Madison River Fishing Report 7/8/23
Salmonflies are in full swing on The Madison from Storey Ditch up to Windy Point. There will be bugs above and below this stretch but this is where you can anticipate finding good dry fly action.
Expect to find females flying over the river ova-depositing eggs once the air temps approach 80*. The fish really get on them when there are females landing on the water, flapping their wings, something fly manufacturers have yet to create a fly to do. You’ll also encounter PMD’s, Caddis, and Golden Stones as well, which are good pattern directions to go in if the fish aren’t quite on the big bugs. Salmon fly eats can happen anywhere on the Madison but most will be around structure like boulders and downed or sweeping limbs. But keep in mind other anglers are targeting the obvious spots too so look for those smaller less obvious spots like the mid-river buckets and in front of boulders that can be difficult to see. Fast water is your friend when it comes to fishing Salmonflies. Fish migrate to these lies to get in the conveyer belt of bugs that the river is delivering.
Trout will often rise to your fly and swipe at it or take a half-hearted attempt at a strike. This is completely normal as some fish will try to drown the fly before turning and eating it subsurface, so be patient when you encounter this and let your fly float for a second on a missed strike. This can be the case when there’s a lot of pressure on the fish as well. They will get wise to your floating offering and come up to take a look only to refuse it at the last second. Again, be patient but if it’s happening on every shot, go to a smaller size and see if that’s the issue. Drowned Stonefly patterns can be more productive here too. I’ll twitch the fly to help it look like a live bug and encourage strikes.
- Chubby Chernobyl
- Rogue Stone
- Bank Robber
- Gorilla Stone
- Nick Niklas’s Sunken Stone
- Pats Rubber Leg Stone
- Trout Retriever
- Pepperoni Yuk Bug
For more information on fly fishing in Montana and guided trips on the Madison River contact mtfishtales.com