Our prayers have been answered as we have been blessed with another push of winter weather. This last weekend provided us with not only some stellar skiing, but some great fishing as well. Our snowpack bumped up to 86% which is a 4% increase from last week. Although this increase is great to see, we are not out of the woods yet. Flows out of Hebgen Lake have taken a slight bump up to 640 CFS and Cameron is flowing around 779 CFS.
Nymphing still remains the most productive technique on the Upper Madison. Be prepared to cover some ground when wading the Upper as we still are experiencing low flows. Rainbows are still actively spawning so please be mindful of where you are both wading and fishing. Holes are few and far between, but the fish are confined to the deeper holes more towards the middle of the river. The dry fly fishing has been decent with good hatches of BWO’s and midges most days. I would expect the dry fly bite to pick up in the next few days as we should start to see some March Browns and maybe even a few Caddis. Streamer fishing has probably been the least productive the last few days but we’re still seeing some good fish being caught on the strip. I recommend dredging or slow stripping natural sculpin patterns like a Trevor or Mini Loop for best results. With some overcast weather in this week’s forecast, I would expect the streamer fishing to pick up.
Mega Prince (#6-8), Black and Olive Rubber Legs (#8), Spanish Bullet Perdigon (#16), Red or Pink San Juan Worm, Olive Serendipity (#16-18), Jiggy Micro May Olive or Red (#18) and Bizzaro Jerry Stone (#12)
Give us a call or stop by the shop to figure out what section of the river makes the most sense for you to spend time on. Water levels are grim so there may be a clear answer depending on your circumstances. With all that being said, get out there and have some fun. Check the forecast and pick a day that works for you to go catch some fish!
Looking for some fly tying material to create these patterns? Check out our fly tying collection online or stop by the shop! As temperatures warm up, continue to practice your best fish handling techniques. Avoid fish pictures for the gram whenever possible so that we can continue to have healthy fish populations for years to come. Give our Cold Weather Gear collection a gander to ensure that you’ve got the proper warmth to maximize your time out on the water. Tight lines, pray for snow and Go Wild!
- MRFC Guide John Kelley