We feel that flows are important to list this time of the year as the fishing on the Madison River changes dramatically as these flows drop and the river comes in and out shape due to the snowmelt, rain, run off coming from the tributaries and of course Hebgen Dam. Pay attention to the weather and watch the flows, things have dropped quite a bit in a week’s time.
MADISON RIVER FLOWS
Below Hebgen- 458 cfs
Kirby- 999 cfs
Varney- 1840 cfs
Between the Lakes-
The Madison continues to pleasantly surprise us this season with water clarity improving each day, and bug life steadily on the rise. Intermittent storms from early on this week shifted water color a shade, but visibility has increased throughout the week. With Hebgen nearly full, we can expect flows to increase towards the end of this month and into July. The chilly morning temps have kept the river cold and things can sometimes start out slow, but a decent subsurface bite from late morning through the afternoon and evening can be expected. Aim for slow seams and pocket water with bullet quills, pheasant tail jigs, olive hare’s ear, or a Two bit stone. If the fish become weary of bigger nymphs during this transitional season of early summer, try downsizing your offerings. It would never hurt to throw a mini dungeon or white BFE up along the banks on the extra groggy days to try to hunt down an eager fish.
The wade section of the Madison should be taken advantage of after its continued improvement over the last couple weeks. Things are looking up and we are eagerly awaiting the explosion of dry fly action that is nearing the horizon. While we all anxiously await what’s yet to come, the streamer bite has been pretty hot most days up along deep cut banks and in slower pocket water. Natural or white colored streamers such as the mini dungeon, BFE, or bouface are all great patterns sure to gain the attention of hungry trout. Dead drifting these bigger flies have been proving to be almost as productive as stripping them in terms of retrieval styles. Tumbling a small sculpin pattern through pocket water could be a successful option as well, twitching through some deeper holes. Of course, nymphing is always a solid choice.
Nymphing is still the most effective choice for boating fish throughout the float section this week. Copper duracells, olive perdigons, cdc pheasant tails, and cocktail PT nymphs are all solid options to throw alone or under an #8-10 rubber legs. With more consistent weather conditions in the forecast, be crossing your fingers for some big bugs to pop up in the near future.