Jake's favorite flies for spring fishing on the Upper Madison River

by Jake Schilling February 26, 2020

By Jake Schilling - March 2020

Spring Fly Fishing On The Upper Madison River

Upper Madison River Spring Flies

While our nighttime temps in West Yellowstone have still been cold (-25) at times, the bluebird days have been getting close to 35 degrees, heatwave!  The warmer weather has got all of us excited for late winter/early spring season fishing.   

The wade fishing has been pretty darn good with all the quality midge hatches, but we haven't done much floating yet.  Soon enough our days off will be spent floating somewhere between Varney Bridge and Ennis Lake. Below are a few of my favorite spring flies for the Upper Madison that you can start to count on as the water warms up the next 3 months.  Time to tie a few or stop by the fly shop!


#16-20 Parachutes (Purple, Adams, Rusty)

#18 Zelon Midge

#18 Sparkle Dun

#18-20 Calfwing Spinner

#16-#18 Front End Loader

#18 Hazy Cripple

#14 Royal Chubby

#17 CDC & Elk Hair Caddis 



#14 Red Tag Jig

#14-16 Frenchie

#18 Lightning Bug

#12 Biot Czech Stone

#10 Jig Bugger

#14-16 Rainbow Warrior

#14 Olive Biot

#10-14 Olive Hare's Ear


Streamers/Soft Hackles

#8 Hot Bead Bugger

#6 El Sculpito 

#6 Belly Scratcher

#4 Slap-N-Tickle

#12-14 PT & Partridge

#12-14 Peacock & Partridge 


Professional Fly Fishing Guide Jake Schilling

About Jake Schilling - Professional Fly Fishing Guide - Madison River Outfitters

At age 21 Jake moved to West Yellowstone from Missoula in May 2012. That first summer he spent two months living in a tent, before moving into a 1971 Lark camper until October.  After three years of part-time guiding, Jake moved into a full-time guide job with MRO.  During the winter he spends his time spey casting, midge fishing, steelhead fishing, and cross-country skiing while off work. Jake’s laid-back attitude and patience are unmatched, he loves taking the day slow; walking the boat and always having one more fly to try before moving on.

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