Fishing Report for July 22nd, 2012

Madison River

Dam:  1,140 cfs

Kirby: 1,310 cfs

Varney: 1,530 cfs

It’s been a hot couple of weeks throughout the state, and water temps are now peaking at around 70 degrees above the West Fork.  The forecast is calling for more reasonable weather patterns (high 70’s-low 80’s) this week, so hopefully that will cool things down a little bit.  Most of our hatches are done below Varney right now, except for nocturnal stones and a few caddis, so you’ll do best by getting on the water early down there or later on in the evening,  There are still quite a few caddis and Epeorus from Ruby Creek up to Quake lake, and even a few PMDs, but the dry fly fishing in the float section has started to get a little tough after noon-thirty…the same could be said for most of the wade section.  Not that you shouldn’t try throwing a few ants, beetles, and small attractors, but if you are looking for numbers then the indicator has been the way to go.  We’ve been doing best on Epeorus and caddis emergers, as well as small lightning bugs and assorted serendipitys, but don’t hesitate to throw a #8 Tan/Brown Pat’s Rubber Leg (especially when the storms are rolling in) as we are starting to see more and more nocturnal stones from the West Fork down to 8-Mile Ford.  If you are still jonesing to throw some larger dries, try some Fat Alberts, Chubby Chernobyls, and larger hoppers during periods of low light, as these stoneflies are pretty much in the same category as vampires when it comes to the sun.

The evening caddis action has been good in the wade section, though we’ve been hearing some reports that anglers haven’t been seeing heads up eating adults.  The only advice that we can give you is to go with your gut and fish good looking water…Sometimes the only fish you see rise all night are to your fly.  If you’re just looking at the water within 10 feet of the bank, then you are missing a lot of opportunities, as some of the larger fish are holding in the faster seams and pockets in order to escape from the heat.  Wade a little further out, and you will find more fish.  Another system that has been working well is fishing a larger elk hair or parachute caddis and dropping a #16-18 diving caddis like a tan Silvey’s Diving caddis or Kelly’s downed caddis behind it, as many of our species oviposit.  The Eperous spinner falls seem to be happening about 30 minutes before dark, so make sure to drop a #14-16 rusty spinner off your caddis around 9:00 p.m., and you won’t have to wonder when the fish start keying in on them.

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