January 19, 2018

Top Flies for Spring on the Madison River

Mid- winter many anglers find themselves longing for something that the snow and chilly weather has kept at bay….the tug of a trout at the end of their line. We find ourselves eager to shed our mittens and coats and slip on waders for the thrill of a productive day on the water. Here in Southwest Montana there is a lot to look forward to with the arrival of spring and the departure of icy rivers.

One the Madison River some of the most exciting fishing happens in April in May, and arguably the most productive with lots of fish actively feeding following months of winter lethargy. Throughout the spring nymphing is very reliable, but there is also some great opportunity for the dry fly angler. The season begins with midges, Baetis, and skwallas and culminates in our yearly Mother’s Day Caddis hatch, which generally occurs in the first few weeks of May. To shake off the winter doldrums, fly tyers can start preparing the following patterns: Zebra Midge (Black) #18 - #20 Pat’s Rubberlegs (Olive, Brown, or Black) #6 -8 San Juan Worm - #8 Elk Hair Caddis - #14 – 16 Griffiths Gnat - #20 See you on the river this spring!