Lower Madison River Fishing Report

Friday, May 18, 2018

Lower Madison Fishing Report

Current Conditions:

The Lower has been a consistent producer recently and should hold form throughout the spring.  The Lower tends to get better and better until water temps finally get too warm at the end of June.  Flows can fluctuate but generally the clarity is almost always fishable right through run off. One day the fishing can be lights out and the next day just OK, especially if flows are bumped.  Fly selection is pretty basic – mostly nymphing with crayfish, streamers or worms up top trailed by either caddis, march brown or baetis emergers. We should start to see the first big hatches of Caddis throughout the next couple of weeks. It is later than last year, as water temperatures are just now starting to flirt with the 50 degree mark. March Browns often get shadowed this time of year by the caddis hatches, so keep your eyes peeled for larger mayflies out there as well, especially in the evenings. Finally, if the caddis are out, and the fish just don’t seem to be keyed in on them, don’t force it! Strap on the split shot and get down deep with a small streamer or crayfish, followed by a caddis pupa. Focus on the deeper buckets behind the flat weed beds. When the water really gets high, say closer to 3,000 CFS or so, focus more on structure, be it the shore, a steep river bottom shelf, or big boulders.

The Month Ahead:

The Lower will be  a go to location for the entire spring.  The best fishing is usually nymphing and maybe pulling streamers.  If the river has just bumped up sometimes fishing is slower but if flows are stable it is usually a very good bet.  

Long Term Fishing Forecast:

The Lower will just keep producing until temperatures get too warm around late June.