Here lately, the morning has been down right chilly. Yesterday it was 28 degrees and there was ice in my boat at 6am. Notice Rich, above, wearing a beanie and layers…..in August. I wore my Patagucci down hoody ’till 9 am, but once the sun hit the water it got hot fast. We hit the water around 7:30 am and pulled streamers from Lyons to Palisades. White flies and a 250 grain worked the best for us, but the boys from Slide Inn were tossing olive. Around lunch, we switched over to dry flies and had a spotty, but decent, afternoon down to MacAtee Bridge. Lots of trout are window shopping right now, but if you can muster the juice to leave the fly in there, some fish have been coming back down to eat it. Ant patterns have been producing lately and there are still big mayfly spinners on some mornings. Single hoppers fished with a long drift will draw some attention as well. A few caddis are around, but not in huge numbers. None the less, trout eat caddis.
Flows and River temps at 10pm:
below Hebgen – 1260 cfs high: 68.8 low: 66.5
at Kirby Ranch – 1350 cfs high: 69 low: 61.5
at Varney Bridge – 1500 cfs high: 65.7 low: 60.5
Yesterday’s low water temp at Varney Bridge was 57 degrees and the day before was 58…..much colder due to the nighttime temps. Keep this in mind when coming over to fish the Madison River. All in all, the Madison is hanging in there. The hot afternoon temps are driving the big fish deep in the river, but they are there. Each night is getting longer as the shift towards fall begins. For now, the Madison is best fished early in the morning, till around 2 or 3pm (depending on cloud cover), and then again from 7 till O’dark-thirty. In the upper reaches, you can find some trout willing to eat dry flies in the late afternoon. Please play fish these fish quickly and get’em back in the river….a little TLC goes a long way right now.
Today, I was off and fished with JC, a rare treat this summer. We hit the Madison around Reynolds Pass for a few hours late morning. There was a great spinner fall of Epeorus mayflies and we managed to hook some nice fish, most of which were sitting in tight to the bank. JC is leaving for Austin next week. He will be returning for another year of educating the youth of West Lake on English, writing and futbol. Last season, they took 3rd in State for the second straight year and managed to beat the #3 team in the nation on their way to Texas State Finals. Good Luck Coach Campbell!