Madison River Fishing Report for June 24th, 2016

Dam: 545 cfs

Kirby: 829 cfs

Varney: 1,270 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  The fishing on the Upper Madison has been excellent this week, and despite the crazy afternoon gusts the dry fly bite has remained pretty solid.  Most of what you’ll find in the upper 12 miles between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge has been caddis and a few PMDs, but we should start to see more in the way of stoneflies and Eperous starting to pop here over the next 10 days.  The best caddis action seems to be on chocolate caddis (great grey spotted sedges) during the late morning and early afternoon hours, but you’ll run into quite a few smaller tan and olive adults hitting the water about an hour before dark.  Some of our better chocolate patterns have been Angelo’s Caddis and brown Twisted Babies in size 12, in addition to olive Simulators in the same size.  In the evening you’ll want to scale it down to a #16 tan or olive Butch Caddis and you should do well out there.  The nymph bite has been a little tougher up here with the lower flows, and it’s been fishing a lot more like the first week of August than the last week of July.  Pat’s Rubber legs have been effective early and late, but it’s been all about the smaller caddis larva, shop vacs, and midges on the faster seams and pockets from late morning through the afternoon.  Hopefully we’ll start to see more water come our way over the next week, and the fish will be a little less constricted out there. However, it should really start to get going in the next week as the hatches begin to move up from the lower river.

The float section has been a lot more consistent as of late, and we are seeing good insect activity from Lyon’s all the way down to Ennis.  PMDs, caddis, yellow sallies, and even a few flying ants have been taking flight each morning and fish have been looking up pretty consistently.  And now for what everybody has been waiting for…salmon flies.  After a tough 4-5 days on the lower river last week, the fish have finally started to key in on them in a big way.  The bulk of the hatch seems to be between Ruby and Varney right now, but you’ll still find decent numbers of adults and goldens from Varney down to 8 mile if you poke around the willows.  Fish have been spread out throughout the upper river, so don’t neglect the middle this time of year while 95% of the boats are banging banks.  Most of the flights have been taking place around 10:00 a.m., and with colder water coming out of the dam this year the afternoon floats have been a lot more productive than what we’ve seen in years past.  If you can’t get them to look up, the nymph fishing has been solid down there as well.  Yellow sally nymphs, caddis larva, shop vacs, $3 and krystal serendipities, hare’s ears, PMD Barr’s emergers, and smaller Pat’s rubber legs have all been great producers over the last week, and it should only continue to get better in the weeks to come.  With all the bugs making their presence known, the streamer bite has slowed down considerably but we are still getting some good fish to eat early in the morning (dawn to 8:30) and then again in the evening.  Some of our better patterns have been smaller sculpin imitations like mini loop and Trevor’s sculpins, but we have also had some great fish eat olive and white barely legals and white double screamers and silk kitties when the sun is on the water.  Long story short, the Upper Madison is starting to heat up and we should really start to see it explode here by next week.  As always, be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.

madison river fishing report 2 6-24-2016

Rick Long with a 22″ stud on the big bug