Madison River Fishing Report for August 23rd, 2019

Dam: 1,210 cfs

Kirby: 1.230 cfs

Varney: 1,340 cfs

The dry fly fishing on the Upper Madison continues to impress, and we have another incredible August on our hands.  Crowds have been relatively sparse on the weekdays and the forecast is calling for bright skies and temperatures in the mid to high seventies for the week ahead…pretty much perfect weather for what is on everybody’s mind around here: Hopper fishing.

Yes they are still eating hoppers, and yes it has been really good out there.  There have been a few tough afternoons when a stiff north wind is blowing up river, but otherwise the hopper bite has been really consistent from late morning until 5:00 p.m..  As we mentioned in our last report, nocturnal stones and ants have been the best option for getting fish on the surface before that magic window.  Pink, Flesh, Tan, Gold, and Yellow have been some of our best hopper colors and while some days it doesn’t seem to matter, there are other days when they are looking for one a little more than the others so keep changing up your sizes and colors until you find what they’re looking for.  As far as patterns are concerned we are still leaning heavy on Morrish Hoppers, Thunder Thighs, Panty Droppers, and Grand Hoppers in #8-#12.

If nymphs are more your style, we are still getting fish on #8-10 Pat’s Rubber Legs in the morning for the nocturnal stones and after that it’s been more about smaller patterns.  Three Dollar Dips, Krystal Dips, Green Machines, Lightning Bugs, The Fly Formerly Known as Prince, Euro jigs, and Small PMD Emergers have been best, and we’ve been keeping it more in the #16-#20 range.  Honestly though, I would commit to the dry during the afternoon hours as the hopper and ant bite has been far more consistent lately.

Streamer Fishing has been getting better with each passing week, with the best windows still being fairly early in the morning and then again in the evening.  Mini Dungeons, Mini Loop Sculpins, Peanut Envys, and CH Barely Legals have been some of the most consistent patterns out there and it shouldn’t be long before fish start looking at larger patterns for most of the day.