strike’s than dead drift alone.
- Try a Bitch Creek, Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone, in black brown, or Chocolate Trout Retriever in black or brown size # 4-6.
- Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Spankers, Prince Nymphs, San Juan Worms in red, wine or pink size # 6-10 are all good dropper choice’s.
A large log jam with two large root balls in the center channel remains just below the “ Mouse Hole” a mile above Eight Mile Ford (FAS) that is impassable. Use either side channel immediately upstream of the log jam, or the east channel if you’re floating below Eight Mile Ford (FAS).
For more information on The Madison River, Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on the Madison River please contact Fishtales Outfitting. Check out our Montana Fly Fishing packages.