Madison River, Montana
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- This topic has 15 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 6 years, 8 months ago by al simpson.
I finally made it to Montana, where I will be fishing for the next few months! This morning i fished the channels portion of the Madison, a wader’s paradise. I began shortly after sunrise, and fished for two hours. There was no hatch, so I fished subsurface, using a #8 tan wooly bugger. The fish were on the feed, and I landed many 12-14 inch fish, rainbows and browns.
I fished a dropper as well, and tried a crystal meth and a tan soft hackle. Each caught 1 fish. I had a double on when fishing the soft hackle!
As I was leaving around 9:30, a trico hatch was starting; unfortunately, I did have to leave, but will return!
Fished the Madison this evening at 3$ bridge. unfortunately, the weather the last few days has been cool with afternoon/evening showers. this has put a temporary halt to the evening caddis activity. there were a few black caddis in the bushes, but no activity in the water.
fished subsurface again; caught a couple moderate sized rainbows.
another stormy afternoon/evening, but I managed to wedge in an hour of fishing between storms. Fished below Varney Bridge. there were no bugs in the air, but the fish were active under the surface.
I caught several 10-13 inch fish, and my first big one this year, a better than 20 inch rainbow. everything was caught on small woolly buggers.
returned to the channels today, around 8 am. the tricos started shortly afterwards, and the fish were looking up for about two hours. landed lots of 10-12 inch rainbows, and a few in the teens.
after the hatch stopped, fished buggers underneath, and landed a 25″ brown, probably the largest trout i’ve caught on the Madison. he was fat, and wouldn’t fit into my net, so no picture!
fished two sections today. in the afternoon, i fished the $3 bridge section, which was slow, but caught nice fish on a small, #16 purple nymph, with a soft hackle collar.
in the evening, explored the Madison arm of Hebgen Lake, and caught the evening calebaetis hatch. good hatch and numerous rising fish. great fun!
After a week of rain, high winds and cool weather, we finally had a sunny day, in the 70’s. I returned to the Madison, where I saw a pair of bald eagles with juvenile, and 5 moose, plus other assorted wildlife.
More importantly, the trico hatch came on schedule at 9:30, with spinner fall an hour later, prompting surface feeding by 10-12 inch rainbows. Fishing subsurface with a small wooly bugger, I caught several 15-17 inch rainbows, and one 14 inch brown trout.
The good fishing should continue for a bit, as the weather forecast is clear with moderate temperatures during the day, and cool nights, keeping the water temps comfortable for the fish!
I fished the Varney Bridge section of the Madison last evening. The outflow from Lake Hebgen has been reduced about 25%, which has reduced the number of holding areas. In addition, the water temperature is rising into the mid-seventies during the afternoon.
With these changes in the water, even though hatches are recovering from last week’s rains, the fish are not looking up, at least in the evening.
Best fishing should be in the morning, before the water warms. Tricos are still hatching in the morning, providing some “match the hatch” opportunities.
Fished the Madison this morning. It was cloudy and cool, with temperature in the fifties. After a bit, a stiff wind came up as well.
Bottom line, no significant hatch and very slow fishing. Need some sunny weather!
Returned to the Madison today. Although it was sunny (?), it was difficult to tell due to the smoke that has blown into the Madison River valley. Consequently, there was no warming of air or water, and no hatches occurred.
Fished under the surface, with good response to both small wooly buggers and copper Johns.
I floated the channels portion of the Madison with my sister Judy today. the fishing was slow, but we did manage to catch a few small fish in the morning. then, Judy caught a beautiful 16-17 inch brown trout on a hopper pattern.
i fished subsurface, and moments later caught a similar sized rainbow that ran downstream 60-70 feet.
it was a nice day, even if the fishing was slow. we spotted half a dozen bald eagles, deer, osprey, killdeer, sandhill cranes and uncountable ducks on the lake as we rowed to our takeout.
fishing remains slow on the Madison, with scant hatches.
I fished the Madison Arm of Lake Hebgen last evening. At dusk, a few midges appeared, as did scattered rises from good-sized browns. They were “selective”, but did take size 20 midge emerger patterns.
also saw some spawning browns in shallow gravel areas- nice to see.
I returned to the Madison River today, the Three Dollar section. The weather was ideal for a BWO hatch, which is a short way of saying that it was cold, a bit windy, with intermittent rain and hail! Despite that, the hatch never materialized.
I fished with a wooly bugger and a trailing nymph, and caught two nice rainbows. But after an hour, I headed for the car. Hoping for non-BWO weather tomorrow!
I returned to the Madison River this morning, the channels section, a wading fly fisher’s delight. The weather was fair, the water cool.
I hit the water at 8:30, a bit early, and the bite was slow. By 9:30 there were a few midges coming off, and the fish became active. Good fishing lasted about two hours.
I again fished subsurface, with a small wooly bugger and a trailing purple nymph. Many small fish, 8-13 inches, took the nymph, while several large rainbows, 16-18 inches, took the bugger, and ran me down the stream. It’s hard to beat a good sized Madison River fish, they are so strong!
We have arrived in Montana, where we will spend the summer. This evening, I cast my first fly of the summer!
This is salmon fly time on the Madison, and fishermen are flocking to the sections where the big flies are hatching. So, I took a contrary approach, and went a bunch of miles downstream from the salmon fly action. The evening caddis hatch was heavy, mostly tan, size 14, but mixed with black, size 16. The only rising fish I saw were small, but fishing a soft hackle, I found a number of good fish, 15-18 inches, feeding just below the surface.
It made for a great evening!
I fished the channels portion of the Madison this am. started around 7:30. a scant caddis hatch was already started, but the fish were not into it yet. by 9:00, more caddis were present, a few gray drakes were hatching, tricos were coming off in quiet stretches, and small yellow Sallies were also abundant.
trout were rising, and I switched from subsurface fishing to surface fishing, with a parachute Adams, and a yellow Sally emerger, tied Quigley style. The fish tore up the emerger, including several in the high-teen range.
next time, I’ll sleep in, and time my arrival for 9 am.