August Dog Days Madison River Fishing Report

River Conditions

The Madison River is holding in there really well. All that snow and cold from last winter is really paying off this August. Currently the flow is 1090 CFS at Kirby and 1250 CFS at Varney Bridge.  Really great flows for mid August.  In fact temps are only getting to 64 degrees mid day.  The fish like water especially cold water and the Madison River has lots of that.  Floaters are happy with flows 350 cfs above last year this time. You can float anywhere you want to go.  The river traffic is clearing out from the summer madness and while you will never be alone there are lots less people on the river now.

Hopper Time?

The big question we have been getting is the hoppers out?  Well our fly fishing guides are getting mixed results.  Some are finding fish in the afternoons on smaller hoppers and chubbies.  Think natural colors like olive, tan and flesh.  Others are spending more time chasing bobbers with double nymph rigs.  Some are getting lots of fish to look up with ant patterns. Remember fish will eat an ant almost all summer long.   Reports of flying ant swarms are out there and the fish are really taking notice. We have been throwing the red and black type.  Think parachute and ant acid for the win.  While the hoppers are not a strong thing YET keep throwing them as the fish are starting to notice.   As things dry out more hoppers will be forced to the banks. All of the hoppers we are seeing are smaller in size.  Think 12-14 and fish it on a 4X leader. We like the 7.5 foot 4X leader.  Short enough to cast in the wind and will turn over any dry.  Try it you will like it.  I promise.


Nymph Fishing

Lots of folks out there throwing nymph rigs and finding success.  We have been throwing lots of smaller rubber legs 12-14 along with everything in the Dip family.  Black jiggy perdigons are all the rage right now. Look for the ones with red color or butt.  Everyone loves a target especially the fish.  Looking at the soup we are finding mostly caddis and stone flies.  Think smaller CDC princes, psyco princes and the like. Keep them small as the biomass has gotten smaller as summer rolls along.



Our guides are finding success in the early mornings with streamers.  Fish them from sun up till about 10 and you will find a meat eater.  We have been liking the sculpin family in olive and natural grey.  Soon most of the biomass from insects will leave the river and fish will be forced to look for other food sources.  Hoppers, ants and other fish.  This will happen soon so keep those zonkers handy it is almost time.

Fly Fishing Festival and Sale

The weekend of the 25,26,27 will be the Ennis Fly Fishing Festival.  Stop on down for great speakers, reps from all the manufacturers, seminars, fly tying, casting competitions, along with food and music.  It will be a good time for the entire family so bring the entire group.  We will again be having our Anniversary Sale during this weekend.  HUGE savings on all the good stuff.  Almost everything in the store will be on sale.   Get it while you can.  This is our only sale of the year.

Fishing Reports and Trips

  • Fishing Reports

  • Want to know the most up-to-date information to find where the fish are biting? The Tackle Shop Fishing Reports provide you with a comprehensive look at current water conditions, recent hatches and flow data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

  • View Reports
  • Float Trips

  • The Tackle Shop offers a range of full-day and half-day float trips in the Madison River Valley area. The trips are all-inclusive and cover files, rods, reels, waders and boots. Leave your worries behind and let us give you the fly fishing trip of a lifetime.

  • View Trips
  • Walk/Wade Trips

  • Enjoy one of our full-day or half-day walk and wade trips for a more immersive, slower-paced fly fishing experience. The Tackle Shop will cater to your individual needs so you are able to take in the sights and sounds of the best waters in Montana.

  • View Trips
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