Midgie-Streamer weather right now. Its pretty chilly with some snow flurries - feeling a bit more like winter than spring.
Please take a look at the image below from the Henry's Fork Foundation. We should start seeing a bunch of rainbow redds in the coming weeks. Many have been reported already. It is difficult to identify them on the Madison because it is one giant riffle with a tremendous amount of variation in current, depth and substrate. They are most commonly found in water that is 1-2 feet deep. If you are wading through these areas, please be careful. Wade anglers put our next generation of trout at risk and it is up to us to be mindful of our actions to support a successful spawn. Just remember that the trout in the Madison River are nearly impossible to see. If see something that at all resembles a redd, it is best to play it safe and walk around, even if you don't see any fish on it. Thank you!
I'm going to keep this report pretty short here because it's Monday morning and I'd rather be fishing.
We fished yesterday. Started the morning off throwing a streamer in 30 MPH gusts of wind. Not too much fun to cast, but they were all over it. An olive Sculpzilla seemed to be the ticket for some really nice brown trout and plenty of chromed up bows. For myself, the more natural sculpin patterns have been working better than the articulated white that worked well last week.
We eventually switch to nymphs and the fishing was ridiculous. At one point I concluded that it didn't matter what nymph I had on, they just ate it. The key is finding the fish. They seem to be stacked up in one place and completely absent in another. You can expect short periods of hot fishing before they shut off for a bit and then turn right back on.
There are no guarantees in fly fishing, but there is a pretty good chance at a fish or two right now. A lot of pressure is being put on the lower portion of the Upper Madison, but equally productive fishing has been reported up river. One key tip right now is to avoid the main current. The flows are up and fishing in the current becomes exhausting. Find the tail outs and slow, deep runs. Fish that with plenty of weight and change that bottom fly out until you find something they like.
In shop news, we just finished putting all the new fly patterns out. They are a sight to behold so come check 'em out.
Flies: All Colors Pats Rubber Leg #6, #8 - Red/Black Zebra Midge #18, #20 - 3dollar Dip #18 - Red San Juan Worm – Midge Cluster #18, #20 – Goober Midge #18, #20 – Peanut Envy - Silk Kitty - Cheech Leach – Sculpzilla - Woolly Bugger - Sucker Spawn Eggs
We also still have Smith Sunglasses on sale for 50% off. The consensus here is that the Frontman frame with ChromaPop bronze mirror lenses are the best option for the upper Madison. Stop by to try a pair on!