Madison River Fishing Report for October 9th, 2019

Dam: 996 cfs

Kirby: 1,140 cfs

Varney: 1,210 cfs

The Upper Madison has been fishing well over the last several weeks, and we have had our fair share of weather changes as well.  From 65 degrees and sunny to thirty degrees and snowing sideways, all bets are off once you enter the Fall season in the northern rockies so be sure to dress accordingly.  Even as I write this, there is close to a foot of snow piling up around the shop with bright sun and a high near fifty expected by the weekend.

Nymphs have been the most consistent way of getting into good numbers of fish, and we’ve had the most success running san juan worms and pat’s rubber legs trailing small droppers in the float section lately.  What droppers to throw has depended on the time of day but Zebra Midges, Black Three Dollar Dips, Euro nymphs, and BWO Nymphs and Emergers are all good choices right now.  In the upper wade section between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge we have been doing well running two small patterns in the #16-#22 range, with midges being effective throughout the day and baetis imitations coming into play from eleven o’clock until around two or three in the afternoon.  Our Fall Blue Wings and Pseduo’s are a little smaller than what you encounter in the spring so you’ll want to keep your patterns in that #20-#22 range, and Kelly’s BWO Nymph, Thin Mints, BWO Barr’s Emergers, Juju Baetis, and Triple-B’s are some of our favorites for October on the Madison.

Dries has been hit or miss, and mostly a miss on the windy days.  That said, we have still had some incredible dry fly fishing during the late morning and early afternoon hours on BWO’s when the wind has died down.  Look for heads starting to poke up in the slicks and slower areas in the Madison during the time frame, and keep varying up your patterns and sizes until they eat it without hesitation.  Snowshoe Baetis, Nyman’s BWO Cripple, Tilt Wings, and Film Critics are some of our go-to’s, but sometimes just a regular Parachute Adams or Purple Haze is all you need.  With brighter skies and warmer weather on the way next week, I wouldn’t be surprised if ants and beetles are back on the menu as well.  Hoppers?  Wouldn’t hurt to try, but this storm coupled with lows in the single digits the next two nights might finally put an end to the best hopper season we’ve ever seen.

Streamer fishing has been day to day since we entered the last week in September, and there hasn’t been a whole lot of consistency.  One day the morning is much better than the afternoon and the next day you can’t buy a fish until after lunch…you just got to put your time in and keep grinding it out but the reward of landing the biggest fish of the season is always worth it.  With water temperatures plummeting into the thirties for the first time since Spring, the fish are going to be a little lethargic for a few days so keep your retrieves low and slow with small twitches along the way.  We should start to see fish chase a little better by the weekend once the water starts to warm back up into the forties.  Small sculpin and baitfish imitations like mini dungeons, mini loop sculpin, and barely legals have been the most consistent patterns for us lately.  Bigger profile patterns have had their moments early in the morning and then again in the evening but it’s mostly been a small fly game for most of the day.