Madison River

Dam: 1,160 cfs

Kirby: 1,290 cfs

Varney: 1,440 cfs

It took a while, but Fall has finally descended upon SW Montana, and baetis and midges have begun to break through the meniscus of the Upper Madison.  The wade section was a little finicky when the first front moved in two days ago, but things have definitely picked up as a low-pressure system continues to hold.  Nymphing small midges and baetis nymphs in the morning has been the way to go until the BWOs start to pop (generally between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.), and we have seen fish up eating in the slicks once there are enough duns on the water.  For dries, keep it small…little olive parachutes in #18-20 and #18-22 adult midge/cluster patterns should be all you need.  As for the other end of the spectrum, streamer fishing has been picking up more and more every day.  We are seeing some really good fish moving up from Ennis and Hebgen Lakes right now, all in full Halloween costumes, and it should start to heat up between the Lakes any day now.  Olive and Black Boogie Men have been leading the way over the last few days, with butt monkies and Dungeons following close behind.