Madison River Fishing Report for October 27th, 2019

Dam: 974 cfs

Kirby: 1,100 cfs

Varney: 1,170 cfs

The Upper Madison has been fishing well over the last several weeks, and it looks like we have another cold front moving in for the week ahead.  We are looking at below zero to single digits lows this week and highs not projected to hit above freezing until this coming Thursday so there’s not a huge need to be out on the water until the mercury starts rising in the late morning hours.  Subsurface fishing remains solid despite the cold conditions, and we are still finding good fish rising up to midges and BWO’s on the calmer days.

It’s been all about midges and small jigs during the morning when it comes to effective nymph patterns, with small baetis nymphs taking over around noon until the end of the emergence.  Not much has changed in terms of patterns since our last report, with zebra midges, jujubee midges, and black dips being the most effective midge imitations.  Once the BWOs start to move around, we continue to do best on Kelly’s BWO nymph, Little Green Machines, Thin Mints, BWO Barr’s Emergers, and Triple-B Flashbacks…all in size 20. With the colder weather heading our way, it might push the emergence back an hour or two but we should still see good numbers of BWO’s and Pseudos hatching for another week or so.  Dry fly fishing has been more consistent between Quake and Three Dollar for some reason, and as long as the wind isn’t too bad you can expect to find some heads up in the slicks during the early afternoon hours.

Streamer fishing has actually been pretty good in the upper half of the river between Raynold’s and McAtee Bridge but it has definitely been a little tougher down low this October.  Afternoons have been a lot better as well, so you might want to stick to the warmest part of the day until we get some warmer nights heading our way.  On the cloudier days we have been getting fish to eat big profile flies like Dungeons and Silk Kitties, but it has been all about thin profiles when the sun is out.  Keep your retrieves pretty slow in the mornings until water temps start to warm, but don’t be afraid to rip it during the afternoon…some of the better fish we’ve seen have been eating it on a pretty fast retrieve in the later part of the day.

We are also starting to see more and more spawning beds being created throughout the entire river.  As always, please watch out for any cleared gravel and remember to never walk directly behind spawning redds as most of the eggs usually wind up 3′-15′ below them.