Lower Madison Fishing Report
The Lower can be a great mid winter fishery when the weather is on the mild side and the wind forecast is tame. During or just after cold snaps slush in the water can make fishing tough and wind can often rip through bear trap canyon. The trout are all in the slower and deeper runs so make sure to stop and work this type of water. Most of the faster riffles will be devoid of trout. Float fishing isn’t as productive but using a boat to hop from run to run isn’t a bad idea. Nymphing is the best option but slow stripping streamers can also produce. For nymphs something big on top is still a good idea and options include a sculpin, crayfish, yuk bug or san juan worm. Smaller patterns as a dropper include small pink lightning bugs, cdc baetis nymphs, pheasant tails and egg patterns. Some dry fly action on midges can also be an option on mild days, especially closer to Bear Trap. Big cold snaps are starting to arrive and when subzero temps hit the river slushes up and becomes tough to fish.
The Month Ahead:
The Lower fishes well most of the winter as long as we are not experiencing an arctic blast. Severe cold snaps can send slush down the river and the wind can really howl on some days so checking the wind forecast is always a good idea.
Long Term Fishing Forecast:
Midge hatches get stronger later in the winter and early spring. The lower is one of the better early spring fisheries in the area. Winter techniques still apply to early spring fishing on the Lower.