Madison River Fishing Report for July 20th, 2019

Dam: 1,150 cfs

Kirby: 1,360 cfs

Varney: 1,720 cfs

The Upper Madison continues to fish very well throughout its entirety and we are seeing a lot of bent rods out there lately.  It looks like we are in store for a bit of a heat wave early on next week before we start to see to highs return back into the high 70’s to low 80’s– Hopefully we will get some more of those amazing (and slightly terrifying) afternoon thunderstorms to keep cooling things down.

It’s been a long time since we have been able to say that Salmonflies and Golden Stones are still bringing big fish up from the watery depths during the third week in July but that has certainly been the case.  You will find Salmonflies kicking around from Raynold’s down to Pine Butte and Golden Stones from Quake down to just below Lyon’s.  We should see their numbers starting to dwindle by this coming week, but for now the bite is still good.  Just make sure to NEVER take your eye off the big bug as most of big fish have been sipping them like a BWO and will hardly break the surface.  If smaller dries are more your style then we got all you can handle right now.  Caddis, PMDs, Sallies, morning and evening Spinner Falls, small terrestrials…it’s all on the menu.  The best time frame is still in that 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. slot for smaller dries and then again in the evening. Those of you that have been on upper wade section between Quake and Lyons over the last two weeks have has seen some have seen just how incredible the dry fly fishing on the Madison can be, and we still have a ton of bugs hatching all the way down to Cameron Flats.  Some of our better dries over the last week have been #14-16 Purple Haze, #14-16 Micro Chubbies, #14-18 X and Parachute Caddis, #16 Missing Links, #16 Rusty Para Spinners, Working Girl Sallies, #16 Tilt Wing PMDs, and #16 DOA Cripples.

The nymph bite has been good to excellent as well, and a good assortment of yellow sally nymphs, caddis larva/pupa, PMD nymphs/emergers, soft hackles and serendipities will get you into fish along with the right amount of weight and a good drift.  Just be prepared to catch a decent amount of whitefish if you plan on throwing nymphs in the float section…they’ve been hunting it up lately.  We are also starting to get some good fish on smaller rubber legs on the lower river, which usually means that the nocturnal stones are starting to move around down there.  Chubbies and other foam creations in that #10-#12 range should be back on the menu down low shortly.

Streamer fishing is still hit or miss, but I would stick to the lower river if you want to rip some meat as there are significantly less bugs down towards Ennis.  Keep in food based with small to medium sculpin and baitfish patterns and hit the water first thing in the morning and then again in the evening.