Madison River Fishing Report - Early May

May 2021
Updated 5/13/2021

Starting to feel a bit like summer here in the Madison Valley. The weather is starting to warm up and the bugs are hatching. Flows still remain low(~920 CFS near Cameron) but the fishing has been consistent.   Expect to see rising flows in the next week or two as run off is creeping up on us.

The caddis hatch on the upper has been getting thicker and thicker by the day. Still some march brownsskwalas and BWOs in the mix as well. Per usual the most productive caddis fishing has been in evenings. The last 2-3 hours of daylight being the most productive. Peacock caddis, Mercer’s Missing Link and X Caddis is sizes #14 and #16 have been out favorite fly choices as of recent. The upper wade stretch has still been producing some great dry fly activity as well. Fish your favorite #18-20 midge or BWO pattern in the rock slicks and soft banks and you will be rewarded.

Nymph wise we have been throwing a lot of stonefly and caddis imitations. Size #8-10 girdle bugtwenty incher stone and hares ear nymphs have been working great as a lead fly. Trail those stoneflies with a #16-18 olive sparkle pupa or green frenchie and you will be in good shape. With the flows forecasted to increase here in the near future don’t be afraid to tie on a red or pink squirmy wormy.

The streamer fishing as been good but fairly inconsistent. The guys sticking with the streamer game have been picking up some good fish but it is not as productive as the dry fly and nymph fishing. Smaller streamer patterns such as zonkerssculpzillasbuggers, and Sheila sculpins have been working best. Expect to see the streamer fishing pick up as we start seeing warmer weather and rising flows.

That’s all for this weeks fishing report. Remember you can always swing by the shop or give us a call for a more up to date fishing report. Tight lines!

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 John Kelley