Hebgen Dam 910csf
Old Kirby Place 970cfs
Varney Bridge 1080cfs
Ennis Dam 118cfs
Lower Madison 1390cfs
I got to do something I have not been able to do in the 16 years that I have lived in Ennis Montana. That was to float and fish, with the emphasis on fish, from Lyons Bridge down to Windy Point after the end of February with friend and guide Gene White. This section has been closed from the end of February until the 3rd Saturday in May since sometime around 1996. This is big change to the Madison River as the new regulations now open up water from Quake Lake outlet done river to MacAtee bridge that has previously been closed at this point in the fishing season. Was it wildly different than a week ago? Not really, it fished well with various nymphs including black stoneflies, midges, and worms. We found a couple fish here and there feeding on midge dries.
It was much better for the sheer sake of the possibilities that we might have over the coming months on a “new this time of year” stretch of river. We will likely see some great BWO fishing through April and May. It is likely we see the larger spring mayfly the March Brown up there as well. Maybe not as good as the lower reaches or as good as the Lower Madison gets the hatch, but we will have new opportunities all the same. I am excited to explore these possibilities and learn something new about a stretch of the river I have never been on this time of year. I will keep you posted on what I find (I have sneaking suspicion it will be good).
You can Find the complete 2016 Montana Fishing Regulations www.fwp.mt.gov/fishing.
See you on the river!