Productive spring fishing is still in full swing on the Madison! Flows remain low - between 900 and 1100 CFS - but the water has started to take on just a bit of color, which is still working to our advantage.
The caddis have worked their way up from the lower and are hatching in notable numbers in the evenings around town and in the channels on the upper. Try a #14 Peacock Caddis to match the hatch. A large Parachute Adams or Hot Spot Para-Wulff, size 12/14 is also a top competitor with the March Browns that are coming onto the scene. Some of the best subsurface flies to fish right now are Mega Princes, Hares Ears, Yellow Spots, Perdigons, and midges. We are still finding the most trout concentrated in deeper pools, so make sure you're getting your nymphs down there with the appropriate amount of weight.
With a relatively warm week forecasted ahead of us, it's looking like we might be headed into the beginning of runoff over the next couple of weeks. Luckily for us, the Madison tends to produce hungry trout throughout runoff, primarily taking the bait on nymphs. Size 8/10 Pat's Rubber Legs, worms, and bright attractor nymphs like the Psycho Prince and Lightning Bug should pull some fish out of even the muddiest waters in the coming weeks. When the water starts to rise and clarity decreases, it’s not a bad time to start throwing streamers to the banks. Try something a little flashy to catch their eye, like a Sparkle Minnow or a Zonker.
All access points are now open on the upper, and fishing has been consistent from Ennis all the way up to the lakes. The bite is on and the crowds have yet to arrive - let's get out there and take advantage of it while it lasts!
PSA: Remember that Rainbow Trout are spawning right now on the
Madison, and in all of our area rivers and streams. Please look out for Redds in the shallow gravel and avoid walking through them. Let's all be good stewards and good neighbors!!
- MRFC Guide Mariah Kalmon