Madison River Fly Fishing Report 5/23/16

by Jake Schilling May 23, 2016


Upper Madison

Rain and snow spike flows downstream of the West Fork up to 1,400cfs on Saturday, but as of now (5/23 PM) the river has dropped to a very fishy 1,100.  If you have time to sneak out of work this week, make a trip to the Upper.  Weather forecast for the week is in the 50's and rain everyday, as it generally is in May around here.  A warm afternoon this week should really get the bugs going, we're seeing limited hatches at the moment.  If you're just looking to fish dries, be patient and cover your favorite water well looking for heads, they're there.  #16-18 Purple Parachute, #18 Klinkhammer, #16 DOA Cripple, and #18 Sprout have been our best dries this week.  

Nymphing continues to be very reliable, the water coming out of Quake has been off-color, but in a good way.  That milky-green water keeps the fish a little closer to the banks and let's us fish with 3X.  Wait for clean flows before switching to 4x.  Top patterns sub-surface have been the #12 Golden Biot Stone, #16 Soft Hackle Hare's Ear, #16 Tng. Frenchie, #18 Black Crystal Dip, and #18 Flashback.  


Jumped to 3,500cfs Saturday, down to 2,500cfs today.  Although lowering, the whole river is dirty from Fan Creek downstream.  As this river comes into shape over the next month, be ready to get out there as the flows and visibility change throughout the day.  Until clear water is here, we're sticking with fishing #10 Sili Legs, #16 Lake Princes, #14 Nitro Caddis Pupas, and San Juans.  Per the norm, stick with the deepest, slowest slots off the bank.

Hegben Lake

Hard to drive by Hebgen on our way to the valley without swerving over the yellows lines.  We're all staring at the numbers of fish in the morning before the wind comes up.  If you have a inflatable life will be a little easier as the fish seem to be just out of reach from the bank.  Stop in or tie up a few #18 Midge-Caddis, #16-18 Purple Parachute, #14-16 Red Flash Chironomid, and #14-16 Peacock Chironomid.  


Yellowstone Park

Opens to fishing this Saturday, May 28th.  Expect both the Madison and Firehole to be fishing well, been noticing plenty of fish rising on my drives through the Park.  Always reliable early season Madison/Firehole flies are Soft Hackles, be sure to have a few #12 Partridge and Greens if the heads aren't up.  

Licenses are same price as the last 5 years; $40-Season, $25-week, and $18 for three days.  

Jake Schilling
Jake Schilling


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