Madison River Fishing Report for August 5th, 2020
Dam: 1,170 cfs
Kirby: 1,320 cfs
Varney: 1,650 cfs
It’s been a hot one out there over the last week, with daytime highs consistently bringing the mercury up into the low 90’s but the Upper Madison continues to fish well through it all. Luckily the forecast is calling for temperatures dropping back into the low to mid 80’s starting this week which should make for many pleasant afternoons. We saw another bump in flows out of the dam in order to help cool the river off and we are now sitting at over 1,300 cfs at the Kirby gauge and 1,700 cfs at Varney which are great levels for both wade and float fishing this time of year.
While you can still find some aquatic insects hatching on the upper stretches, the terrestrial season is certainly upon us here on the Upper Madison and it should only get better with each passing week. Ants, beetles, and small hoppers have been bringing some nice fish up to the surface from late morning until 5:00 p.m., and we are already starting to see large numbers of grasshoppers along the banks. The best timeframe for productive fishing is still in that 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and you can get some good fish to look up at Nocturnal stoneflies, ants, caddis, spinners, and attractors until the hopper bite gets going in the afternoon. Nymphs are still getting a fair amount of whitefish activity but there are also plenty of good trout in the mix as well. Some of our better patterns have been serendipities, lightning bugs, tungsten red necks, green machines, small PMD emergers, perdigons, and pat’s rubber legs. Zonkers trailing a beadhead nymph have also been getting some nice fish below the surface. Evening caddis and spinner falls in the wade stretch has been decent lately too, but it’s really not getting going until 7:30 pm until dark.
With the increase in flows, streamer fishing has been getting a little better especially early in the morning. Small sculpin patterns like mini dungeons and mini loop sculpin continue to be the most productive for us and you can usually get them to chase a little longer as long as the cloud cover holds in the mornings. Once the sun hits the water after 8:30 a.m. it’s still been pretty tough to get them on the strip until the evening.