Madison River Fishing Report for August 25th, 2016

Dam: 861 cfs

Kirby: 892 cfs

Varney: 875 cfs

Madison River fishing report. The flow out of Hebgen was increased to 861 cfs this afternoon, which should give the fish some much needed breathing room, and make sections of the river such as Cameron flats and 8 Mile to town a lot more tolerable than what we’ve seen over the last week. That said, the Upper Madison continues to hold its own throughout the month of August, and the good news is that the warmer nights and 90 degree days appear to be on the way out.  The wade section between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge has been a little more challenging in the mornings, but we have still been getting some good fish to eat small zebra midges and hares ears until the bite starts picking up around 10:00 a.m..  A good way to counter the lack of activity is to cash in on some of the dynamite streamer fishing that has been going on from O’ dark-thirty until 9:00 a.m., and we have been doing best on small sculpin imitations like Mini Loops, Trevor’s Sculpins, and Galloup’s Wooly Sculpins over the last week.  However, we have also had some good activity on larger streamers such as Sex Dungeons, Silk Kitties, and Boogie Men until the sun hits the water.  If you are looking to stack up some numbers, then nymphing is still your best bet out there and some of our better patterns this week have been #18 black and original $3 Dips, #18 PT Green Machines, #18 Micro Mayflies, #20 BWO nymphs, and #18-20 RS-2’s…in other words, a lot of small stuff.  There have been quite a few Pseudos starting to hatch in the mornings as well a slightly larger (#18-20) mayfly emerging in the early afternoon, and a #20 parachute adams or #20 Nyman’s BWO Cripple are both good choices if you start to see heads poking up.  We’ve had a few reports of decent hopper fishing in the afternoon, but ants have been far more consistent, as is usually the case this time of year.  Our best ant patterns in the upper stretch have been Kelly’s Ant Acid in cinnamon and black/purple, with the Delektable CDC Ant in cinnamon and Bloom’s Parachute Ant tied in a very close second. There have been good numbers of small black flying ants starting their migration as of late, so it shouldn’t be long until the larger honey ants begin to take flight.  If you plan on fishing into the late afternoon hours on the Madison this week, do yourself a favor and make sure you have at least a few #12-14 flying ant patterns in your box or you could be missing out on the biggest suicide bite of the year.  Most of the flights tend to occur between 3:30-5:30 pm, and our favorite places to fish them are usually around Three Dollar Bridge and pretty much anywhere downstream from Ruby Cliffs.  There are still a few caddis out at night, but their numbers are dwindling with each passing day.  However, we are still seeing decent amounts of Epeorus spinners around, and a #16 rusty spinner has been about all you need to stay bent during that last hour before dark.

The float stretch of the Madison has fished extremely well with streamers early in the morning and then again in the evenings. As we mentioned above, it has been more of a small sculpin bite over the last several weeks but we have also been picking up some quality fish on baitfish patterns such as olive and white CH Barely Legals and Black and Olive Double Screamers once the sun hits the water.  As soon as the streamer bite starts to slow down, dead drifting a pearl zonker or sculpin imitation has been one of the better options out there and some of our most productive droppers have been lighting bugs, prince alberts, flashback PT’s, copper johns, and soft hackles.  If that doesn’t work then you’ll want to switch to some smaller nymphs, and a good assortment of serendipities, lightning bugs, hare’s ears, and green machines should get the job done.  If dries are more your style, then you’ll want to stick to attractors and terrestrials as there has been very little in the way of aquatic insect activity going on between Lyon’s and town.  Much like in the wade section, we’ve had some good fish willing to eat a hopper but smaller ants, beetles, and attractors have been far more consistent.  You’ll have your fair share of smaller trout ready to eat just about anything that resembles a small food source, but if you keep at it you will rise and hook some good fish out there.  Kelly’s Ant Acid, the Delektable CDC Ant, #16-18 Parachute Adams, #16-18 Purple Haze, Arrick’s Parachute Ant, #12 Panty Dropper Hoppers, #12 Morrish Hoppers in tan and pink, Trudes, #16 Royal Wulff Cripples, #14 black beetles, #16 Royal PMX’s, and #18 Royal Stimulators should all be in the rotation right now, and remember to keep switching it up until you crack the code.  There are still a few nocturnal stones scurrying about the surface film early in the morning between Three Dollar Bridge and Lyon’s, but they are on their way out for the most part.  We’ve still had some decent action on purple and royal chubbies first thing in the morning this week, but the bite seems to subside by around 8:00 a.m.. As always, be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.