Fishing Report for April 14th, 2014

Madison River

Dam: 963 cfs

Kirby: 1,060 cfs

Varney: 1,180 cfs


The Upper Madison is in great shape these days and the fishing has been consistently productive for the better part of two weeks now.  We are starting to see a lot more fish moving up into the Madison between the lakes, and a lot more spawning redds as well, so be sure to watch your step if you plan on heading up there. The streamer bite has been decent, but it’s primarily a nymph game right now.  If you’re as stubborn as we are this time of year, and throwing anything but junk is not an option,  you’ll want to keep your retrieves on the slower side until water temps start to climb into the 40 degree range.  The indicator fishing has been pretty incredible though, and we’ve had good reports from people throwing everything from lightning bugs to Pat’s Rubber Legs–Midge patterns such as zebra midges and #18 $3 dips are always staples up there too.

The Madison between McAtee and Ennis has been fishing extremely well with nymphs and streamers as well.  We did a quick Mac to Varney on Saturday and caught a lot of quality fish on the usual favorites– Double Screamers, Olive Peanut Envys, Big Hole Bugs, and Barely Legals to name a few, and the fish were actually chasing pretty vigorously for 42 degree water temps.  However, if you are looking to rack up some serious numbers down there then the nymph game is where it’s at right now.  Brown and Tan/Brown Pat’s Rubber legs, PTs, eggs, midges, and san juans are all good choices under the indicator, and you’ll do best by anchoring up and working specific holding areas rather than fishing on the run.  There are always a few skwallas dancing around this time of year too…not like what you’ll see on rivers like the Bitterroot, but just enough so that fish are aware of their presence.  That being said,  a well placed rogue or half down stone can usually entice more than a few fish up to the surface is you are willing to work for it.  There have also been a good number of midges hatching from late morning and into the early afternoon, so be sure to look for fish working in the slower insides and tailouts when the wind isn’t ripping them off the water.

All the access points are open with the exception of Ennis, so you’ll want to take out at Valley Garden if you plan on fishing past Burnt Tree.  Long story short, get out there while the gettin’ still good because when you hit it right this can be some of the best fishing of the year.

Now Taking Reservations for Missouri River Float Trips this Spring

This will be our first year hosting trips on the famous Missouri River near Craig, MT.. If you have never fished the mighty MO below Holter Dam, then this is a great opportunity to experience an incredible fishery without the crowds that descend upon it a few months later.  While the nymph fishing can be extraordinary any time of year, April and May are great months for hunting pods of rising fish with midge clusters, BWOs, and March Browns.  If dry flies are your passion then look no further…The Spring hatches on the Missouri routinely provide some of the finest dry fly fishing you’ll find anywhere in the country.  And last but not least, the streamer fishing during April and May can be some of the best of the year. The Missouri’s incredible food base provides anglers with the chance at truly large browns and rainbows, and we know how to target these fish as well as anyone in the business.  If you are interested in booking a trip with us, please contact the shop at (406) 682-4804 and Kelly or John will be able to set you up with both lodging and dining information.  Since we announced this a month ago in our weekly newsletter, trips have been booking up a lot quicker than we had anticipated so be sure to reserve your spot sooner than later.

Fishing Report for March 21st, 2014

Madison River

Dam: 953 cfs

Kirby: 1,010 cfs

Varney: 1,110 cfs

The Upper Madison is closed to fishing from Quake Lake to McAtee Bridge as well as from Ennis Bridge to Ennis Lake until May 17th.  The sections that are currently open to fishing are the Madison between Hebgen Dam and Quake Lake and between McAtee Bridge and Ennis Bridge.

While the majority of SW Montana continues to flip-flop between Spring and full on Winter conditions, the Upper Madison has been fishing well between the lakes and between Varney and 8 Mile.  The Ennis boat ramp is still a ways out from being even close to operational, and there is still enough ice around Burnt Tree to make it very difficult to get out, but 8 Mile seems to be fine for the time being.  You may have to be a little creative putting in at Varney too, but we’ve had more than a few good reports come in over the last week of great fishing on both nymphs and streamers down there.  Our resident Rainbows and their larger, anadromous brethren from Ennis and Quake Lakes are starting to get into pre-spawn mode, and have been eating the streamer a little more these days.  If you do plan on throwing junk, I would keep your retrieves on the slower side until water temperatures start to peak in the mid-late afternoon.  If nymphs are more your forte, keep it simple with staple patterns such as Pat’s Rubber Legs, Zebra Midges, Baetis Nymphs, and Egg Patterns and you should do well out there..  The Madison between the lakes will fish very similar, but you will probably have better streamer fishing down low as water temps are still hovering between 37-38 degrees below the dam compared to 34-42 degrees at the Varney gauge.  We are also starting to see a few more spawning redds pop up with each passing week, so be sure to watch your step when fishing in either of these areas.


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

South Fork Toad Bighorns Doug's Brown Slide Area Joyce's Rainbow Dan's Brown