Hebgen Dam 900cfs
Old Kirby Place 970cfs
Varney Bridge 1060cfs
Lower Madison 1270cfs
For the first time in many, many moons I got skunked fly fishing today. Now I’m not the greatest angler in the world but I rarely get blanked on my home waters around Ennis, Montana. This was no half hour and didn’t catch something type of thing. I’m talking 6 hours of fishing, looking and trying to find fish. A real skunk. Goose egg. Blanked. All I found where a few very spooky carp. I spent the day fishing the Tongue River south of Miles City, Montana. This is not a judgement or even a testiment to the possibilities of this fishery. It’s more likely that fish have not really arrived from the Yellowstone River yet. At least that’s what I’m telling myself because I couldn’t find any fish. I have also heard many good things. Maybe next time I’ll have a different story to tell about this new to me river.
Meanwhile back at home on the Madison River we have continued to see more spring conditions and this is nothing but good news. The Madison Valley got another good batch of snow earlier in the week. This put the Madison drainage in better shape with near 100% snow pack. It also puts the Madison Valley ahead for precipitation and snow water equivalent for 2015/16. All good things for the upcoming season. Snow is like money in the bank. Although plenty can change between now and then, this is much better than our dryer than average year in 2014/15 winter.
How’s the fishing? Pretty good most days. Although it seems to come in waves or in some cases stretches of time, as we can’t expect or anticipate it to be good all day every day. But generally for me I have seen decent fishing as the day warms. I have also had several good short stints of fishing in the late afternoon and evening as I get away from the office and the vise. Some days I just have to walk away from filling boxes for this summer and catch a couple fish.
The time change and longer evenings make for a great excuse to get out on the Madison River after a long day at the vise, yard work, or any other thing that distracts us from fishing.
Some of my better flies are still rubber leg stoneflies with various midge droppers although the small wire worm got several of the bigger rainbows over the past several outings. Also several bigger brown trout have eaten a larger olive and white streamer for me as well. The above photo is a great place to sit and look for rising fish when a guy doesn’t want to go far from Ennis although I haven’t found many fish feeding on midges here. It gets better for that with mayflies and caddis and that is coming. Soon.
A change of note around Montana Fish Man Outfitting as we roll into spring I am not giving flies away on the weekly basis as I was this winter. I will still be giving away some goodies. I will be giving away what we consider “hot flies” over the upcoming season.
Keep your tip up.