Madison River Report - August 24, 2023

Madison River Report - August 24, 2023

Madison River Flows-

Flows stayed low this week as weekend storms rolled in to cool things off a tad. Expect the forecasted warm weather to keep keep the fishing steady the next few days. 

Below Hebgen- 986 CFS

Kirby- 1090 CFS

Varney- 1250 CFS

Between the Lakes

The early week cold-snap gave us a quick glimpse of what’s soon to come this fall, with fish responding favorably to streamers for a day or two after the stormy weather. While the mornings are still pretty chilly, there’s plenty of dry fly action to be had with caddis, spinners, and a few nocturnal stones as the days warm up. Start the day off throwing small streamers or beadheads tight up to the bank, and transition to single dries once the sun starts starts shining. X Caddis, Iris Caddis, and Jojos Chubinator are all great patterns to tie on as you start to see the river liven up with emerging bugs in the early afternoons. 

Wade Section

Small, single dries will continue to be your best friend at finding hungry fish this week. Terrestrials are definitely becoming more abundant and readily available on the trout menu as days go on this summer. Tan Thunder Thighs, Arrick’s Cinnamon & Black Flying Ant, Heames Honey Ant & Jojos Cinnamon Ant are all great terrestrial patterns to try on sunny days, especially if there’s a bit of a breeze. 
If you’re not hearing or seeing any hoppers throughout the day on the Madison, try focusing your time on covering water with some #12-16 Missing Link Caddis, Cornfed Caddis, Rusty or Cream Spinners. A Swisher PMX or Paraulff is never a bad idea to cast out as last ditch effort at enticing risers. 

Float Section

Not much change to report along the float section this week. There’s still not a specific bombproof program to run from put-in to take-out, so being persistent at trying new tactics and changing flies is important to ensure a successful float out there these days. If you find one fly working in a specific area and suddenly turns off further downstream, I’d suggest changing things up rather than trying to keep faith in a single pattern. While the valley didn’t necessarily dry out completely after the rain earlier this week, hopper fishing has yet to be as fantastic as we’d like. The next 10 days look to be warm and dry, so keep your fingers crossed for upcoming improvement in hopper activity. 
Missing Link Caddis, X- Caddis, Parawulffs, Micro Chubbies, Thunder Thighs, and Water Walkers are all great options to test out on risers. When all else fails, dropping a CDC Pheasant Tail, Jig Perdigon or Duracell under your bigger terrestrials can help get things moving and boost moral when the fishing gets tough. 
Good Luck out there, and enjoy the Fifty Mile Riffle!

flies for the madison

the Mighty

Madison River

Perhaps the most prominent fishing destination in the area, the Madison River is also one of the most diverse fisheries in the western US, with multiple sections split based on geography and topography.

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