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Upper Madison, Above Ennis Lake: The recent trend in warm weather has kept the annual ice gorge from occurring. Basically the entire upper river is still accessible. Fishing has been steady for mid-winter with nymphing being the most reliable method of attack. Smaller stonefly nymphs like size 8-10 Pat’s rubber legs in brown or black trailed by a smaller midge larvae is a good place to start. Don’t sleep on the San Juan worm this time of year in either a red or pink and on the smaller side. Streamers are also still producing when moved at a slow twitch or even a drag through deeper holes. Smaller streamers have seemed to work best for me as of late. Size 6-8 wool head sculpins in olive or black, or the traditional wooly bugger in olive, black or brown should do the job. Remember, fish will be stacked up in the deeper slower runs right now. For the best shot at some surface activity, look to the upper wade section near Reynolds Bridge for the most consistent midge hatches. Griffith’s gnats and grizzly midge clusters in sizes 20-22 are a necessity.
Lower Madison, Below Ennis Lake: Flows on the Lower Madison have been up a few hundred cfs recently. This can take a toll on the fishing. Flows should level out and remain fairly steady by the weekend, and fishing should rebound well. Again, nymphing is likely the most consistent style of fishing. Cray fish patterns like Yuk bugs and smaller stonefly patterns like a pat’s rubber legs and larger bead head princes followed by an egg, worm, or midge larvae have all been producing recently. Small sculpin and leach patterns have also turned a few heads while moved slowly through deeper runs. There have been lots of midges hatching in the bear trap over the last few weeks, so keep an eye out for heads and have some midge clusters and gnats in 20-22 handy.
-January 17, 2015 River Flows-
Hebgen Outflow 994 cfs
Kirby-WestFork Bridge 914 cfs
Beartrap Canyon 1,460 cfs
Stay tuned for continuing River updates!
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