This week on the Madison we saw a slight bump in flows and everyone is now on notice for spring runoff season. While not here just yet, runoff season is looming and we can't wait to see what it brings. Fishing during runoff can be excellent, if you're willing to change how you fish slightly.
The middle stretch of the Upper Madison is still not fishing very good for us, so we focused on the Reynolds Bridge to Lyons Bridge section on the top end and the Burnt Tree Hole to Lake section on the bottom end. Both of these regions are fishing great for us this week. The Ennis and Valley Garden Access Sites are still closed and nobody really knows when they'll open. We suspect Valley Garden will open before Ennis, as Ennis Access took on some damage to the road during the ice gorge. Valley Garden did as well, but it doesn't appear to be as bad. Stay tuned. In the meantime, Burnt Tree is your closest access for fishing through town to the lake. It's a long day, but if you pick the right spots and are efficient with your time it's fishing great. Be aware that the lake is at an incredibly low level right now and popping out of the main channel and rowing across to Clutes will involve some walking of the boat if you're not careful in choosing your path. Much of the south end of the lake is inches deep right now.
As far as flies go, we only used 4 patterns this week. A big girdle bug, tangerine egg, wire worms, and white Delektable Screamer streamers. I suspect there are many other patterns that would work too (prince nymphs, leeches, various streamers, hare's ear, etc.) but it's pretty basic out there right now. There are smatterings of Skwala Stones still out and about. We even saw a few nice risers out there this week.
Wildlife is abundant on the river right now. This week brought Long Billed Curlews back, Osprey are just about everywhere now, Bald Eagles too. The Sandhills are extremely vocal and abundant below Ennis Bridge. Watch out for Mother Goose on the tips of islands. You're in for quite the surprise when floating by if you're not careful.
Only weeks away from Yellowstone National Park Opener! Call us today to reserve your spot. Fishing is typically hot right out of the gate in the Park. Only 10 days left for our Spring Special discount!