Over the past two seasons, most of us around these parts who row a driftboat for a living, were starting to wonder if the Madison River was in a slump. More guides were fishing the lakes, heading over to the Yellowstone below Gardiner, guiding the Henry;s Fork and fishing the wade stretch of the Madison. We all were asking ourselves if the big browns and 10-14 inch rainbows had left the river or maybe they had gone in to the deep holes unwilling to come out and rise. Some blame it on the Hebgen Dam construction (warm water coming off the top of the the lake and in to river) and some thought it was a cycle starting after the low flows of 2007. Personally, I think it is both. BUT, the Madison is back and fishing like a champ and should continue to fish like this all summer long. The tributaries are flowing hard and this cold water will help come August and Sept. I haven’t seen angling like this since 2007 and it really reminds me of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Hatching right now are: Salmonflies, Goldens, Yellow Sallies, PMDs, Green Drakes and a some midges.
If blind casting dry flies for 10-20+ inch trout sounds like fun, then you better get your ass out here this season. August and September should be killer as well. The flows on the Madison are high, but she is almost clear (blue-green) and long floats – Lyons to Mac or Windy to Story – are the norm. If you want to nymph em’ up in the A.M. and then switch to dries at lunch, so be it. The nymph bite is unreal as well. But when fish rise all day, I think you are wasting your time with the nymphs. The biggest concentration of Salmonflies is from Horse Creek to Ruby Creek.
Okay…..another talk on safety. Yesterday, at some point, there were some really big logs floating the river. Normally, by now, the big logs have floated down with the high water, and where these logs came from is anyone’s guess. Most likely, they have been floating in Quake Lake and finally hit the river. These logs are hung up on Wolf Creek Bridge and there is a boat pinned on Wolf Creek Bridge. The oarsmen new what he was doing, but did not see the 30 ft long 2 ft wide log hung up just under the surface on the Chain Slot. Fortunately, no body was hurt. This is a very dangerous situation for all who float the river. As of this morning, the only real safe spot to go under Wolf Creek Bridge is river left. Personally, I think the landowner who owns this bridge needs to build a new one. Both Sheltons and WC Bridge are really low and need to be raised up. I would like to raise hell with FWP & BLM and get something done about these low bridges. Who builds bridges over a river which don’t allow for boats to pass under? Pretty selfish if you ask me. If you got enough dough to own large sections of land along the Madison River, then buck up and build a bridge that the rest of poor folks can drift under and fish OUR river…..all year long.