Madison River Fishing Report for July 6th, 2019

Dam: 1,010 cfs

Kirby: 1,310 cfs

Varney: 1,890 cfs

The Upper Madison is in it’s prime right now and the river is exploding with insect activity.  Flows are just about perfect for both the upper and lower stretches of the river, and both dry fly and nymph anglers have a lot of different options to choose from. The forecast is calling for highs in the mid to high 70’s with relatively warm nights this week, so it’s just about perfect conditions to get in on some of the best fishing of the year.

Salmonflies are still going strong, and it shouldn’t be very long before we start to see them up by Lyon’s Bridge and the West Fork area of the Madison.  The bulk of the hatch still seems to be from Windy Point down to Cameron Flats, but we should start to see shucks along the banks by Raynold’s and Three Dollar by Tuesday or Wednesday if I had to guess.  While there have been some days that have been tougher than others to get them to eat the big bug, the last three days have been a lot better in terms of productivity than what we saw last week.  There are also quite a few Golden Stones around there too, in addition to swarms of caddis, yellow sallies, PMDs, and a few green drakes.  That said, if you’re a dry fly fisherman now is the time to see just how incredible the Madison River can be.

Nymphs are getting it done under the surface as well.  Pat’s Rubber legs are still working early in the morning and again in the evening, but it’s been more about the caddis and mayfly game throughout the better part of the day.  Olive caddis larva in #14-18, Shop Vacs, $3 Dips, PT’s, Hare’s Ears, and PMD Barr’s Emergers have been some of our better patterns lately, but they have definitely been looking for green drake nymphs on those rainy afternoons as well.  We are also just starting to get into evening caddis action on the wade section between Quake and Lyons, and a good assortment of tan and olive X-Caddis in #14-16 is just about all you need to get into fish from 7:00 until dark.

Streamer Fishing is still pretty tough these days, and will continue to be until the plethora of bugs out there starts to dissipate later on in August.  You can still get into them on the rainy days with small sculpin patterns, as well as from daylight until sun up, but now is the time to stick with the floating line on the Madison…that big brown you’re searching for with a streamer is probably more interested in salmonflies right now.