Madison River Report - June 29, 2023

Madison River Report - June 29, 2023
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 or rise due to snowmelt, rain, run off coming from the tributaries and of course Hebgen Dam.  Pay attention to the weather and watch the flows – this past week has seen a big jump in flows due to all the rain and the fact that Hebgen is now at full pond. Northwest Energy will now match outflows to inflows. 

MADISON RIVER FLOWS

Below Hebgen- 1130 cfs 
Kirby- 1500 cfs
Varney- 2120 cfs

BETWEEN THE LAKES- 

The Madison BTL has doubled in flows since our last report. Crossing the river will not be nearly as easy now so be careful in there!  Hebgen Lake is now at full pond and the river is running at more consistent flows for this time of the year. This could slow down the hatches for a couple days while things stabilize down Betwix.  Intermittent storms from early on this week shifted water color a shade, as Cabin Creek has gone off color a couple of times.  No need to worry, a little color in the river goes a long way when trying to fool a few trout. 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, rubber legs, or a Two bit stone. If the fish become weary of bigger nymphs try downsizing your flies, those fish do like to eat small nymphs when their bellies are full of stonefly nymphs.  It never hurts to throw a mini dungeon or white BFE up along the banks during those late afternoon thunder boomers. 

WADE SECTION- 

The wade section of the Madison has come into prime shape! With these bigger, more normal flows, the bank water and pocket water is very enticing. Trout have begun to look 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.  Look for hatches of caddis and PMD’s to begin this week, those trout love to snack on them in the pocket water of the wade stretch. 



FLOAT SECTION- 



Nymphing is still the most effective choice for boating fish throughout the float section this week, however, the dry fly game has begun.  Caddis and PMDs have made an appearance in the upper reaches of the Float Section.  The rise in river flows the past few days will put those hatches off, but that’s ok – we need the water.  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.  Big bugs have been spotted from Varney to Town, the bite hasn’t been crazy good just yet as those fish have been dining on salmonfly nymphs for the past couple of weeks.  Once they digest their protein shakes, look out, things good get really good down there, especially with the flow on the rise. The bank water throughout the float stretch is the place to concentrate your drifts – get in there tight, fish heavy tippet, believe in your drift and hang on.  We have a great selection of PMDs, Caddis and Salmonflies in the shop, so stop by and check them out!

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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.

Explore the Madison

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