With the high, dirty water, the Madison River is blown-out and unfishable … NOT!!!
We have learned to “embrace the dirt,” and fishing this fast, colored water is one of our favorite times of the season to be out on the river. The fishing is great, and there is almost no one on the river.
We went out yesterday on the upper river, floating from wade spot to wade spot, and we literally caught fish at EVERY stop we made. We lost an accurate count, but we hooked roughly 60 fish, all while being the only boat on the river … What a day!
The day was also punctuated with a strong midge hatch, followed by a respectable March Brown hatch and a smattering of Caddis. Multiple fish were spotted rising, and twice fish were literally leaping out of the water as they were chasing bugs.
The key to “fishing the dirt” is simple. The high, fast water has the fish concentrated in any and every spot of calmer water, along the banks and behind rocks and other obstructions. Next, you have to get the flies down to them, and you have to get them down quickly, which means split-shot; and if one split-shot isn’t getting them down, then two or three might be needed. But once the depth of the drift is right …Fish on! And because the fish are concentrated, it’s common to catch multiple fish in every hole.
The flies that worked best for us were the Delektable™ Hurless Nymph in Olive and Gray Flashback, and the Delektable™ Lil’ Spanker in Red.
Delektable Lil’ Spanker Red
Just be careful when fishing during these higher flows. The water is higher and moving fast and extreme caution when wading is recommended for all fishermen, no matter what their experience level. Dan is crazier than most when he’s wading, I wouldn’t follow without assistance.
Dan and Marty