Madison River Fishing Report for July 28th, 2019
Dam: 1,230 cfs
Kirby: 1,400 cfs
Varney: 1,650 cfs
Steady as she goes. The Upper Madison is still fishing very well these days with both nymphs and dries, and we are starting to get some better streamer fishing early in the morning. Flows are holding steady at prime levels heading into August with 1,400 cfs above the West Fork and 1,650 cfs at Varney so there is plenty of water throughout the entire river. With afternoon temperatures starting to climb into the mid to high 80’s things have been slowing down a little bit during the late afternoon hours, but the good news is that the forecast is calling for a chance of thunderstorms almost every day this coming week.
Dry flies are still the name of the game and there are plenty of bugs to choose from right now. Primetime is still 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and then again in the evening. We are also having some good fishing on the lower river with larger dries for the nocturnal stones that have been hatching over the last couple weeks as well as hoppers. Caddis, Sallies, PMDs, Eperous, and terrestrials are still going strong from Raynold’s all the way down to town, although we are starting to see a fewer bugs below 8 mile with each passing week. Hoppers and ants are also getting some attention during the late morning to afternoon hours, particularly in the mid river reaches down to Ennis — With the amount of big hoppers on the banks again this year we may very well be in store for another August like we saw in 2018…fingers crossed. Evening caddis action is still going in a big way, especially up high. X Caddis and Bloom’s Parachute Caddis in #16-18 are still about all your need out there, and dropping an olive Downed Caddis in the film behind the adult is always a sure bet during these egg laying sessions. Spinner falls have been going the last hour before dark if you’re in it for the long haul, and a 14-16 Rusty Para Spinner is still our go to. It’s a beautiful thing.
Nymphs have been getting done as usual, with the best time periods coinciding with that of dry fly activity. Not a whole lot going on real early in the morning unless you are throwing rubber legs and caddis larva these days. We have been doing best on Caddis Larva, Caddis Pupa, Dips, Lightings bugs, and PMD nymphs from mid morning on, and also doing very well on Yellow Sally Nymphs from just before noon until 1:00-2:00. There are lots of bugs out right now so keeps changing up the menu until you figure out what they’re looking for. Caddis are always the safest bet, but don’t neglect the PMD Emergers and Sally Nymphs once you start to see them flying around.
Streamer fishing has actually started to pick up a little bit from dawn through the mid morning hours. Small sculpin patterns are still the name of the game, but you’ll still find fish willing to eat thin profile articulated patterns like Peanut Envys and Double Screamers as well. We should start to see more in the way of fish chasing down big stuff with each passing week.