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This is my 2nd year to join a group that floats the Madison River on opening weekend. We put in at Raynold's bridge and float to the popular pullout spot about 5 miles down stream. There are many spots to park and fish on the bank of the river and the many islands in the middle of the river. Covering this stretch on pontoon boats is a great way to see and fish this amazing river. Don't worry...we completely adhere to the "no fishing while floating" rule. I'm not sure how one could even attempt to fish the river while floating on a pontoon...there are constantly rocks and obstacles to avoid on the way down the river...I'd end up taking a swim if I even tried to break the rule. I realize the rule was probably mainly established for people floating on drift boats.
We stayed the night at my buddy's cabin on Henry's Lake. We woke up to about 3-4 inches of snow. I hoped that the bad weather would scare off some of the potential competition, but that was not the case. The entire stretch that we floated was way more crowded with other fisher people compared to last year. I'm guessing it had to do w/ the low flows and good clarity.
We started off at Kelly Galloup's shop Sat. morning to get our licenses. We launched our boats around 10:00 AM. By the time we got to the river it had stopped snowing and became quite pleasant. Overall, I'd say that Saturday was the best day of weather for us (we fished Sat, Sun, and Mon). Sunday was extremely windy all day. Monday had a few hours of wind in the late morning early afternoon.
We all caught a ton of fish on nymphs, streamers and even a few dries. It was a very different river compared to last year. The flows were at least 1000 CFS lower this year compared to opening weekend 2014. I actually think it fishes better at the higher flow. I had to work a lot harder for my fish this year. The fish didn't seem to be along the banks nearly as much as last year. Most fish were caught just off the main current.
Best patterns that produced fish: Pat's Rubber Leg, Golden Stones, yellow eggs, San Juans, zebra midges, sparkle duns, sex dungeons, peanut envies, shop vacs, hare's ears.
It truly is a remarkable river. We saw tons of birds, ducks, geese, osprey, eagles, golden eagles, etc. My buddy saw a big beaver along the bank. It's wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle and feel connected to nature.
Here's some photos of the highlights:












 

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Great pictures,thanks for sharing!
 
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