The Big Bugs have arrived.

Salmonflies are hatching up and down the entire river system.  You will find pockets of bugs from Reynold’s Pass all the way past MacAtee Bridge.  Certain willow banks have them thick as theives and I saw more salmonflies on the river today than any other day thus far.  The nymphs have been crawling around the banks for several days, but until today, nothing was really eating the naturals or our patterns.  While my boat didn’t raise very many on the big bug, Dave Hall – outfitter extraordinaire – did pretty well when the clouds came in…..my boat just couldn’t get away from the super hot rubber leg bite long enough to see if they were really eating it.  I witnessed one natural get hammered, but watched ateast 50 scramble for the banks and never get eaten.  We are on the brink of really good dry fly fishing here on the Madison.  There are fish eating caddis on the banks, but the flows need one more good drop to get things rolling.  The clarity, stonefly green, is exactly what we need right now.  Word got out over the past few days that the Madison is fishing well and there was more pressure than I have seen in the past week.  Was it crowed?  No, not really.  The river is cruising so damn fast that one can quickly get away from the crowd at the boat ramp.  An early arrival at the boat ramp and a long float will almost give you the entire river to yourself………

S. Elliff - a nymphing machine.