Madison River Fishing Report for September 14th, 2022

Dam: 834 cfs

Kirby: 875 cfs

Varney: 1,040 cfs

After six weeks of intense heat we are finally getting some relief from the sun throughout SW Montana, and some good old-fashioned Fall weather has finally settled into the Madison Valley.  The forecast is calling for highs in the 60’s with a good chance of showers every day for the next week, and these sustained low-pressure fronts are always good for fishing.  We have already started to see decent numbers of Blue Winged Olives and the streamer fishing has improved with the cooler nights and cloud cover.

Up until the last few days, fishing had still been fairly inconsistent throughout the entire river.  Most people were sticking to nymph patterns in the morning and then switching up to small terrestrials and attractors from noon to 3 with varying degrees of success, but it was still pretty tough out there for the most part.  The wade section between Quake and Lyon’s Bridge has still been producing the most consistent fishing over the last several weeks, especially on small mayfly and caddis nymph/emergers.  With water temperatures starting to dip into the low 50 degree range, we will start to see more BWO’s and midges over the next week and some of our favorite Fall patterns include #20 Juju Baetis, #20-#22 BWO Barr’s Emergers, #20 Kelly’s BWO Nymph, #20 Zebra Jujubees, #20 Zebra Midges, #18 Black/Silver Dips, and #20 Green Machines.  Make sure to have some #22’s with you too, as fish will generally laugh at a #18-#20 if they are selectively eating smaller Pseudos. Dirt Snakes should be on the menu this week as well, as all this inbound moisture is sure to saturate the soil and throw some earthworms into the system — Darker colored worm patterns like blood red, wine, and purple tend to do better than pink and red this time of year, especially in the clouds.

As previous mentioned, streamer fishing has started to pick up over the last several days and should only get better with all the cloud cover in the forecast this week.  Our best window of productivity has been from dawn until around noon, and then again in the evening. Smaller baitfish and sculpin patterns have been best in the upper stretches, but we have been getting good fish to chase down larger articulated patterns on the lower stretches from McAtee down to Ennis.  The shop has also been getting some calls about Browns moving out of the surrounding lakes, and while we have not seen anything coming out of Ennis lake or Quake lake we have heard reports of some nice fish moving out of Hebgen so you’ll want to hit the Madison in the Park if you’re lo0king for migratory fish — It won’t be long until we see fish moving out of the other two lakes though.  Some of our better patterns this week have been Peanut Envys, Double Screamers, Zonkers, Mini Dungeons, and Mini Whiteys.