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Madison River Fishing Report

March 1, 2020

It’s been spectacular in the Madison Valley lately. We know not to assume things when it comes to weather, but it does feel like the coldest part of winter is over. 50s are forecasted for next week. With that said, March and April typically see a lot of our annual snowfall, so keep your skis waxed. 

Fishing has been excellent for hard fighting rainbows. Expect to find them stacked up in the deepest water you can find. Flows are quite low, making them easy to locate. Girdle bugs and small mayfly or midge nymphs are a great combo. You can also fish an egg, though it’s a little early for the full-on egg bite. 

Midges are coming off, especially up river. Bring your 4-wt and some light tippet for the best presentation. 

Don’t be alarmed by the temperature graph below that marks a steep increase in water temperature to fatal levels. While we’re not sure what caused this, I grabbed my bathing suit this morning and checked it out. It’s NOT 90 degrees! The odd thing is that there was a 3.9 magnitude earthquake up near the gauge yesterday morning that corresponded with the increased readings. Everything is fine though. 

Plenty of boat ramps are open including: Windy, Ruby, McAtee, Varney, 8 Mile, Burnt Tree and town. Palisades and not accessible due to drifts across the road. Lyons is definitely possible if you push the boat over the snow bank. I haven’t checked Storey Ditch in a few weeks, but the boat ramp was completely iced over then and I doubt it’s easy to get in there. It’s probably not worth fishing the skinny water below there anyways.

See you on the river,



Upper Madison River Flows near Cameron, MT




Upper Madison River Water Temperature



Lower Madison River Flows below Ennis Dam


Water Level Graph for USGS Station 06041000


Lower Madison River Water Temperature below Ennis Dam


Water Level Graph for USGS Station 06041000



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