…..Or don’t go till’ the sun drops below the mountain.

Our beloved Madison River is hanging in there….the water is keeping cool, but the afternoon temps are rising quickly after 3 pm.  Those who watch, like a hawk, the USGS Stream flow web site are catching more trout than those who aren’t.  Check the weather as well….was it cold last night?  Was it cloudy, keeping in the warm air?  Are there showers in the forecast for the day?  Pay attention to these variables and you will survive the heat and hook into a few more trout.  FYI – it’s in everyone’s best interest to play fish quickly and get them back in water.

The early hours are best on the Madison and she will reward those who wake before the morning sunrise to fish. However, for those willing to hit the river late and stay until O’dark-thirty, the Madison will show you it’s addictive side.  There are good fish rising to caddis well after dark.  Try a #12 Royal Trude after the light leaves the water.  There are nocturnal stones up and down the Madison River and a few moths have shown up too.  We have been knotting on a #8 Tan Rubber Leg & a beadhead, at about 6 feet and fishing the fast, deep and well oxygenated water, when the fish aren’t rising.  A few nice trout are eating a long drifted single hopper through the mid river seams….believe in it….and let them eat it.  Lots of window shopping right now….a twitch might help your cause.

Madison River Flows – things bumped up again today, about 110 cfs.  With any luck, we’ll get another 100 cfs a few more times in the next week or so.  It seems to be helping, this bump in flows, and the river on down to Varney Bridge is actually feeling the benefit of the cooler over night temps and the higher flows.   As a friend of mine pointed out, the night are getting longer….this too will help.

below Hebgen – 1330 cfs

@ Kirby Ranch – 1390 cfs

@ Varney Bridge – 1530 cfs

By the way…..The Sun, Smith and Dearborn Rivers are under hoot owl closures as of yesterday.  All other rivers in Montana and Yellowstone National Park are open to fishing.