Madison River Fishing Report for October 26th, 2016

Dam: 722 cfs

Kirby: 882 cfs

Varney: 1,030 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  The Upper Madison has been fishing extremely well over the last two weeks, despite being one of the windier Octobers we’ve experienced in quite some time.  The nice thing is that the upper wade stretch and the Madison between the lakes are generally a lot more protected from the wind tunnel that can occur from the West Fork down to Ennis Lake, so there are always areas to seek refuge if need be.  The nymph fishing continues to be outstanding throughout the upper river, but fish have been very particular about what they are looking for.  As a general rule of thumb, if you make thirty good drifts through a run that you know holds fish without an eat, change up your flies and keep changing until you figure it out.  One of the most common mistakes we see from people is spending five minutes in a run and moving on to the next one without taking the time to play with depth and fly choice.  Some of our best patterns over the last week have been Wine colored San Juan Worms, small Pat’s Rubber Legs,  #18 Zebra Midges in black/silver and black/copper, #20 Green Machines in pheasant tail and gray, #20 Galloup’s BWO nymphs, #18-20 BWO Barr’s Emergers, #18 Three Dollar Dips, #18-20 BWO Triple-B Flashbacks, and #18 lightning bugs.  We have also seen decent numbers of Blue Wings hatching up high, and Nyman’s BWO Cripple or Galloup’s BWO Tilt-Wing Dun in size 20 have both been great choices for picking off rising fish.

Streamer fishing has been extremely productive for hunting big Browns this October, and a lot of people have been getting in on the Fall action throughout the great Yellowstone region.  We generally have a pretty good bite in the sun over here on the Madison, but our larger browns have been a little more tentative to eat the big stuff under blue-bird skies this Fall.  However, the overcast days have more than made up for it and there have been a lot of quality fish caught throughout the entire system.  With water temperatures still hovering in the mid forties to low fifties, we have had no problem getting fish to chase on fast retrieves from noon to sundown, but it has been all about the slow pulse and vertical jig first thing in the morning.  Black, olive, white, olive/white, and brown/yellow have been the hot color combinations over the last two weeks, and the pattern selection has varied depending on the day.  We have been doing best with deeper profile flies such as silk kitties and sex dungeons on the overcast days, but as soon as the sun is on the water we have noticed that fish seem to be more responsive to thinner-profile patterns such as peanut envys, double screamers, and cone head barely legals.  Just make sure to keep varying up your retrieves and profiles until you crack the code, and you should do well out there.  Finally, we have started to see a lot more in the way of spawning redds in all the rivers across the region.  If you do encounter freshly cleared gravel, please make sure to keep your distance and please do not fish for browns on spawning beds as future generations of fish depend on their success.  If there is no way to avoid a spawning redd, please walk above them as most of the eggs tend to settle anywhere from 3-15 feet behind the actual bed.  As always, keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn, and be sure to stop by the shop if you are in the area.