Madison River Fishing Report for August 10th, 2017
Dam: 1,030 cfs
Kirby: 1,190 cfs
Varney: 1,250 cfs
Madison River fishing report. The fishing on the Upper Madison continues to be inconsistent as of late. One day you’ll get a bunch of good fish to the hand and the next day you’ll swear you’re fishing a completely different river. Water temperatures have been good this week as a result of some of the colder nights we’ve had and flows are still above average for this time of year.
As far as bugs are concerned, you can still find a few small caddis in the wade section as well as some Eperous spinners in the evenings but there are still plenty of nocturnal stoneflies scattered between Three Dollar and Ennis. The nocturnal bite has been good in the morning but we aren’t seeing them eat it quite as readily during the day as we have in years past. If you’re an early bird or like to fish at night, make sure to have a good selection of larger foam patterns before you head out there and don’t be afraid to give your bug some twitches during the drift. Some of our better patterns for these guys have been Chubby Chernobyls in purple, UV tan, and royal, tan Fat Alberts, and tan or pink Moorish Hoppers. Spruce Moths have also brought some decent fish up in the sections with conifers lining the banks. If you’re looking to hit the moth drop, concentrate your efforts between Pine Butte and Lyon’s Bridge and you shouldn’t need more than a few #12 Elk Hairs, #16 tan/brown Twisted Babies, and #16 Half Down Hoppers to dial it in. Terrestrials such as ants, beetles, and hoppers have also been producing some nice fish lately, but you’ll have a bunch of smaller fish poking up as well.
If you can’t get them to look up or nymph fishing is more your style, then you’ll want to keep your patterns pretty small this time of year. Granted small is a relative term depending on where you fish, but in this case most of the patterns we’ve had luck on have all been in the 16-20 range…again, this would be considered a really large nymph on a river like the San Juan but you get the idea. The only exception would be Pat’s Rubber Legs in sizes #8-12 which imitates the nocturnal stonefly nymph. Otherwise small serendipities, shop vacs, lightning bugs, zebra midges, three dollar dips, pheasant tails, and hare’s ears will be your best bet out there.
Streamer fishing has been good in the morning and evening, but you’re going to have to put your time in when the sun is on the water. We are still finding fish holding tight to the banks during periods of low light, and smaller patterns continue to produce over larger ones. Mini Loops, Trevor Sculpins, CH Barely Legals, and other small food-base patterns will be your best bet right now, and they have been chasing them on a fairly quick retrieve. Once the sun is out, you’ll have to work a lot harder for them but you can always find a few good fish if you keep at it. Dead drifting zonkers and other small streamers on the bottom has been a lot more consistent during the day though.
Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from The Slide Inn.