Madison River Fishing Report for September 3rd, 2019
Dam: 1,110 cfs
Kirby: 1,110 cfs
Varney: 1,170 cfs
The Upper Madison has been spectacular over the last several weeks, and we can’t say enough about the quality of the dry fly fishing this year. Most of us doubted that we could have another hopper season that could compare with what we saw in 2018, but I think its safe to say that this August was even better. We should continue to have good terrestrial fishing for a couple more weeks as long as the temperatures hold, and it looks like we are in store for a little cooling trend in the next few days. Otherwise flows are still above average for this time of year, and the entire river is fishing well, so definitely get out this way if the opportunity presents itself.
If you are looking to fish dries, the best windows have been from late morning until five or six o’clock. Nocturnal stones are still getting good fish to come up in addition to ants, beetles, bees, and attractors but everybody has been investing the vast majority of their time fishing hoppers. The best hopper fishing window seems to be from noon – 4:00 p.m., but fish have definitely become a little more selective this week. We have had more consistent eats on smaller patterns in the #12-#14 range since our last report, but there are still some days where larger imitations are the way to go, and gold, tan, and pink/flesh continue to be our most productive colors. Every day is a little different, so just keep changing up your size and color until you start to see results. Also worth noting is that the larger honey ants have been spotted taking flight over the last few days, so don’t forget to have some cinnamon flying ants in your box if you plan on being on the river after 5:00 p.m.. Some of our go-to honey ant patterns are Kelly’s Ant Acid, Pav’s Cinnamon Toast, and the cinnamon Delektable Flying Ant.
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.
Streamer fishing has actually been really good lately, but it’s still a morning and evening affair for the time being. Olive and black Sculpin imitations like Sex Dungeons, and Boogie Men have brought some really nice fish to hand from dawn until 11:00 and we have had really good success fishing them with a medium to fast retrieve off the bank. Its been very difficult to get them to chase once the sun gets high though, but that’s about the time they start looking up and who can complain about good streamer fishing in the morning and fantastic dry fly fishing in the afternoons? Once we start getting cooler nights and the terrestrial fishing begins to slow down we should start to see fish chase with more consistency throughout the day.