The parking lot at Varney Bridge was almost empty, except for a couple trailers from upstream which pulled in as we rigged the boat. Once Drew and I slid under the bridge, there wasn’t another boat in sight all day long. Not one. Ofcourse it was a Wednesday and if this had been a weekend, with weather like this, there would have been more anglers. The wind was absent in the morning, but it did manage to blow on and off all day long. With flows at 1310 cfs, the Madison is in fantastic shape for floaters. The Deville maneuvered easily through the shallow channels, not always the case in April.
Rubber legged stoneflies were the ticket yesterday, as was the firebead worm. We fished midge pupa and egg patterns, but nothing came close to catching as many fish as the rubber and worm combo. The firebead worm has been a good producer for several years. My first experience with this worm variation came while fishing with Greg Falls on the Missouri River five years ago. The firebead gives the impression of an egg, so why not add that to a worm pattern? It works, really well.
The river started out at 38 degrees and by 3 pm it had climbed to 42 degrees. We didn’t see any BWO or March Browns, but midges popped pretty good around 2ish. The constant breeze didn’t allow us to find much for rising fish in the back channels of the Madison River. These channels are flowing heavy and are much deeped than one might expect. Can you float them? Not really. Park the boat and get out. Some of these channels are home to spawning rainbows, so watch where you wade and don’t pick on them.
We had much better angling from the boat, than we did wade fishing or anchoring up for a few more drifts. Spring angling normally has us fishing the deep runs with multiple drifts through the slow and deep. We found fish everywhere yesterday – banks, riffles, pools…… the green buckets were more productive, with the drop offs and deep seems being the most consistent. All in all a great day. Probably is today too.