Madison River Fishing Report for September 16th, 2020
Dam: 890 cfs
Kirby: 971 cfs
Varney: 983 cfs
The Upper Madison continues to fish well through September. While the smoke has put a slight damper on the hopper fishing we are still getting good fish to come up to the big dry in the afternoons and nymphs and streamers have been working well in the morning. Water temps have been staying between 52 and 62 degrees which is about perfect for this time of year, and it looks like we have a little rain in the forecast for this weekend which should clear out the smoke for a couple of days or so.
After another great August filled with outstanding hopper fishing it looked as though it would stay that way through September until we got the first snows on the afternoon/evening of the 7th. After a few days of warm temperatures we were right back into good hopper fishing until the skies began to fill with heavy smoke. We are still getting some good fish to come up through the hazy skies, but it is nowhere close to as good as it was before the smoke rolled in. Obviously, we are all doing the rain dance for our brothers and sisters on the West Coast and hope they get enough precipitation to get those wildfires under control in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Nymphs have been picking up some nice fish from the morning and throughout the day as well, and we have been doing best by keeping our patterns pretty small these days. BWO nymphs in 18-20, 16-18 Perdigons & Spanish Bullets, Three Dollar Dips, and 18-22 midge larva/pupa are still the most productive patterns for us and they will likely stay that way through October. Just make sure you use enough split shot to get down on the bottom and keep changing up your patterns until you start to see consistent action.
Streamer fishing has been good to excellent in the early morning hours, and the bite from mid morning through the afternoon seems to change each day. Small sculpin patterns have been most productive on the upper portions of the river, and larger articulated patterns have been getting some really nice fish on the lower sections of the Upper Madison.