Madison River Report - June 20, 2024

Madison River Report - June 20, 2024

Madison River Flows:

Flows at the Dam dropped this week, even after that snow storm which passed through a few nights ago.  Hebgen Lake is now 3 inches from full pond and gaining quickly. Here soon, any water that is coming into Hebgen will be matched at the outflow. We are hoping to see a little bump in flows in the coming week or so, which would line up nicely with how things are shaping up throughout the valley. 

Below Hebgen: 806 cfs

Kirby: 1060 cfs

Varney: 1730 cfs

 

Between the Lakes

Fishing below Hebgen has been pretty solid subsurface. Not to much going on with regards to hatches just yet, but things are not far away at all.  Cabin and Beaver Creeks still have a tint to them and are running high.  For those curious about what the fish are eating, well read on -  Rubber Legs, Thin Mint or Bouface Leech trailed with smaller nymphs (BH Shop Vacs, Bullet Quill style Jigs, BH Serendipities, Roza's Pink Hare's Ear, 101 Stones, red SJW).  If the big fly up top is not working that well, size down your top bug and fish smaller flies like #14 Frenchie, AZ Hare's Ear, PTs, Serendipites and the like. 

Wade Section

Things are on the cusp of getting really good below Quake Lake.  The morning might start off a little slow as the water temps are still chilly - 50 Degrees or so.  But that should change quickly once the sun gets on the water, by 3pm or so the water temp is hitting 59-60 degrees.  Even though the flows have dropped down, those bigger fish can still be tucked up tight to the banks - short leashing a couple of nymphs or fishing a chubby and a long dropper is a great way to cover the water. Flies that we suggest for the wade section are - Hare&Copper, Arizona Hares Ear, Jig Pheasant Tail, Red Neck, Hoover Black, SJW or 101 Stone.  The Madison still has a touch of color to it, but don't be afraid to fish smaller nymphs like Bullet Quills, Jig Napoleans or Pheasant Tails.  Medium-sized stones flies and Pat's Rubber legs will produce as the bigger nymphs are moving around.  Even though the flows have dropped down slightly, put extra consideration into wading cautiously during runoff.  This is not the time of the year to go for a swim, tighten up that waist belt folks and wear felt boots or studs. 

Float Section

Even with the recent snowstorm this week, the West Fork has cleared up considerably and the left bank below Lyon Bridge is more than fishable. The mornings could be a little slow this time of the year in the float stretch due to chilly water temps and the sheer number of cold tributaries in the upper section from Lyons to Palisades that are flowing hard.  

Nymph fishing with a Rubber Legs, 101 Stone, or Thin Mint followed up with smaller beadheads like a AZ Hare's Ear, Red Neck, Hare&Copper, Shopvac, soft hackle Hare's Ear, various Perdigons should produce some good fishing.  It's a great time of the year to fish with heavier tippet to both flies, there are plenty of beaver sticks on the banks in June during runoff and it's pretty easy to run through a puck flies.  Now that the river is starting to clear, we suggest 2x or 3X for the top fly and 3X for the smaller bottom flies.  Getting em' on the run is now much easier since the flows dropped.  Don't forget those streamers this time of year either, the morning is a great time to strip. Those better quality fish are tucked up tight to the edges of the river, and can be more than willing to crush a big meal that swims by them on the right day. Mini Dungeons, BFE’s, Swing Delights (come by the shop and check this streamer out), Sculpin Snacks or a #6 Thin Mint are all great options.

After lunch, be on the look out for some bug activity. Here soon, the caddis will begin hatching and the river will liven up quite a bit.  We have a bunch of great caddis dry flies in the shop this year, swing by and check em' out.  Chubbinators, Center Stage Caddis, Missing Link, Arrick's X-Caddis, Arrick's Iris Caddis and Baltz's Iron X Caddis are in the bins. Big Bugs have NOT started, maybe a week? Maybe 10 days? Who knows really...it's too early to discuss. 

The Madison is shaping up for a wonderful season, and there’s some great fishing yet ahead! 

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the Mighty

Madison River

Perhaps the most prominent fishing destination in the area, the Madison River is also one of the most diverse fisheries in the western US, with multiple sections split based on geography and topography.

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