Madison River
Fishing Report

Updated weekly by our team in Ennis.

May 17th, 2019

Stream flows have been increasing everyday this week with the Upper Madison reaching 3000-CFS at Varney Bridge. Up nearly 1000-CFS at Varney bridge from last week. Water clarity degrades as you move closer to Ennis, but the fish are still eating. The West Fork of the Madison has been pushing in quite a bit of silt and mud from run off. Despite the run off, water clarity is pretty good as the two flows don't start to mix until you get down to Palisades boat launch. Fishing has been spectacular recently through this section.

Expect to see plenty of caddis hatching on the upper and lower Madison with the Mother’s Day Hatch in full effect. Fish have not been going crazy for dry flies yet, but the nymph and streamer action has been solid.

With warming water temperatures the fish are starting to become more lively, holding in faster deeper water, also expect fish to be hugged up on the banks, so wade gingerly. Along with the liveliness of the fish they are starting to chase food, we have had good luck in the past few days stripping and drifting streamers.

Nymphing is still a very productive tactic and a great way to pick up some of the more reserved fish in the deeper pockets and eddies. Lately on the Upper Madison there has been a plethora of skwala crawling on the banks, and large dark colored stone flies have been very effective.

Here are some hot flies from the week, stop by the shop for more information!


Mega Prince #6, Black Tungsten Head Stonefly #6, Hot Pink San Juan Worm #12, Jig Yellow Spot #16, Green Caddis Emerger  #16/18

Dry Flies

Skwala Chubby  #8, Peacock Caddis #16/18, Guide Chute Adams #12


Black/Olive CH Wooly Bugger, Kreelex, Black Zonker, Olive Peanut Envy, Sex Dungeon

Keep tabs on the Madison and Ruby River flows with USGS graphs updated daily.

Photo of the Week

Landing It!

Guide Brian Rosenberg lands a beautiful rainbow on Quake Lake.

Photo by Ed Coyle Photography. Instagram | Facebook

Popular Madison River Fly Patterns


Purple Hze #12-16
Chubby Chernobyl #6-1
Stimulator #10-16
Royal Trude #12-16
Elk Hair Caddis #12-18
Blue Wing Olive #16-22
Pale Morning Dun #12-16
Griffiths Gnat #18-24
Morrish Hopper #6-12
Turk's Power Ant #12-14

Chubby's #8-12
Yeager's Ant #14-16
Dorman's Water Walker #6-12 
Mini Water Walkers # 14-16 
Chubbyness #14-16 
Hopper Stone #8-10
Henry's Fork Stone #4-10 


BH Pheasant Tail #12-22
BH Hare's Ear #10-20
BH Prince Nymph #12-16
Pat's Rubber Legs #4-14
Serendipity #12-18
Psycho Prince #10-16
San Juan Worms #6-12

Jig Flash Back Pheasant Tail #12-16
Jig Prince #12-16
3 Dollar Dips #16-18
Deleckta Mega Prince #6-10
Deleckta Lil-Spanker #12-16
CDC Baetis Emerger #16-18


Wooly Buggers #2-10 black, brown, olive
Zonker #2-6 Natural 
Sculpzilla #4-6
Trevor's Sculpin #4
Double Bunny #2-6

Silver Bullet #6
Sparkle Minnow #6
Barley Legal #6
Mini Loop Sculpin #6