Madison River Fishing Report for August 6th, 2019

Dam: 1,340 cfs

Kirby: 1,450 cfs

Varney: 1,550 cfs

The Madison has been fishing well again this week, and as you might have guessed from the picture above we have officially entered terrestrial season on the river.  It’s been pretty warm out there over the last several weeks, but the good news is that the forecast is calling for highs in the 70’s starting on Friday, with a hefty dose of afternoon thunderstorms to help keep the water temps down.

Dry fly fishing continues to be fairly consistent with a decent amount of Caddis, Sallies, and Eperous Spinners up river. We are still having good fishing on the calmer evenings with caddis and rusty spinners in the wade section, but that should start to subside here over the next few weeks.  As we start to transition from aquatic insects into terrestrials, the best window seems to be from 11:00 – 4:00 for the vast majority of the float section between Lyon’s and Ennis.  If you just can’t wait that long and are an early riser, you can get after them with streamers or nocturnal stoneflies.  We’ve had better success with morning streamer fishing on the lower river, and you can pretty much find the nocturnals from Lyon’s all the way down to town at this point.  Some of our better nocturnal stones have been chubby chernobyls, water walkers, and fat alberts, but they will definitely mistake a larger hopper pattern in the morning as such.  Otherwise the hopper fishing has been good to excellent depending on the day.  As good as last year?  Some days have rivaled it, but we are still just getting going, and it should get better and better with each passing day.  Tan, Pink, and Yellow Hoppers in size 10-12 have yielded the most consistent results, and you’d be wise to drop a little ant or caddis off the back.  We’ve had some really great fish eat a black/red stealth ant or a black/cinnamon parachute ant off the back of the hopper over the last week.   Long story short…if you believe in the dry you will get rewarded.  Just keep changing up your patterns until you crack the code.

Nymph fishing has been good as well, especially in the upper wade stretch.  Keep in small and caddis oriented and you should do well out there.  We’ve also been picking some some nice fish on Pat’s Rubber Legs in the morning for the nocturnal stones, but after 10:00 a.m. it’s been all about serendipities, soft hackles, and attractor style nymphs.  Just make sure you have enough weight to get down to the bottom.

As we mentioned previously, streamer fishing is just getting going again and the best time slot is still early in the morning.  Small baitfish imitations like Barely Legals and Double Screamers have been some of the best patterns lately, in addition to small sculpin patterns like Mini Loop Sculpin and Mini Dungeons.