Really fun past few days out on the Madison. Water is still in good shape, cold nights holding the snow up high for a bit longer. Flows out of Hebgen have been at 1,670cfs for the past few days, level around 2,000cfs down at Kirby. The big news has been an uptick in caddis fishing, dry fly fishing in general. As long as the flows stay relatively clear, even milky green, the Upper will fish great. Still plenty of guys floating Raynolds down, but great fishing Lyon's down with the West Fork in better shape.
For nymphing, fish have spread a little bit in the cleaner flows, but your best fishing is still right down the bankside slicks, pockets, green divots, whatever you call 'em. Take your time and make sure you're getting down, unless you see fish rising or it's mid-afternoon, expect them to be low in the column. Top nymphs have been the #8 Olive/Black Sili Leg, #10 Tungsten Goldies, #12 Biot Stone, #14 Lake Prince, #16 Shop Vac, #16 Silvey's Pupa, and #16 Crystal Dip.
If you're looking to fish dries, keep those drifts tight to the bank. You'll miss a lot of 'action' if you're not in the closest seams. Keep your eyes open, fish are definitely working in the afternoons. Stop in and pick up a few #16-18 Elk Hair Caddis, #16-18 DOA Cripple, #14-18 Adams (purple and BWO), and why not try a #14 Golden Chubby for a stretch?
Want to try streamers? Do it! Nothing revolutionary here, just make sure the land your fly of choice right off the bank. Too far off and you won't see the number of chases you could have. We really like Sparkle Minnows in the purple and gold/copper flavors.
The Gal's flows dropped for about a week straight and have leveled out at 1,700cfs or so. It's fishable in the soft water/inside runs, but still dirt coming out of Taylor Fork. Above the Taylor Fork to the YNP boundary runs clean, you're best fishing is still going to be in the slowest, deepest holes.
On the rise as inflows are just under 2,000cfs, current lake elevation is almost 87%. Still in great shape to fill the pool for the summer. In terms of fishing, buckets of chironimids out, can't read anyone's license plates who pull into the shop. Inconsistent at times with the temps changing, but worth your time to fish a Sno-cone or #14 Peacock Chironomid. If you have no luck there, chop that leader and slow strip a #8 Simi-seal leech on an intermediate line.
Opens this Saturday, Woohoo! Here are graphs to keep in mind heading into the weekend.
Madison near W. Yellowstone
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