The Resilient Madison River
People can say a bunch of bad stuff about the Madison River. It is crowded, fast, technical but the fact is that it just produces day after day. Bring on heat, crowds and sun and folks are still hooked up daily. This consistency is why the Madison River is still one of the best fly fishing rivers in the world and a favorite of anglers. If you are fishing Montana the Madison is where you should be.
Sub-Surface is King
If your out there now we are sort of between hatches. Salmon flies have come and gone, there are still plenty of caddis, yellow sallies and PMD but the big bugs like hoppers and ants are not there yet. If you’r looking to get and stay bent all day nymphing and streamer fishing is where you will want to be. Our guides have been having the best luck with PMD jig head nymphs, prince , and yellow sally nymphs. Keep them deep. Remember the Madison is quite unique. Fish hold in some of the shallowest water ever. If there is enough water to cover their backs there is probably fish there. Do not be afraid of the shallow stuff.
Fish Dry or Die
If you’r a dry fly fisherman get up early or stay late. We have been having the best luck early in the morning and in the evening. The morning think mayfly caddis. We have been doing best with an x caddis and a purple haze. The evenings think caddis and may fly spinner. The best fishing is in the last hour or so of light. We have been having the best luck in the channels and way upstream near Lyons bridge.
Good Flows for August on the Madison River
We are looking at good flows currently and expect the same for August. We have flows of 1460CFS currently at Varney Bridge and that is right in the sweet spot. If we can maintain these flows all summer the hopper fishing will be awesome in a few weeks. It is getting dry out there. Be careful as we do not need any fires in the valley. As the water warms up remember to fight fish quick and keep them in the water as much as possible. We are not seeing any hoot owl restriction on the upper and lets keep it that way.