Madison River Fishing Report for October 24th, 2022

Dam: 658 cfs

Kirby: 788 cfs

Varney: 1,040 cfs

After one of most glorious Fall weather patterns we have experienced in recent memory, old man winter finally showed up and blanketed the mountains with a hefty dose of reality.  Most of SW Montana received a good amount of snow in the mountains over the weekend, and it looks like we’ve seen the last of 70 degree afternoons until this coming Spring.  That said, fishing has been good on the Upper Madison over the last two weeks and the streamer fishing has finally started to improve as well.

Nymphs are still the name of the game out there, and we are still doing best on small midges, BWO nymphs, Black and Pearl Perdigons, Worms, and small stonefly nymphs. Some of our favorite patterns over the last two weeks have been Kelly’s BWO Nymph, BWO Barr’s Emergers, Curtis’ Thunder, Juju baetis, Copper/Black Zebra midges, Blood Red Squirmy Worms, and Jujubee Midges.  If you are looking to throw dries, there have been fish eating pseudos and midges in the wade stretch between Quake and Lyon’s bridge and most of the action has been between 2:00 – 4:00 pm..  It’s hard to believe we were still getting fish to look at small hoppers and ants before the weather moved in, but I think it’s safe to say that the terrestrial bite is officially over for the year.  You’ll want to stick with nymphs and streamers from here on out and keep an eye out for fish eating dries during the afternoon hours.

After a slow start in late September and the first few days in October, the streamer bite has finally started to pick up over the last several weeks.  Even with the warmer nights we experienced this Fall, it didn’t seem like fish were interested in chasing until the water started to warm up, and our best window of opportunity has been somewhere after 10-11 am and into the evening.  Black, Cream, and Natural Mini Dungeons, Olive Peanut Envys, Gray/White and Black Mini Whiteys, Black/Olive Double Screamers, and White Silk Kitties have been some of our most productive patterns and we have been keeping our retrieves on the medium to medium-fast side along the banks.

We are also starting to see more spawning redds showing up on the Upper Madison, so please watch your step out there.  If you do encounter cleared gravel, please do your best to walk in front of it rather than behind as most of the eggs end up just downstream from the spawning bed.