- Hebgen Dam 851 cfs
- Kirby Ranch 948 cfs
- Varney Bridge 1,180 cfs
CONDITIONS: Visibility is very good at 3 to 4 feet.
The Upper Madison River has remained stable and flat in terms of flows and October’s cooler temps and Mother Nature have the brought rivers’ brown trout into full spawn. Fishing is really good as big brown’s seek shallow riffles and tailout’s to dig their redd’s. I like to just fish the river rather than harass the trout that are spawning. There are plenty of fish willing to eat that aren’t on redd’s.
STREAMERS: The Streamer bite has softened a little as you might expect with the cooler temps but it’s still good. Dead drift under an indicator is catching fish consistently. The classic strip and pause is also still moving fish. Tight line with a spilt-shot and no indicator and minimal mending is also a tried and true Madison technique. The big brown trout are in their aggressive full-spawn stage and will strike out of instinct as much as hunger. The river’s rainbow’s and brown trout are eating the spawn as well as Sculpins and baitfish patterns so they are still the standard for finding bigger trout on the Madison. Check out my Top 10 streamers for SW Montana for a more thorough list.
- Whitlock’s Hare Sculpin, Sheila Sculpin, Stalcup’s Sculpin, McCunes Sculpin, Exasperator Sculpin, Trevor’s Sculpin, Big Gulp Sculpin, Mini-Loop Sculpin and Zonker’s in Natural and olive and brown size # 4-8.
- Don’t forget to add a small beadhead dropper 15-18″ tied off the bend of your first fly.
- Egg patterns like the Pettis Unreal Egg, Otter Egg, Glo-Bugs and Yarnie type, in orange, pink, tangerine, and green size #12-16.
- Beadhead Prince’s, Psycho Princes, CDC Princes, Psycho May’s, Micro May’s, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails,
- Silverman’s Caddis, PT Spanker, Lawson’s Electric Caddis, Serendipities.
- Lightning bugs in silver or gold, Red Copper John’s size # 14-18.DRIES: The dry fly bite has pretty much dried up! We’re fishing streamers and nymphs now as the water has cooled.
NYMPHING: Nymphing two flies under an indicator is also still very productive.
- Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone in black, brown, olive or tan size # 6-10.
- Tungsten Golden Stone size # 6-12.
- George’s Rubber Leg Brown Stone size # 6-10.
Good second fly choices include:
- Beadhead Prince’s, Psycho Princes, Psycho May’s, Micro May’s, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Silverman’s Caddis, Delekta’s CDC Spanker in Pheasant tail, silver, green and red. , Lawson’s Electric Caddis, Serendipities, Red Copper John’s size #14-18.
- Egg patterns; Pettis Unreal Egg, Otter Egg, Glo-Bugs and Yarnie type egg patterns in orange, pink tangerine, and green size #12-16.
TIPS: October is brown trout spawning season so watch your step and stay clear of bright gravel! For more information on the Madison River and guided fishing trips on Montana’s Madison River please visit Fishtales Outfitting. Happy Angling!