Madison River Fishing Report

Madison River Fishing Report for April 26th, 2017

Dam: 1,290 cfs

Kirby: 1,360 cfs

Varney: 1,530 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  The Upper Madison is still fishing extremely well throughout its entirety, and we just saw the first good emergence of blue winged olives yesterday in the wade section between Quake Lake and Lyon’s.  That said, the dry fly fishing has remained good to excellent from late morning through the afternoon with midges, BWOs, and skwallas.  Most of the midges have been popping anywhere from 10:30-3:00 depending on the day, and a #20 Goober midge or Griffith’s gnat is still about all you need out there.  Now that the Blue Wings are back on their usual schedule you can expect to see them hatching from noon into the early afternoon hours.  If you do run into a pod of fish sipping BWOs, some of our favorite patterns are Nyman’s BWO Cripple and Kelly’s Tilt Wing Dun in size 18, and you can also hang a #18 BWO Barr’s Emerger off the back for any fish eating just below the surface film.


If numbers are what you’re after, then you’ll want to stick to the nymphing program.  Small Pat’s Rubber Legs have still been extremely productive in both the wade and float sections, but there have been a few days over the last week where fish seem to be paying more attention to the midge drift than anything else.  Zebra midges, Black Three Dollar Dips, and Gray RS-2’s in size 18-20 have probably been the most consistent patterns for us this April, but we have noticed fish switching over to the baetis program a lot more over the last three days– Kelly’s BWO nymph, Green Machines, Barr’s Emergers, and Triple-B Flashbacks have all been good choices as of late.  We are still doing best by targeting areas within 10-15 feet of the bank, but we have noticed a lot of fish moving into more traditional “summer” lies over the last few weeks, so don’t neglect the pockets and fast seams out there if there is any sort of depth to be had.

Streamer fishing has been good most days, but the water has been a little on the chilly side for them to chase first thing in the morning.  Water temps have been a few degrees warmer on the lower river around Ennis, so I would stick around Varney if you want to commit a full day to throwing streamers from the boat.  Once the water starts to warm up a little more in the afternoon we have been getting fish to eat small sculpin imitations like Mini Dungeons, Mini Loops, and Trevor’s, and the Olive/White CH Barely Legal has also been good as per usual.

Finally, there are a lot of spawning redds throughout the entire river right now and you will see fish actively spawning from time to time.  If you do encounter fish on beds, please leave them alone and let them do their thing…future generations of Madison River rainbows depend on our ability to not disturb their spawning grounds and there is plenty of other water to find fish right now. Most of the prime spawning areas are usually in small side channels, tailouts, and gravel bars so please watch out for any freshly cleared gravel and remember not to walk downstream from them as most of the eggs tend to settle anywhere from 3-15 feet behind the actual redd.  Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.

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Madison River

About Galloup's Slide Inn

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The Slide Inn is located on the banks of the Madison River, one of the most famous blue-ribbon trout streams in the world. Our 1,100 feet of river frontage provides some of the finest fly fishing...