- Hebgen Dam 974 cfs
- Kirby Ranch 1,140 cfs
- Varney Bridge 1,300 cfs
The Upper Madison River in my opinion offers some of the best fishing in Montana right now! From its upper reaches at Reynolds Bridge (FAS) and Lyons Bridge (FAS) downstream to its lower reaches at Varney Bridge (FAS) and Ennis continue to fish very well. We’ve really enjoyed the cooler temps and extra water lately but the flows are expected to continue dropping in small amounts which is not totally understood as there is no shortage of water in Hebgen Lake (96% full) and September will surely start bringing more precipitation. The extra water in the river has kept water temps down, keeping fish and anglers alike very happy! Check out our Fly Fishing Packages to get in on some great fall fishing.
DRIES: The rocks on the banks are still littered with Nocturnal Stonefly nymph shucks. There’s also Trico’s, Caddis and some Hopper action throughout the Upper Madison River. There have been a few sightings of Flying Red Ants after an afternoon storm clears and the sun pops back out.
- Chubby Chernobyl’s with the wing trimmed down in gold, olive and UV tan size #10-12
- Goddard Caddis size #14-16, Elk Hair Caddis size # 14-16.
- Iris Caddis size #14-16.
- Royal Wulff, Royal Cripple, Royal Trude size # 12-16.
- CDC UV Cinnamon Flying Ant size # 12-16.
- CFO Chernobyl Hopper in tan or peach, Morrish Hopper in tan, yellow, or pink, Clodhopper in peach size # 8-12.
NYMPHING: Nymphing two flies under an indicatoris also still productive.
- Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone in black, brown, olive or tan size # 8-10.
- Tungsten Golden Stone size # 8-12.
- George’s Rubber Leg Brown Stone size # 8-10.
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, Green Spanker, Lawson’s Electric Caddis, Serendipities, Red Copper John’s size #14-18.
STREAMERS: The Streamer game is still really good. Tight line with a spilt-shot and no indicator; or dead drift and minimal mending is your best bet for good streamer action. The fish are really looking for big protein right now, sculpins and baitfish patterns are bringing the ‘right fish’ to the party!
I like imitative sculpin patterns:
- 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.
- Read my TOP 10 STREAMERS FOR SW MONTANA for a more complete list.
Don’t forget to add a small beadhead dropper 15-18″ tied off the bend of your first fly. Good second fly choices are;
- Beadhead Prince’s, Psycho Princes, CDC Princes, Psycho May’s, Micro May’s,Flashback Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails,
- Silverman’s Caddis, Green Spanker, Lawson’s Electric Caddis, Serendipities.
- Lightning bugs in silver or gold, Red Copper John’s size # 14-18.
For more information on the Madison River and guided fishing trips on Montana’s Madison River please contact Fishtales Outfitting. Happy Angling!