Madison River Fishing Report for September 25th, 2023
Dam: 1,090 cfs
Kirby: 1,150 cfs
Varney: 1,290 cfs
Fishing on the Upper Madison has been tougher over the last week, and from the looks of things our terrestrial fishing might be done after this Wednesday/Thursday…not that it was that great this year but at least better quality fish were looking up for hoppers and ants during the first two weeks of September. We are seeing decent numbers of BWO’s and Pseduos during the late morning hours, and even a few caddis still kicking around on the sunny afternoons. That said, I think it’s safe to say that Fall is finally here, and some cooler temperatures with a little rain and snow in the mix should make for better fishing here shortly.
As we mentioned in our last report, there isn’t a huge rush out to get to river super early unless you are looking to throw streamers– Dry flies are still day to day, but you can still get some fish to eat a hopper or an ant as long as the sun is shining on the warmer afternoons. On the cloudier days, look for fish up on midges, BWO’s and Pseudos from noon until 2:00 or so. Some of our favorite patterns for fall Baetis on the Madison are Nyman’s BWO Cripple, Crippled Thor, Smoke Jumper BWO’s, and a good old fashioned Parachute Adams. The nymph bite seems to be picking up around mid-morning and lasting well into the afternoon. We have been doing best with small midges and BWO nymphs in the wade section between Quake and Lyons, with small perdigons and attractors coming in a close second. On the float stretches, a small Pat’s Rubber Leg or worm trailing a BWO or Perdigon seems to be doing the most damage. There have definitely been a lot of whitefish being caught under the indicator but you’ll also get some nice trout in the mix.
Streamer fishing still isn’t that great after the sun comes up, but we have had some really good fishing from O’Dark-Thirty until 8 am…after that, they just don’t seem to want to chase much until later in the evening. That said, we have been catching some really big brown out there…not much in the way of quantity but quality wise it has been one of our better seasons in the last five to six years. Black and Olive have been our best colors in the mornings, with full size dungeons, Peanut Envys, and Boogie Men being our most consistent patterns. Olive/White Barely Legals, White Mini Whiteys, and Natural Bite Snacks have been the ones we’ve been leaning on the most during the daytime hours. It’s been tough out there, but most of the larger fish we catch on streamers come on very low numbers days so keep grinding it out and you could be rewarded in spades.