Madison River

Dam: 910 cfs

Kirby: 959 cfs

Varney: 1,050 cfs

The cold snap last Thursday made for some tough fishing over the next few days, particularly down by Ennis,  as water temps dropped between 6-8 degrees above their normal highs. Sunday was a different story though, and we saw more than a few bent rods from nymph, dry fly, and streamer fishermen in the wade section, so look for fishing to heat up again this week.  The forecast is calling for highs in the 60’s with night-time lows hovering around 30 degrees, so it appears that a second wind of Indian Summer is headed our way.  There have been a lot of Pseudos hitting the water between noon and 3:00, and while the actual bug is between a #22-#24, you can usually take trout on a well presented #20 BWO when you see heads up in the slicks.  One of our most productive baetis duns this time of year is Rowan Nyman’s BWO Cripple with a black wing, so you might want to grab a couple at the shop before heading out to your favorite dry fly flat.  Nymph fishermen have been doing best on a variety of midge larva/pupa imitations trailed behind baetis nymphs/emergers, but it never hurts to try a black rubber leg or small caddis larva this time of year either.  Streamer fishing has started to pick up again as well, and we had some great action yesterday on little barely legals in olive & White, yellow double screamers, and olive peanut envys.  We have also heard recent reports of some larger browns being caught throughout the Madison in the park, and we’re guessing that the colder weather last week brought a good push of fish up from Hebgen…so if you’re looking for a pig, that would be a good place to throw something large and in charge right now.  The Madison between the lakes is still pretty warm for this time of year, as the water has been coming over the top of the dam for the better part of the summer, but we are still seeing some good fish trickle in every day.  It could be a week or two before water temperatures become low enough to trigger a larger volume of migratory fish up into the river system.  Long story short, if you don’t have anything too important to do around your neck of the woods, try and find an excuse to wet a line in the Upper Madison sometime this week–it’ll be worth your while.