Madison River Fishing Report for July 14th, 2018
Dam: 1,300 cfs
Kirby: 1,480 cfs
Varney: 1,810 cfs
The Upper Madison continues to hold its own throughout July and we have had some of the best dry fly fishing we have seen in years over the last several weeks. That said, it has been a scorcher out there over the last few days and fish have been putting their heads down once it starts to creep into the the mid 80’s and 90’s. If dries are what you seek then you’ll want to stick more to the 8:00 am – 1:30 pm time slot, and then go hit the evening caddis from 6:30 pm to dark. This should hopefully change once we get a break in the weather, and highs go back to the high seventies and low eighties.
Salmonflies can still be found in good numbers from Raynolds down to Three Dollar Bridge as well as between the lakes, with a few stragglers hanging around from Pine Butte down past Lyon’s. Golden Stones are still bringing up some great fish as well, and they should hang around for a little longer before one of the best big bug years in recent memory comes to an end. In the meantime, there are still plenty of other insects hatching in abundance throughout the entire river including Yellow Sallies, Epeorus, PMDs, Flavs, and Caddis. Evening caddis action has been solid over the last week, with the prime time slot being 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.. As usual, don’t forget your rusty spinners in #14-#16 as they tend to start hitting the water about an hour before dark.
When you can’t seem to bring a fish up to the surface, or the heat of the day has them hunkered down on the bottom, the nymph bite has been good to outstanding depending on the day. Lots of bugs on the menu right now, so keep experimenting with your profiles and sizes until you crack the code. Some of our better bugs over the last several weeks have been #14-16 olive caddis larva, FFKA Princes in 16-18, PMD Barr’s Emergers, Tungsten Rednecks, #16-18 Three Dollar Dips, Olive and Natural Hare’s Ears, and Green Machines in #16-18.
Streamer fishing has started to pick up on the lower river and between the lakes, but its still an early or late game for the time being. Once the bugs start popping it has been harder to get them to chase, but there are still good opportunities to be had if you are an early riser.