Happy February from the gang here at Beartooth Flyfishing. It’s been a great winter so far here in the Madison Valley. The valley is full of Elk and Deer which makes for some fantastic winter photos and wildlife viewing. Snowpack has been building and at this moment we are sitting at 95%. Keep up with the prayers for more snow and moisture as we can use all we can get after the low flows of last season. We’ve been busy at the shop working on Preseason orders. Dan’s been busy building rods. We will have some exciting things to see for the upcoming season to be sure.
The Upper River has opened back up after its temporary closure due to Hebgen Dam Malfunction in late 2021. The Ice Jam is on in full force from Ennis Lake upstream through Ennis and the lower fishing access sites. Angling pressure has been very low this winter as many anglers have been voluntarily giving the river a break to continue to heal after last years incident at the Dam. We’ve had many calls wondering how the river is doing. And as of right now it’s the same Madison we’ve loved forever. Flows are looking good. 920 cfs at Hebgen, 1000 cfs at Kirby, and 1060 cfs at Cameron.
The actual fishing itself has been good to excellent for those who have made the choice to get out there. Nymphing has been good to excellent. Midge Pupae, Smaller Mayfly Nymphs, Serendipities, and Heavy Stonefly Nymphs have been getting the job done. February is typically the month where we really see the midge dry fly activity really kick into gear up in the Upper Wade Stretch around $3 Bridge and Raynold’s Pass. This year looks to be no different as we’ve even had some great midge days up there in the latter half of January with quite a few nicer blue bird days in the past couple weeks. Look for those days in the upper thirties and low forties with calmer winds and the dry fly fishing up there can be some of the best you’ll have throughout the year. Dead Drifting a Streamer has also been very effective at times. Anglers who have checked in with us at the shop are coming in with good to great reports which is so nice to hear after the events of late last year.
We at Beartooth thank all of you as always for all your support and kindness. As Spring begins to approach get those vices heated up and fill those boxes for another exciting Flyfishing Season in SW Montana in 2022. Our fly inventory right now is great. As always, we have all the bugs you could possibly need for a early outing to the Upper Madison. Be safe out there and Tight Lines!
Dries: Griffith’s Gnat #18-#22. Adams Midge Cluster #18-#20. Brook’s Midge Sprout Black #20. CDC Midge #20. Zelon Midge #20-#22. Parachute Adams #20-#22. Carlson’s Purple Craze #18-#20.
Nymphs: Delektable Mega Prince Std. and Flashback #8-#10. Delektable Guide Stone Black, Black/Brown #8-#10. Pat’s Rubberlegs Black, Brown, Black/Brown #8-#12. Delektable Twinkle Black, Red, Rootbeer, Olive #18-#20. Zebra Midge Black, Red #18-#20. $3 Dips Brown, Red, Olive #16-#20. Jig Hook Napoleon Light Olive #16-#18. Delektable Lil’ Spanker Silver, Gold, Red, Pheasant Tail, Blue #16-#20. Delektable Tungsten Jig Spanker Silver, Red, Gold, Holo Olive, Holo Black, Pheasant Tail #18. Delektable Big Spanker Warrior #18.
Emergers: RS2 Gray, Black, Olive #18-#22.
Streamers: Delektable Screamer Single or Double Olive, Black, White, Black/Olive. Delektable SS Jointed Screamer Black, Black/Olive, Olive, White. Sculpzilla Olive, Natural #4-#8. Zonkers Natural, Copper, Olive #6-#8. Bow River Bugger Olive, White, Black/Olive #6-#8.