…..you can shake a fish at.   This is an epic, all world year for snow and rain.  A friend of ours is skiing on Beartooth Pass today and she says there is atleast 16 feet of snow up there.   On and off rain today, but the sun is shining and the wind is cranking up as well.  More rain and cooler overnight temps are in the forecast for the next week. 

Will the Madison be clear during the first week of July, you ask?  Well……..shit, who knows at this point.  All we need is some clarity – a little green in the river – and she will fish just fine. 

Be prepared for a higher than normal Madison River for next several weeks – well into July, the river be running higher than normal.  Clarity will lead to consistent fishing.  Long floats will be the ticket as slowing the boat down will be next to impossible.  Getting under the bridges will be tight and most of the traffic will be above Lyons or below Palisades….depending on just about every variable known to man.  The West Fork of the Madison and Indian Creek are going to either make us or break us as far as float fishing is concerned.  Several years ago in early July, maybe 5 years ago, I remember fishing below McAtee Bridge for what seemed like an eternity.  We would float from Story Ditch to Ennis everyday, as the West Fork was blowing mud.  Once the river flowed for a while, the mud from the West Fork would fall out and the river was very sexy down to Ennis.  The most flies we lost in one day was 40……all stoneflies nymphs. 40 flies is a crazy amount of flies to loose in one day.  Flyshops love it….guides hate it. 

Be prepared to nymph when you come out in early July.  There could be some dry fly activity with caddis and stoneflies, but when that starts is anyones guess right now.  

Currently, the Madison below Quake has about 6-8 inches of visibility.  The fishing is day to day, but there have been some great opportunties for those who believe in the mud.  YES, you can catch fish in the muddy water.  Really, no bullshit, believe in it.  Fish the soft water and set the hook on everything.  I hooked what I though was a log about 4 days ago and when pointing the rod at the log to breakoff my flies, out jumped a huge 20 inch Brown Trout.  Upon landing it, with 8 lb Maxima, I noticed how nice of a trout it was with not one hook scar or line mark on it.  Go fishing and quit whining about the muddy water.

TIm W. fishes Salmonflies in the Firehole Canyon.