Madison River Fishing Report for July 17th, 2023
Dam: 1,120 cfs
Kirby: 1,300 cfs
Varney: 1,540 cfs
The Madison continues to hold its own, and there is still some spectacular dry fly fishing to be had on the upper reaches. Take a walk out to the river and you can expect to find copious amounts of caddis, yellow sallies, PMDs, and Epeorus hatching in the upper 25 miles and a few golden stones flying around Raynolds and Three Dollar Bridge. Down low, fish have started to look at small terrestrials and nocturnal stones between Cameron Flats and Valley Garden and you can get some decent streamer fishing in if you get up early. The best window for good dry fly fishing has been from mid morning until around 2-3 pm, and the evening caddis action to starts kicking off around 7:30 each night…All you need is a good selection of X-Caddis in #14-#18, and some Rusty Spinners in #14-#16 for the last hour before dark.
If you can’t get them to look up then you can find quite a few good fish willing to eat nymphs under the surface. It’s been a little tougher in the float stretch as of late, but the wade section between Quake and Lyons has been good with Caddis Pupa, Pearl and Black Perdigons, Tungsten Rednecks, Three Dollar Dips, Spanish Bullets, CDC Princes, and Soft Hackles. Be sure to adjust your indicator and weight accordingly though. Most of the time you’ll want to be tapping bottom, but a short-leash of 1-2 feet from your indicator or dry fly can be critical to success when bugs are emerging and fish are feeding higher in the water column.
Streamer fishing has been a little slower this week, but you can still get some good fish to chase if you are willing to get up early. Articulated patterns with thin profiles such as envys and double screamers will get it done, as will small sculpin imitations.