Spring Fishing on the Upper Madison – May 6, 2008

We are now starting to get out of the winter season and into spring.  This winter has been one of the longest in memory.   Spring brings the morning midge fishing, which flows into the baetis or blue winged olive (BWO) hatch and that is very dependent on the amount of wind that is comin’ up.   If you don’t have any wind, the heat of the day brings on both hatches.  Then you’re going to get an overlap of March Browns and then we’ve got the Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch happening on all the rivers, which is triggered by water temperature.  Once you have water temperatures that reach around 50 degrees that triggers the Mother’s Day Caddis Hatch over a three or four day period on all the different rivers.  The other thing we’ve got going on now is the first stonefly hatch of the year—the Skwalas and they’re pretty much done now.  That wasn’t such a great hatch this year because of the cold temperatures and the winter weather through the spring.

Then the pumped up flows that will come with the snow melt will bring on the streamer fishing in force.   The fish will become more active with the flows and the increased water temperature and the fish will turn from being lethargic and not wanting to move very far for flies to the point where they’ll move several feet to eat things and go for streamers.  That season’s going to be pretty long this year with the augmented flows from the snowpack.  So the fish will be on the feed right through runoff and the runoff will be well into July this year.  It’s going to be a day by day thing as far as places that will be fishable.   A lot of the water conditions will depend on how cold it gets at night.  If we get cold temperatures at night that tends to put the runoff in check for awhile.  The way patterns have been we get a few days of warm weather and then it goes back to winter again and that stops the runoff.  Everything is very subject to change.  It’s a good/bad thing.  It’s good if you’re here, it’s bad if you’re not, when the fishing is hot.

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