Madison River Fishing Report

Madison River Fishing Report for August 24th, 2017

Dam: 1,060 cfs

Kirby: 1,200 cfs

Varney: 1,190 cfs

Madison River fishing report.  Fishing on the Upper Madison has improved since our last report, and larger trout have been showing themselves with a little more consistency on all fronts.  Flows are still slightly above average for this time of year, and colder nights have kept water temperatures in good standing for the third week in August.  

Nocturnal Stoneflies are still creeping around, but the early morning bite has slowed down quite a bit over the last 10 days or so.  Purple and UV Tan Chubbies have been our most productive patterns, but I wouldn’t count on knocking them dead if you choose to get after it bright and early.  That said, the streamer bite has been excellent from O’Dark thirty until around 10:00 a.m., but we’ve had a number of days where the bite lasts well into the early afternoon hours.  We are still doing well on smaller sculpin patterns in olive or black, but we have started to see fish pay a little more attention to larger patterns such as silk kitties, sex dungeons, and peanut envys over the last week.  If you can’t get them to chase it on the strip you can always try dead drifting smaller patterns like zonkers and mini loop sculpins under an indicator and get it right in their face.

Other than the streamer game there hasn’t been a huge need to get on the water super early, as the nymph and dry fly fishing seem to be most productive from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then again in the evening.  We are still seeing a decent amount of aquatic insect activity from the Slide area to just below three dollar bridge, but most of what you’ll find downstream equates to a smattering of caddis and spinners.  If you plan on fishing the upper wade section, then the nymph program has been fairly consistent over the last week.  Midge imitations such as #18 zebras, #18 black three dollar dips, and #18 red neck midges have been good from 8:00- 10:00 a.m., but smaller pat’s rubber legs in olive/brown and tan/brown have also been picking up some nice fish early in the day. After that it has been all about small mayfly and caddis nymphs, and the emergence usually starts around 10:00-11:00 each morning.  #18-20 Green Machines, RS-2’s, #18-20 Barr’s Emergers, Three Dollar Dips, Krystal Serendipities, and small soft hackles have all been good choices lately. One thing to keep in mind this time of year is to experiment with the holding water that you’re fishing.  The banks always hold fish, but they also get hit the hardest and we are finding more fish in shallow riffles and fast seams as water temperatures begin to rise in the afternoon.  This has been especially true up high, and some of the larger fish we’ve put in the net over the last week have been in two feet of water or less.

The dry fly fishing has also really started to pick up from late morning and on through the early afternoon hours.  Some people have reported decent fishing on hoppers, but they have been a lot more inconsistent than the ant bite.  Generally speaking, the hopper fishing on the Upper Madison is usually best during the month of September, but you’ll definitely get some eats on the larger dry if you keep at it. However, ants have been on the menu in a big way recently and some of our most effective imitations have been Kelly’s Ant Acid, the Delektable CDC Cinnamon Ant, Bloom’s Parachute Flying Ant in Black and Cinnamon, and Bloom’s Stealth Ant.  Peacock beetles have also been a good choice in the wade section lately, and other attractors such as #16-18 royal PMXs, Cripple Royal Wulffs, and Purple Hazes have also been getting it done.

Be sure to keep checking back for another Madison River fishing report from the Slide Inn.

1 thought on “Madison River Fishing Report”

  1. Excellent report, John, plenty going on. Looking forward to heading up your way this weekend.


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