Madison River

Dam: 974 cfs

Kirby: 1,030 cfs

Varney: 1,100 cfs

It’s starting to feel a bit more like Fall in Southwest Montana, and colder nights have brought water temperatures down to more reasonable levels.  We had a TON of people out on the river over Labor Day weekend, but the crowds have subsided and things should become a little more comfortable for everyone after today.  The Upper Madison is still a little spotty, but we’ve been having better days than usual over the past week…not so much on top, but the nymph bite has been good with serendipitys, baetis nymphs (in the a.m.), and small attractors throughout the river.  Just about everyone who has been fishing hoppers in the wade section has come back with little to show for it, and the ant bite is still hit or miss, but small nymphs and larger streamer patterns seem to be the way to go if you are looking for numbers as well as size.  Much can be said about the float section below Lyon’s Bridge…you’ll definitely rise a few fish to your hopper, but be prepared for long stretches of time between eats–You’re also a lot more likely to put it over a pig out in the middle these days than sticking to traditional banks.  Streamer fishing has started to pick up again, both above and below Lyon’s, and we’ve been doing most of the damage with black and olive sex dungeons, barely legals, and double screamers.