Upper Madison River Fishing Report 8-3-14 Fly Fishing near Ennis

Upper Madison River Fishing Report 8-3-14 Fly Fishing near Ennis


A heavy shouldered Madison River brown trout.

A heavy shouldered streamer eating Madison River brown trout.

  • Hebgen Dam 1,050 cfs
  • Kirby Ranch 1,240 fcs
  • Varney 1,420 cfs

Since last week the Madison River has been bumped a couple times, 10% increments to pulse the lower river and keep water temps cold. This might seem initially to be a bad thing for anglers but this little charge of cold water has helped the fishing immensely! Check out our Specials to learn more about booking your Montana Fly Fishing Vacation with Fishtales Outfitting.


  • Clear 3+ feet


A big Madison river rainbow being released back to the river!

A big Madison river rainbow being released back to the river!

DRY FLIES: Spruce Moth’s up around Lyon’s Bridge (FAS) down to Palisades (FAS), look for fish rising on the banks under the Ponderosa lined banks. There are also Caddis, PMD’S and Yellow Sallies as well as Nocturnal Stoneflies.We’re seeing some Hopper action closer to Ennis.

  • Try a Elk Hair Caddis, Fat Head Spruce Moth, Parachute Spruce Moth, CDC Spruce Moth size #10-12.
  • Try a Goddard Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute PMD, or a Yellow Stimulator for fish rising on the little dries. Size #14-16.
  • I like Morrish’s hopper, CFO hopper, Clodhopper, Red Legged Hopper’s in tan, yellow or peach sizes # 12-8

NYMPHING: The standard two fly rig under an indicator is still very productive on the Madison. Set your indicator 5 feet above your first fly and tie a dropper off the bend of the hook to your second fly.

  • Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone Fly Nymph in brown, black, olive, or tan and brown sizes #6-10.
  • Hare’s Ear’s, Beadhead Prince’s, Pheasant Tails, Delekta’s PT CDC Spanker, Copper John’s, Psycho Princes, Shop Vac’s, Three Dollar Dips, Davie’s Evil Weevil are all good second fly choices sizes#14-18

STREAMERS: The streamer bite has been great and I hope it stays that way for a while. Try a slow twitch and drift, tight line or under an indicator with a beadhead dropper. The bunny streamer and a bead head game is as good as it gets! Check my TOP STREAMERS FOR SW MONTANA for a more thorough list of streamer patterns.

  • Zonker, Mini Loop Sculpin, Whitlock’s Hare Sculpin or Shelia Sculpin in natural and olive sizes #4-8.
  • Add a beadhead dropper 15-18″ off the bend of the hook.
  • Try a PT Spanker, Red Spanker, Red Copper John, Silver or Gold Lightning Bugs, or Green Psycho Prince sizes #14-18

TIPS: Bring plenty of sun block, water and bug dope.

For more information on Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on the Madison River please contact Fishtales Outfitting.


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FishTales Outfitting LLC is a licensed Outfitter with the State of Montana's Board of Outfitters
and Permittee for the Madison, Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.

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Site Photography: Bruce McDaniel and Vic Sorensen

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