Madison River Outfitters Fly Fishing Report 5/29/2017

by John Schilling May 29, 2017

Madison River Fishing Report



Upper Madison

The wade section of the Madison River has been fishing well the past week.  Water is still in good shape, cold nights holding the snow up high for a bit longer.  Flows out of Hebgen have been at 1,700cfs for the past few days, level around 2,300cfs 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, while the float section has been a bit off with flows from the West Fork mudding up the Madison below Lyons Bridge.

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 increased for about a week straight and have leveled out at 2,100cfs 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.  


Hebgen Lake

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.


YNP - Officially opened for fishing on May 27th.

We're happy to have the rivers in Yellowstone available again. Your best fishing is going to be in the Northwest section on the Madison, Firehole and Gibbon.  There is heavy runoff in the Northeast Section.  Last week the Lamar River peaked out at around 9,500cfs.  It will be awhile before you can venture over there.

Madison River

Water color isn't perfect, but just a little tea-stain to it.  Soft Hackles, Nymphs, and Dries all worked.  Baetis and Caddis fishing have had their moments, be ready to jump on a hatch as soon as it gets going.  A few dries to keep handy are the #16 DOA Cripple, #18 Purple Parachute, and #16-18 Sprout.  

Fishing soft hackles on this water is always fun, a good way to find a few big dogs!  Our favorites for spring are the #10 Partridge and Peacock, #12 March Brown Spider, and #8 Partridge and Orange.


As for above the Canyon, pick your favorite water and wait for the Caddis and Mayfly hatches to get going.  If fish are denying your advances on the surface, swing a few #12 Orange/Green and Partridge soft hackles.  

Madison River Fishing Report


John Schilling
John Schilling



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