Current Madison River flows:
VISIBILITY ~ Good
The Upper Madison River is closed from Quake Lake downstream to Mcatee Bridge Fishing Access Site and also from Ennis Bridge (FAS) to Ennis Lake until the general season opener on the Saturday May 17th.
The stretches that are open to fishing on the Madison River are from Hebgen Dam to Quake Lake and Mcatee Bridge FAS to Ennis Bridge. The upper Madison is mostly slush and ice so your best bet for winter fly fishing right now are between Hebgen Dam and Quake Lake.
TACTICS & PATTERNS : Nymphing a two fly rig will be your most productive method. Stone fly patterns like the Pat’s Rubber-Legged Stone in black or brown #10-6 are a great first fly choice. Midge larva patterns like Zebra midges in black red or purple #14-18 Brassies in red and baetis are all good dropper choices. San Juan Worms in red or burgundy #14-10.
DRY FLIES ~ There are some fish rising to midges, look for risers in softer water behind rocks and along inside edges and back eddy’s. Try a Parachute Adams or Griffith’s Gnat #14-18. Tie a dropper off the bend of the hook with an emerger, Zebra Midge or Beadhead Pheasant Tail #14-18 15″ below your dry fly.
STREAMERS ~ Streamer bite is still a little chilly. As water temps rise above 40 degrees we can expect the streamer fishing to improve. Try a slow strip and pause retrieve or dead drifting your streamer. I like sculpin patterns like The Mini-Loop in olive or natural or a Zonker in natural/pearl #10-4. Kelly Galloup’s Boogie man and Sex Dungeon’s are also good Madison River streamer patterns.
TIPS ~ Be aware of winter fishing hazards like rapid weather changes, drifting ice and ice shelf’s. Be prepared with appropriate winter fishing clothing. If you have studded boots or cleats…where them! The rainbow’s are starting to spawn so if you see patches of bright gravel, watch you step and PLEASE stay clear!