Madison River Fishing Report for September 19th, 2016

Dam: 757 cfs

Kirby: 809 cfs

Varney: 830 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  The Upper Madison has been fishing well this September, and the wade section between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge has really turned on over the last 2-3 weeks.  It has been primarily a nymph game out there, but we are still getting a few good fish to come up for small hoppers and ants during the warm afternoons as well as BWOs on the colder overcast days.  That said, if you are looking for numbers than you’ll want to throw an indicator out there, and some of our most productive nymphs this month have been san juan worms, #18 Zebra Midges, Kelly’s BWO Nymph in #18-20, BWO Barr’s Emergers in #18-20, BWO Triple-B Flashbacks in #18, brown and black $3 Dips in #18, Gray and PT Green Machines in #20, and small lightning bugs.  We’ve been doing best on the worm earier in the morning, and the fish seem to transition over to the midge drift around 9:00-10:00 a.m..  As for the Blue Wings, they seem to be getting started a little earlier on the brighter days whereas you aren’t likely to see them until 1:00-2:00 p.m. on the cold and cloudy afternoons that are scheduled to descend upon the Madison Valley through the weekend.  Once you start to see the first sign of Baetis beginning to hatch, switch to Kelly’s BWO nymph and trail an emerger such as a BWO Barr’s Emerger or Triple-B Flashback in size 18-20 and you should get into fish right away.  If that doesn’t seem to work out, try moving your indicator up a couple of feet in case the fish are suspended and you are getting your bugs too far below them.  If you start to see some noses poking up, tie on a Nyman’s BWO cripple or Sparkle Dun in size 20 and that should do the trick.  Streamer fishing has also been good up high, and we are seeing decent numbers of lake fish coming up between the lakes as well as the Madison in Yellowstone National Park.  Some of our better patterns over the last few weeks have been Trevor Sculpins, Peanut Envys, Silk Kitties, CH Barely Legals, and various small sculpin imitations in natural and olive.  With water temps in the mid fifties to low sixties, we’ve been finding good browns that are more than happy to chase down a streamer on a fast retrieve.

The float section of the Madison has been fishing well too, but the incredible streamer fishing we saw when the water was up a little higher has slowed down a bit.  However, with all the rain and cloud cover in the forecast this week, that should change here very soon.  Look for fish to get on the darker colors such as black, olive, natural, and brown & yellow and keep playing with your retrieves until you dial it in.  If nymphing is more your style, then I would stick to a good assortment of small Pat’s rubber legs and worms trailing small droppers such as baetis nymphs, midges, small lightning bugs, and hares ears.  Nymphing Zonkers and other small sculpin imitations with lightning bug droppers has also been effective throughout the upper river.  With the cooler days and precipitation in the forecast, be sure to have some small attractors such as purple hazes, royal pmxs, and parachute adams if you’re looking to throw dries, and be sure to post up on the first signs of fish rising to BWOs in the early afternoon hours. As always, be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.