Madison River Fishing Report for June 30th, 2019

Dam: 776 cfs

Kirby: 1,080 cfs

Varney: 1,830 cfs

The Upper Madison has been fishing well and the insect activity is just about to explode throughout the entire river.  We should also start to see a little bump in flows at some point this week, as Hebgen is just shy of 99% full and it will definitely be welcomed by all the fish living at lower water levels above Lyon’s Bridge.  The forecast for the week ahead is calling for near perfect weather, with nighttime lows in the 40’s and highs in the 70’s so now is a great time to hit the Upper Madison if you get the chance.

And now for what is on everyone’s mind… Salmonflies!  Salmonflies and a handful of Golden Stones can currently be found on the lower river down towards Ennis and it won’t be long before we start to see them moving further up river.  We have definitely noticed holes in the hatch down there, and you might go a mile or two without seeing many shucks or bugs and then suddenly you’re right back into them.  While there has certainly been a lot of hype around here, the hatch is really just getting going in terms of consistent surface action on the adults.  That said, if you commit to the dry you’re definitely going to have some shots so don’t be discouraged with periods of inactivity…you’re next cast could bring up the best fish of your season.

Aside from the big bugs, we have started to see a lot more caddis and PMDs hatching in addition to yellow sallies and large flying ants.  The bulk of these can be found in the float section down to Ennis Lake, with most of the bugs hatching from mid morning through the early afternoon hours.  You’ll also have some great evening fishing down there, so bring a handful of #14-#18 Tan and Olive Caddis with you if you head down that way.  Our bugs are just getting going in the wade section between Quake and Lyon’s but we are starting to see more caddis with each passing day up high.  Nymphs and streamers have been best in this section, and a good selection of olive caddis larva, midges, $3 Dips, yellow sally nymphs, and princes are all good choices.  You can get them on rubber legs in the early morning and evening hours, but they are getting pretty hip to the stonefly up here lately so I would keep it small.

Streamer fishing has been decent up high but a little tougher in the sections of river where salmonflies are hatching.  If you are still looking to throw some meat at them, we would recommend sticking to the early and late program as it has been really hard to get fish to chase once the bug activity starts in the morning.