Madison River Report 4/29/18

Quick report on the current state of the Madison. While many other area rivers are blown out, both the Upper and Lower Madison have been hanging tough these past few days and fishing has been decent. The river is up over 2400 CFS at Varney, 2000 at Kirby Ranch and just over 2000 in the Beartrap Canyon. It is still holding its green color though and fish can be caught. The West Fork and Indian Creek are contributing some mud to the Upper river. However all of the other Upper river tributaries above Palisades are running clear.


With cooler temps in the forecast for the next few days, we should be good through at least the end of the week. There is no doubt we are gonna see some big brown water, but it hasn’t really hit yet. As soon as we start seeing daytime highs in the mid 70’s to 80’s it will really let go.




Nymphing has been most productive the past few days on the Upper. Red and pink worms have been MVPs along with rubberleg stonefly nymphs coming in close behind. Pearl Zonkers and Sculpinators are also bringing some good fish. A variety of other nymphs will produce also: Prince, Hare’s Ear, P.T., Serendipity… Target the deep slow trenches and buckets, but don’t ignore the shallow riffles too.


The Lower Madison is in great shape. Cherry Ck. and Elk Ck. are bringing in muddy water, but the impact is still minimal until you are well below Black's Ford. Crayfish patterns and baetis nymphs have been producing off the weed beds in the middle. If that doesn’t work, try a big bunny streamer trailing a Caddis nymph. The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is just getting started too, so there should be some good dry fly days ahead this week.


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