March | Madison River Fishing Report

 

 

Spring has arrived in the Madison Valley and boy does that feel good after the February we all had. We were too cold to fish in February which is rare for us so no February report. Now most of our access sites have melted out enough to drive in and to get boats in and out; everything from Lyon’s bridge to Burnt Tree Hole is good to go. It’ll be some time still before we see the ramps at Ennis or Valley Garden but there are plenty of places to get out and enjoy the river. Some places like Three Dollar Bridge still have snow to walk through so be careful.

The fishing has been great all the way through the month of March. Most fish are being caught on nymphs. Stuff like Delektable Mega Princes, Delektable Hurless Stones, Delektable Stonefly Candy, Delektable Epoxy Back, Delektable Surestrike, Delektable Lil Spankers, Pat’s Rubberlegs, Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs and Midge Pupas are all good choices. My best advice is to experiment with your amount of weight before changing flies too fast. On the Stone fly patterns size #8 has been better.

With that being said, the dry fly bite has been great as well if you find yourself in the right place at the right time. The midges start in the early afternoon and if it’s not too windy they’ll last into the evening. Griffith’s Gnats, CDC Midges, Small Adams and Sipper Midges should do the job.

Streamer fishing has been inconsistent but if you’re willing to work for them you’re likely to get into a few good fish. The slower the retrieve the better; Sparkle Minnows, Zonkers, Delektable Screamers and JR’s Coneheads have all seen some attention from the local trout over the last couple weeks.

Varney Bridge is officially closed to through traffic as construction for replacing the bridge has begun. The fishing access site and boat ramp are still accessible but you’ll have to get there from the highway side via the dirt road as you won’t be able to get across from the other side. For construction updates text “VARNEY” to 22828 or call (406)-465-3350.  

We’re in the shop from 8:30am to 5:30pm every day so call or stop in with any questions we may be able to help with.  

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January | Madison River Fishing Report

January has been a cold month and we are glad to see it leave as it means we are one month closer to Summer. With that being said, January did pose some great fishing if you were able to take advantage of the rare days with warm enough weather. Even Dan himself braved a very pleasant day in January. The river was predictably stable with about 1,000 cfs flowing at the Kirby gauge. The fishing has pretty much been the same game as December, Nymphs being number one and Dries working on select days. The river is starting to look very slushy down towards Ennis.

The nymph game is working well, we have mainly been only using Stoneflies but you could also you use Midge patterns to the same effect. The flies we have been using are Delektable balanced Flashback Mega Princes, Delektable Standard Flashback Mega Princes, Delektable Hurless Stones, Delektable Stonefly Candy, Delektable Twinkles, and Zebra midges.

The dry fly bite has taken a while to come back but can at those times when you see clear blue skies or cloudy over cast conditions coupled with the important part which is less or no “W”. Know that the midges will be hatching in full force and the fish will be looking at the surface of the water to eat them alive. The flies we have been using are the Griffith’s Gnat, Adams Midge, R.B. Midge, and Galloup’s Goober Midge. You could also try a Delektable Teaser pattern in Adam’s or Purple.

It has been easy fishing but it hasn’t been easy weather. So if you are part the brave few put on those waders with plenty of layers underneath and find some eager trout in the river. 

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December | Madison River Fishing Report

Winter has set in here in the Madison Valley and with it comes some of our favorite times to fish. When the weather permits the fishing can be outstanding this time of year. Rainbows pile up in the deep, slower holes and are usually pretty eager for a good meal.

Nymphs are usually the name of the game, specifically stonefly nymphs. We’ve been catching fish on a variety of Delektable nymphs such as the balanced Mega Prince, Standard Mega Princes, Hurless Stones, Stonefly Candy and Mr. Rubberlegs in Goldenstone.

Streamer fishing has had its days; you’re best off with smaller sculpin patterns and a slower retrieve. Flies like Sheila’s Sculpins, Sculpzillas, Delektable Single Screamers, Trevor’s Sculpins and Sparkle Minnows are all good choices.

Dry fly fishing has been pretty inconsistent but be sure to bring a few good adult midge patterns out there just in case you stumble into one of those runs full of rising fish.Griffith’s Gnats, CDC Midges, Sipper Midges and Brook’s Sprout Emergers are good choices. The hatches should be getting more consistent any day now and through the beginning of March we should see some good dry fly fishing.

The river can get pretty slushy down towards town and could totally freeze over eventually, so if you’re thinking about fishing below Varney you’ll want to take that into consideration; for the moment it’s clear but one real cold night could change that.

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December 5-12 | Louisiana Redfish

I recently got back from fishing with our friend Captain Marty in his home waters of Louisiana. As anyone who knows Marty would expect he showed Wayne and I an awesome time on and off the water. We fished four days and had a couple days of less than fishable weather which was a great opportunity to experience down-town New Orleans.

 

The first couple days of fishing had less than perfect conditions but we made the best of it by catching some tanker Redfish, a few Black Drum, a Sheepshead and even a Sting Ray on live bait. Yeah, make your purist fly-fishing remarks now but I had a blast.

 

The clouds cleared on the second to last day out and we were able to try some sight-fishing. I went through the natural motions of getting a bit over-excited, blowing casts, badly missed hook sets and doing whatever else wrong I could manage. At the last spot for the day I finally hooked and landed a fifteen-pounder after he crushed the fly about five feet from the boat in a foot and a half of water.

 

The next and last day we had what I’d call perfect conditions if it were a few degrees warmer but nonetheless we were finding fish left and right on the flats. Getting them to take a fly was quite a bit tougher than finding them but Marty and I were able to hook into about one in every ten fish we found. Throughout the day I was reminded several times that on a normal day the fish would be eating without a second thought but I’m still unconvinced that I could have had a better time. Thank you Marty.

 

Brian Chasse

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October 14th – November 2nd | Rogue River Fishing Report



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