Lower Madison River Fishing Report

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Lower Madison Fishing Report

Current Conditions:

This is one of the best times of year to fish the Lower Madison.  The Caddis hatch is in full swing and the dry fly fishing has been excellent.  You can find fish willing to eat the dry throughout the day but the action is best and most consistent in the evening.  Fish a tan or olive Caddis dry in size #14 as your lead fly and drop a #16 emerger or pupae pattern about a foot behind your dry.  While you will find many rising fish along the banks don’t overlook the mid river and the weedbeds.  Nymphing has been very productive during times of slow dry fly action.  Choose a Crayfish or San Juan Worm as your lead nymph.  For your dropper, Caddis Pupae, Lightning Bugs, Princes, and Copper Johns have been working well.  The best strategy is to have both a nymph and dry fly rod rigged in the boat so you can nymph fish the buckets and then grab the dries when you spot rising fish.  Streamer fishing has been solid as well.

 The Month Ahead:

The Lower will continue to be a good option during the month ahead.  The fishing tends to slow for a day or so after the flows are bumped out of Ennis Dam so pay attention to the hydrograph.  EnnisLake typically protects the Lower from completely blowing out but tributaries like Cherry Creek can pump a lot of mud so plan your float accordingly.  Dry fly fishing will drop off as the caddis dissipate and the water rises but nymphing and streamer fishing will remain solid. 

Long Term Fishing Forecast:

The Lower will become too warm for fishing sometime in late June or early July and pick back up again sometime during late summer with longer nights and the first cold fronts of the season.