Madison River Fishing Report by The Tackle Shop 5.5.18
By angelamontana

Posted: May 7, 2018

Here’s what you can expect on the Madison River with thanks to John Way with The Tackle Shop in Ennis–to check out water flow info, click here:

Fishing Conditions

Well here is the straight scoop on where the Madison River is at and how it is fishing. Like everything in nature that has happened this year we are slightly behind schedule. Winter lasted longer, spring started later and even the tax refunds took longer to arrive. Everything and I mean everything is just taking longer this year. Right now the Madison River is high but it is that perfect bugger green color we always dream about. Flows are high but water temps are still a bit low and warming up is taking longer. Is it because the Hebgan Dam is now finally fixed and cold water is now the norm. Lets hope this one trend continues. Usually we are talking about Mothers Day Caddis river wide. So far the little mother loving bugs are concentrated on the Lower Madison River and in the epically high Bear Trap. Yes there is fishing but know that the water conditions. When will the little buggers make it to Ennis? We are thinking mid next week and these little guys will be fouling windshields around town. It is a good thing Mothers Day is late in the month this year. We are looking at warm temps all weekend even in the 70s and some rain. This could complicate our great little plan of fishing dry flies before the blow out. If your out in the next day or so nymphing should still be good. Remember things are high and you will be required to throw a bit more lead than normal. We have been doing best with two BB shot and weighted nymphs. Girdle bugs, worms, eggs and P tails will still take fish. Start thinking about caddis stuff. Soft hackle stuff with movement in the water. We really like stuff with CDC that holds air bubbles like the natural caddis will. Who knew duck butt feathers would be so useful. Once they arrive dry fly fishing with peacock caddis will be the bug of choice. I do not know why but peacock is the preferred body material for the mothers day caddis. It is just fishy. Streamer guys will still be able to tag some nice fish if you stick with it. Sculpins, zonkers and the like fished down and dirty near the bottom are your best bet. Remember to fish these on thick tippet. We like 0X for the streamer game. What is going to happen in the next few weeks with Madison River water levels and flow is a big guess. There is still a bunch of snow to come down and the stuff above say 6000 feet has not been touched yet. We feel we might see some epic high flows on the Madison this spring. Lets hope spring speeds up and the big stuff is out of the way before the big orange bugs start.

Fly Patterns


Peacock Caddis 14, Purple Caddis 14, Purple Haze 14, Micro Chubby 14,


Pats rubber leg in black, brown and coffee 4-10, CDC Prince 14, San Juan worm Pink or Red 10, Crystal Meth 10, Tung Dart 14, Birds Nest 14, Hurless stone 8, Mega Prince 10


Sculpzilla 4, Mini Loop Sculpin 4, Shelia 4, Butt Monkey 6,

(feature photo via MT Trout Stalkers)
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