Flows – 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 and run off coming from the tributaries. Pay attention to the weather and watch the flows.
Below Hebgen – 1250 CFS
At Kirby – 2000 CFS
Varney – 3300 CFS
Between the Lakes
Cabin Creek will continue to run off, and the right bank will have some color to it for the foreseeable future, but the end is in sight. So stay tuned for updates as the snowpack in Carrot Basin approaches zero. The river temps below Hebgen Dam have been hovering from 42 - 52 degrees this week now that we had experienced some sunshine. More rain though is in the forecast so expect the river to stay cooler and for Cabin Creek to pump in more color. Fishing down below the dam has been pretty decent, with the cooler morning expect the fishing to start slow and then get better as the river warms up. Rubber leg stones, SJW, epoxy back stone flies, Two bit stone, pheasant tails, jigs and caddis pupa will work well in the slower softer water near the banks and around the rock piles. For those who want to fish streamers, BFE on a floating line is hard to beat this time of the year. This fly gets down quickly and has a great profile. Fish the pocket water, slow seams below the islands and the banks, we like to cover a lot of water over the course of stream fishing. Beaver creek is on the gray side of things but stay tuned as that can change with any afternoon rain shower.
Wade Stretch below Quake Lake
For the time being, the river below Quake lake is green! This could change if Cabin and Beaver Creeks blow out again (highly likely). The river has been dropping quite a bit since last week and the bank water is looking pretty juicy. Be extra careful wading the river right now as the flows are still pushy and the inexperienced wade fisher could easy be knocked off course. Find the slower moving, softer seams around the rock piles and fish the gravel bar edges where they drop back into the main channel. Rubber leg stones, SJW, epoxy back stone flies, Two bit stone, pheasant tails, jigs and caddis pupa will work well in all the likely places. Stepping down a fly size or two and fishing two smaller nymphs with some split shot is always worth it if the fish aren’t eating your rubber legs and SJW! You could easily see some blue winged olives right now and with the river on the green side of things, fishing a BWO dry in the slicks just might happen.
The Madison is cranking right along the further one gets from Lyon Bridge. Just upstream, the West Fork of the Madison is dumping in a hard line of mud on the left bank. Down around Windy Point it mixes in pretty well but the left bank is still really muddy. We stay away from the float stretch this time of the year until the flows drop down, getting those flies tight to banks requires a ton of skill, a bit of luck and anglers only get one shot from the boat as the river running fast. There are lots of snags along the banks and the float stretch of the Madison is a great place to lose a bunch of flies! Stay tuned as the best part of the season on the Madison is yet to come!