Looking Forward to Looking for Bugs

Looking Forward to Looking for Bugs

Hebgen Dam 900 cfs

Old Kirby Place 994 cfs

Varney Bridge 1110 cfs

Ennis Dam 207 cfs

Lower Madison 1340 cfs

It’s been a beautiful couple weeks around the Madison Valley lately. The weather around Ennis has been about as Montana as it gets with everything from cold north winds and precipitation to summer like middle 70 degrees. I love every bit of it. I can fish on nasty days and get yard work and gardening done on the beautiful warm days an no one is the wiser. Mother Nature makes sure I get weather for both of my outside passions. Be mindful when you’re outside in Montana this time of year as the weather can change fast and be unforgiving on those not prepaired. Keep an eye on the weather and upcoming conditions at http://forecast.weather.gov/

Matt Carey fishing below the iconic Ennis Dam

That was a rather nasty afternoon Matt Carey, his brothers and I spent poking around Madison River below Ennis Dam. Something like lots of rain and north 20-30 mph winds. It was fun if your into that kind of thing. 

Not more than a few days later I got to spend the afternoon on the water with our old Game Warden Ryan Gosse and it was a beautiful warm day. 

Poking around the back channels of the Madison River

I believe we caught some fish. I remember taking pictures, using the net, and all that good stuff that comes when a bit of effort, a little patience and the right flies combine to make “fishing” “catching”. More so this time of year, I remember seeing a river that I have come to know over the past 17 years with fresh enthusiasm and optimism for the upcoming year. All that it might bring and what the river might show me. 

Snow packs are looking good still with the drainages around Southwestern Montana holding steady around the 100% mark for water content. I’ll let you know if that changes. 

With the warming weather I have seen the first few BWO’s or Baetis, March Browns and what I even thought might have been a caddis south of Ennis this week. Before you rush off to the river with elk hairs in tow and curse me for no hatch. Know that I saw only a couple of each. So no, it’s not bug central and  spring dry fly-palooza yet on the Upper Madison. Now that I have properly dashed any flighty dreams of drifting dries. Know this. It will be soon. Again for emphasis, It will be soon. With water temps getting to 51 and 52 degree mark, BWO’s may be very soon. Maybe the next drizzly nasty spring day soon. That’s a BWO’s favorite kind of day. And so it should be yours as well. March Browns will follow shortly and by the end of the month or early May maybe caddis hatching on the warm days. Stay tuned! Keep an eye on water temps and levels by following the link USGS Water Flows

Mostly I’ve still been nymph fishing small stonefly nymphs(it is the Madison) followed by worms, eggs and midges depending on what the fish tell me. 

Upper Madison River
A nice pre spawn rainbow trout

A solid rainbow from a guide trip the other day on the upper Madison. I tried to go the entire post without another 16-17 inch trout pic but I couldn’t help it. That was a great day and I enjoyed every second of it. Follow the header to the WordPress page to see a great fish I got with Ryan Gosse as well. 

Keep your tip up! 

Brian Rosenberg

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