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Madison River Fly Fishing Report 5/17/2016

by Jake Schilling May 17, 2016


Upper Madison

 Flows out of Hebgen Dam have been lowered to 670c cfs this week.  The lake is currently 87% full, and rising with current inflow at 1,800 cfs.  Quake lake is a chalky green/brown due to Cabin and Beaver Creeks.  From Quake Lake down to the West Fork, the Madison's water color is perfect for this time of year.  

Below West Fork, the river is half dirty/half clean.  The boats are all hanging right on clean-side bank as that's where the fish have been.  Any slow pocket or drop on a deep bank (at least 2-3'), they're there within 3 feet off the bank.  Miss that 2 foot window along the bank, you'll be missing a lot of fish!  Baetis and March Browns have been out, there has been some really amazing Baetis hatches throughout the crazy weather this week;  from 5-6pm on Sunday fish were rising in pods to baetis right through a nasty snowstorm.  Don't let the forecast keep you off the river...

For fishing to noses, stop in or tie up a few #18 Vis-A-Duns, #16-18 Klinkhammer, #16 Purple Nyman's Cripple, and #16-20 Rusty Parachutes.  Subsurface, it was pretty straightforward the last few days; #8 Sili Leg, #12 Biot Stone (Golden or Brown), #14 Hare's Ear, and a San Juan.  Hate to say it, but if they weren't eating a #18 Black Crystal Dip subsurface during hatches, it was the worm finding bank fish.  


Upper Gallatin

 Leveling out a bit, but still running 1,000cfs+.  For folks passing through the upper stretches of the Gallatin, it's worth peeking at the water upstream of the Taylor Fork.  If it's in good shape, that section is absolutely worth stopping for.  Keep your dries small (#18-20 emergers and parachutes) and expectations smaller.  For nymphing, find the deepest looking hole or run nearby and focus there, won't find a ton of fish in the traditional summer lies until...summer!


Hebgen Lake


Pool Elevation is 6530.8 Feet
Pool Elevation to Fill 4.1 Feet
Reservoir Storage is 334697. Acre-Feet
Reservoir Storage to Fill 51484.2 Acre-Feet
Reservoir Inflow is 1792.1 CFS
Reservoir Outflow is 671.4 CFS
Reservoir is 86.7 % Full*
Reservoir Flood Control Pool is filled 0.0 %
Madison River Flow is 671.4 CFS

A decent number of anglers out on the lake fishing Chironomids and stripping buggers/leeches.  The north bank of the lake is always a good option as access is great and the depth drops off pretty quickly.  Nothing changed much here, we still like #14 Red Flash Chironomids, #18 Midge-Caddis, #18 Vis-A-Dun, and a few #18-20 Purple Zebra Midges won't hurt.




Jake Schilling
Jake Schilling


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