Madison River

Dam: 1,010 cfs

Kirby: 1,040 cfs

Varney: 1,130 cfs

Not much has changed over the last week here on the Upper Madison.  Mornings and evenings continue to produce the most consistent fishing, but the afternoons are still a little more day-to-day than we’d like to see.  One day we have a great nymph and ant bite, and the next day it’s all 12-13 inchers and whitefish…go figure.  The wade section continues to be the surest best around here, and we’ve been doing best nymphing $3 dips, Red serendipitys, and diving caddis when they haven’t been looking up.  The hopper bite is still not really happening up here, despite a growing number of hoppers in the #8-14 range along the banks.  If hoppers are your thing, you’ll probably do better fishing between McAtee and Ennis, as we are still getting some good fish to come up and eat down low.  Ants and small attractors are the way to go if you’re looking to throw dries in the wade section, and some of our better patterns have been cinnamon or brown ant acids, CDC Water wasps, and Delektable CDC Flying ants in cinnamon.  If you are planning on heading out this way, make SURE to have some #12-14 flying ants in your box…it’s no guarantee that you’ll see them hit the water, but you’ll be kicking yourself all the way home if they do and you aren’t prepared.  The float section below Lyons has continued to have good early morning fishing with nocturnal stone patterns from O’Dark-30 until 9:00 a.m. or so, but it’s mostly been a nymphing game from late morning on…again, small serendipitys have been the flies of choice, but caddis larva, red and black midges, and small attractors should not be overlooked.  Streamer fishing has been the way to go when the clouds move in, and again in the evening, but it’s been a little spotty under the bright sun–Hopefully these colder temperatures will start to wake up the big browns in the weeks to come.