Let it snow, let it snow! It looks like we’re in for a very white weekend up here, which should continue on until Tuesday. Just about everything has been late this year, and the spawn has been no exception. Last night was the first time we’ve seen multiple fresh redds that had recently been dug out, so we should have at least a couple/three weeks worth of quality fishing before the browns are more interested in procreating than they are with eating. Crowds have thinned out a lot since last week, and fishing in the wade section as well as between the lakes should only get better over the next month or so. Streamer fishing between the lakes last week was a little inconsistent, most likely due to the sharp drop in water temps, but we should start to see it pick up again once the Browns begin to get more comfortable with their mid/high forty degree homes– Yesterday was pretty damn good though.
If throwing large streamers isn’t really your MO, there is some great nymphing to be had this time of year as well. Stick to small midges (#18-20), baetis nymphs, and even some small rubberlegs and you should do fine anywhere in the wade section. Look for adult midges to pop somewhere between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and you may also have yourself some quality dry fly fishing for a couple of hours.
On a final note, if you do see some freshly cleared gravel in the river…just walk around it…NOT BEHIND IT. Most of the eggs that are deposited by females end up a few feet behind the redd. Future generations of fish, and the quality of the Madison River fishery depend on us to…um….not crush eggs.