Good morning and happy Friday, Madison Valley! The weather here in Ennis has been unseasonably warm as of late. Current weather forecasts predict balmy temperatures with a potential high of 56°F arriving on Thursday the 24th. Water temperatures have been fluctuating between 32.3°F and 41.5°F since March 11th. The river has maintained a consistent flow between 700-800 CFS over the course of the last week. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping!
Spring fever is in full swing and we’re receiving a boatload of questions regarding the current conditions of various boat ramps on the Upper Madison. As of March 18th, you can put a boat in at Lyons, Windy, Ruby, McAttee, Varney, and Eight Mile. Palisades has a gnarly snow drift that’s best to avoid. Storey Ditch had a hefty ice shelf as of the 16th, so it’s possible that the ramp is ready to go. Lyons is currently snow packed but with a bit of will power you can back your boat down and drag it over the snow. Please do not take the east channel if you choose to put in at Varney, you will not be able to get to your vehicle. The conditions of our boat ramps can change drastically over a short period of time. Please exercise great caution when deciding to float this time of year.
We’ve had some awesome days of fishing this week when Mr. W decided to stay under 40MPH. Nymphs, streamers, dries, you name it! Here’s a quick gander at what’s been working on the Upper Madison.
Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs in Black, Coffee and Olive (#4 - #12), Globug in Orange, Yellow and Cream (#14 - #18), Micro Spawn Egg in Clown, Orange and Cheese (#14 - 18), Y2K Egg in Orange and Pink (#14 - #18), Frenchie Orange (#14 - #18), Zebra Midge in Black, Red and Olive (#18 - #22).
The streamer bite has been getting hotter by the day. Don’t be afraid to tie on some meat as the weather temps continue to rise! Here are my favorite streamers this week: CH Pine Squirrel Leech Black (#8 - #10), Dungeon in Black and White (#2), Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow JJ (#4), Delektable Single Screamer Black (#6).
Expect some epic surface midge fishing in the following weeks. I like switching over to 4X-5X leader and tippet when throwing spring dry flies. I’ve had success on these dry flies this week: Adams (#16 - #20), Griffith’s Gnat (#16 - #22), Renegade (#14 - #20), RS2 (#18 - #20).
With all that being said, get out there and have some fun. Check the forecast and pick a day that works for you and go catch some fish! Please give us a call for local weather or gorge updates. Tight Lines and Pray for Snow! Looking for some fly tying material to create these patterns? Check out our fly tying collection online or stop by the shop! As temperatures turn frigid, continue to practice your best fish handling techniques. Take advantage of the low foot traffic on the river and get out there to fish! 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.
- MRFC Guide Danny Eiden