Madison River Fishing Report for July 26th, 2018
Dam: 1,330 cfs
Kirby: 1,450 cfs
Varney: 1,670 cfs
The Upper Madison is still fishing well throughout its entirety, and some cooler nights and afternoon thunderstorms have kept water temperatures at good levels for most of the day. We are starting to see temps hit 68-70 degrees during the late afternoon hours, so you might consider taking a break until they start to drop again in the evening. Traffic on the river has also started to slow down quite a bit, as many other options in the area like the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and the waters of Yellowstone National Park are also fishing well.
While good reports keep rolling in on most days, we have also seen some tougher ones over the last week or so, particularly in the afternoons. The best dry fly fishing has been in the mornings and evenings, with deeper nymph rigs being the most effective way to catch fish during the heat of the day. We are still seeing good numbers of Caddis, PMDs, Yellow Sallies, and Epeorus out there, but the number of insects as a whole has started to dwindle from just a week ago. That said, you can still get in on some great dry fly fishing right now and the evening caddis hatch and spinner falls from 7:00 pm until dark have been good as long as the weather holds. We’ve been having most of our luck on X-Caddis, Bloom’s Parachute Caddis, and Missing Links and dropping a #16 rusty spinner off the back during the last hour before dark. We have also started to see more and more Nocturnal Stoneflies starting scurry around the Upper Madison, especially from the Swallow Cliffs above Ruby all the way down to Ennis. A size 10-12 Chubby Chernobyl or other foam creation has been getting some attention in the mornings this week, and you could do worse then hanging a #8-10 rubber legs off the back as we have had some really nice fish eating the dropper as of late.
If you can’t get them to look up, then you’ll want to get some nymphs down at eye level. As previously mentioned, rubber legs have been a good option below Ruby but we have been doing better on smaller patterns in the upper stretches. Small dips, caddis larva, green machines, PMD emergers, and small attractors have been some of the better options this week, but be sure to play around with your depth until you find out what section of the water column fish are holding in.
Streamer fishing has been good this week during the early morning and evening hours, but you can still see some good fish willing to chase during the day if you are willing to put your time in. We have had some very good mornings on smaller sculpin patterns over the last week or so, but the action seems to die around 9:00-10:00. If you are not a morning person, then evenings and night will be your best bet.