Madison River Fishing Report for September 14th, 2017
Dam: 851 cfs
Kirby: 982 cfs
Varney: 1,050 cfs
Madison River Fishing Report. The Upper Madison has been up and down a lot over the last week, and hopefully some of this cooler weather will stir the proverbial pot of productivity over the next few days. That said, we’ve had some decent days out there but you’ll have to work a little harder than usual for them. Flows are holding steady at normal levels for this time of year, and it looks like we won’t have to worry about warm water temperatures for the rest of the season.
The dry fly fishing has been a little more difficult over the last week, but we are starting to get a little more action on the hopper than what we saw in August. This is pretty typical after they’ve seen literally every ant pattern in the bins over the last month and a half, but we are also getting a few decent fish in-between the dinks on Ant Acids, Bloom’s Parachute Ants, and Delektable CDC Flying Ants to name a few. Smaller hoppers such as Thunder Thighs, Panty Droppers, and Grand Hoppers have been some of our better hopper patterns, and most the good fish we’ve had eat them have been in faster riffles along the banks, and in relatively nondescript water out in the middle. Aside from terrestrials, there isn’t a whole lot of insect activity going on right now except for random caddis, midges, and pseudocleons. We should start to see the arrival of our Fall baetis as water temperatures start to drop, but for now you’re better of sticking to terrestrials and attractors.
As per usual, nymphs have been the most consistent means of hooking up, and you’ll do best by working productive looking water as thoroughly as possible rather than trying to pick them up on the roll. Aside from San Juan worms in purple, red, and wine the vast majority of effective patterns have been in the realm of #18’s-#20’s. Zebra Midges, Redneck Midges, RS-2’s, Green Machines, Serendipities, Lightning Bugs, Caddis larva, and Shop Vacs are all good choice this time of year, and baetis nymphs should start to become more and more productive as time goes on.
Streamers are still picking up some of the larger browns in the river, but the bite is not nearly as consistent as what we saw in late August through the first week of September. However, there are enough good fish showing themselves to make it worth your while, and mornings and evenings are still you’re best bet to hang a real one. Larger pattens like Sex Dungeons, Peanut Envys, and Silk Kitties have been picking up some really nice fish during those timeframes, but late morning through the early afternoon hours has been all about the smaller food-based patterns. Baitfish and sculpin imitations such as CH Barely Legals, Trevor’s Sculpins, and Mini Dungeons have been code-crackers when the sun is high and larger fish aren’t looking for a big meal. When all else fails and you can’t get them to chase, try dragging a zonker or a small sculpin imitation under the indicator and get it right in their face.
Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.