Madison River

Dam: 870 cfs

Kirby: 937 cfs

Its been a chilly first week of September in south west Montana, and it doesn’t look like its going to be getting any warmer out there for a while.  Flows were dropped 200 cfs on August 31st after a “school bus sized” boulder crushed three gates at Ennis Dam the day before.  They have been running a good amount of water down the lower Madison in order to draw down Ennis lake, thus allowing for a more thorough inspection of the damaged area.  That being said, the colder temperatures and cloudy skies have brought some much needed life to the Upper Madison, as we have been seeing good numbers of pseudos, Blue wings, and midges hatching from late morning on through the afternoon.  On the colder mornings, there has been no need to get on the river until after 9:00 a.m. or so, but once it starts to warm up we’ve been taking quite a few fish on midges and baetis nymphs in the #18-22 range.  Obviously this is a little easier to do in the wade section, but stick a small rubber leg or zonker on as your point fly, and its sure to bring some attention to your trailing baetis nymph while floating.  Streamer fishing has been good to excellent all over the upper river, and things should only get better as we move a little closer towards Fall with each passing day.