Labor Day Weekend Madison River Fishing Report

Cool Water and Happy Fish

The river temps have cooled off and the Madison River Fish are Happy.  All the wet weather we have been having this year has keep the flows up and the water temps cool.  The fish like cold water, who knew?  We are set up for a huge fall of fishing.  If you can get here this fall it might just be one for the ages.

Hopper Anyone

The Terrestrial bite on the Madison River has kicked into gear.  What we have been waiting for has happened. The thing about this year is all the hoppers are small. Think size 12.  Walk along the bank and look for the hoppers.  They are all tiny.  Not sure if the wet weather made them smaller or because it was cooler they did not get a chance to grow but think small.  We have been having our best luck with pink , peach and tan colors in the size 12.  Also the key is variegated rubber legs.  They like them.

Throw and ant behind the hopper to double or triple your chances.  Fish eat ants way more than hoppers.  They like them.  If you ever tasted an ant they are bitter.  Fish like the sour patch kids of the terrestrial world.   Fish these little guys on 4X and make them float.  An ant in the wild does not float very far before it goes under.  Make them float. Also try the submerged ant patterns.  We like the purple ants.  Have you ever seen a purple ant in the wild?  Us either but the fish like them.


Streamer season is kicking off.  We have been getting a few good ones especially in the mornings on the bunny fur.  Trevors Sculpin feels like the winner right now.  We like the black and olive colors. Tie on a sparkly nymph trailer and double your chance.  This will only get better as the fall rolls along.  Less biomass in the river with aquatic stuff makes fish look to other food sources.  Hoppers, ants and other fish are next in line.

Wet Weather Coming Again

Looks like we are going to get some more wet weather.  This might change things for the near term.  Think streamers during the dark rainy days. After the rain think the worm hatch might be strong.  Just a hint.  Great gear on sale in the store and on line.

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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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