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Madison River Fishing Report in the time of Hoot Owl

Yes it is true The Madison River has been marked with the Hoot Owl restrictions.  This means no fishing at all from 2 pm till midnight.   While there are normally very specific criteria to enact and redact hoot owl restrictions this time FWP is winging it.  If you look at the press release it is admitted that the criteria has not been met FWP is still enacting these restrictions because of heavy use.  A little bit of a leap from the historical rules.

Read the full press release from FWP https://fwp.mt.gov/news/current-closures-restrictions


Now I do not think it is a bad thing and in fact we have been following the voluntary  restrictions for many weeks we are always curios when government  imposes restrictions arbitrarily .


So what does this mean for fishing.  In fact the fishing is really good right now with higher than normal flows from the dam and relatively  cooler water.   Get on the river early.  We have been meeting at 6 am and the store is open then.   You can fish a full day and be done fishing at 2.  If you’r   floating you just need to stop fishing at 2 but can continue floating. No rush getting to the take out at 2.


Right now we are in the in-between  time.   Hoppers and ants are just starting but the huge hatches are the thing of the past.  We have been having good luck fishing hoppers, nocturnal stone flies, mayflies and caddis.  The dry fly bite starts around 10 and continues right past the 2pm cut off.


Earlier than 10 and fish nymphs and streamers.  Some big fish are eating streamers in the morning and this will only get better as we roll along.


Bottom line is this.  Yes we are open at 6.   Fishing is good on the river but you need to be off by 2.   Ice cream taste good around 3.

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Hoppers of every shape and size. We like the pink or peach ones. Purple haze, Elk hair caddis, Chubbies


Lightning bug, CDC Prince, sparkel prince, frenchie, Jig lightning bug,


Trevors sculpin, Shelia, Mini loop, Sparkel Minnow

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