Dam: 921 cfs
Kirby: 948 cfs
Varney: 1,000 cfs
The Upper Madison was a little rough last week if you were on the water between 10:00 a.m.. and 6:00 p.m…..not that it was awful by any means, but the better fish in the river made you work for it a little more than usual. That being said, we received a small but welcome increase in flows out of the dam a few days ago, which should give these fish a little more freedom to disperse as they see fit. There are still plenty of Nocturnal stones below Lyon’s (still!!!) and the purple chubby continues to be fly numero uno for imitating these adults– We should start to see the tail-end of these stoneflies over the next couple of weeks, so get out there and hit it while you can.
The virtually non-existant streamer bite that we had last week seems to have come around over the last few days. I’m not sure if it was the extra water or the green tinge we received via Cabin and Beaver Creeks, but the streamer fishing this morning reminded me of just how good it can be when you hit it right. The black boogie man was the fly of the day, but you know how that goes…tomorrow it could be an olive dungeon, followed by a JJ’s or Big Hole Bug the day after that.– just keep changing your color and you should do well out there.
If you are looking to throw terrestrials, I would encourage you to focus more on ants or beetles rather than hoppers. We have had a couple of decent days throwing small hoppers, but ants are almost always more productive this time of year. Speaking of which, We saw our first flight of honey ants between Raynolds and Three Dollar Bridge a couple nights ago, so make sure you have at least a couple patterns in the #12-14 range if you plan on fishing later in the day.
Those running the indicator will do best on $3 dips, lighting bugs, midges, and small hares ears, and if that doesn’t work the zonker/bead head rig is always the ace-in-the-hole this time of year.