Madison River Fishing Report for July 28th, 2017
Dam: 1,220 cfs
Kirby: 1,490 cfs
Varney: 1,670 cfs
Madison River fishing report. The Upper Madison is still in great shape with flows around 1,500 cfs at the Kirby gauge and just over 1,600 cfs at Varney Bridge. The cooler temps and thunderstorms this week were a welcome change from the bright sun and scorching 95 degree highs we experienced throughout the middle part of the month; however, it looks like we will be heading back to high sun and highs in the mid to upper 80’s after the weekend.
The fishing over the last 7-10 days has been a little more inconsistent though, and about the only sure thing seems to be the nocturnal stonefly bite from O’dark-thirty until somewhere around late morning. We are now seeing these bugs from Three Dollar Bridge all the way down to Ennis and the dry fly fishing has been good to excellent with a myriad of foam creations such as chubby chernobyls, Fat Alberts, Royal PMX Stones, and foam hoppers. The rest of the day has been far less consistent– Some days we’ve had good dry fly fishing well into the early afternoon and on others it’s like pulling teeth to get them to look up. When the bite has been good, we are still doing well on small purple hazes, #16-18 royal PMXs, #14-16 adams and purple para wulffs, black and cinnamon ants, and the ol’-reliable parachute adams. The one thing you can definitely count on is that the river seems to be taking a nap around 3:00 in the afternoon when water temperatures rise above 68 degrees. That said, we would recommend taking a break from the river yourself and heading back out for the evening caddis hatch and spinner fall.
The streamer bite continues to bring out some great fish from the banks early in the morning and then again in the evening, but they have been a little more hesitant to chase once the sun hits the water. You’ll want to keep your patterns smaller in profile and definitely more in the food-based category rather than reactionary. Some of our most effective patterns have been wooly sculpins, mini loop sculpins, sculpzillas, and CH barely legals, and we’ve also had some good success dead-drifting pearl zonkers under and indicator once they stop chasing flies on the strip.
As always, be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.