Dam: 1,400 cfs
Kirby: 1,960 cfs
Varney: 2,840 cfs
The dry fly bite was absolutely scorching last week on the Upper Madison, and while things have slowed down a little bit, it’s still really damn good out there. Salmonflies and golden stones are couple miles upstream from Ruby all the way up into the wade section, and while fish have gotten a little more “slap-happy” out there in regards to the rise, there are still plenty of big eaters to be had– Some of our better patterns have been black and golden cat pukes, rastaman golden stones, carnage salmonflies, and Morrish’s fluttering stones.
When you see giant stoneflies taking flight, its easy to forget that fish ARE eating other things too, particularly yellow sallies and caddis, and we have had some unbelievable days on both trailed behind of golden or a salmonfly. There seem to be three specific species of yellow sallies out there at the moment, but the #16 tannish/yellow seems to be doing the most damage… not to say you should overlook the 18’s, but if you can get away with throwing a larger dry fly then why go smaller?As far as caddis, stick to the #16-18 in tan or olive.
If you’re looking to get out there early in the morning, and they aren’t looking for the big bugs quite yet, nymphing and streamer fishing have been very productive as well. Caddis larva/pupa, rubberlegs, yellow sally nymphs, small attractors, and midges are all good choices, but they seem to be after something a little different everyday. Also worth noting is the size of some of the rainbows and browns being taken this year…..I think we’ve already landed more rainbows over 18″ this season than we did all of last year, which is a great sign for the months to come.