The Upper Madison is flowing at 1180 c.f.s. below Hebgen and 1490 c.f.s. at Kirby Ranch and fishing well throughout. We’re looking forward to the forecasted cooler nights combined with the intermittent precipitation we’ve had to keep the water temps down at a healthy level.
A few of our local rivers have “hoot owl” fishing restrictions, they are as follows: The Big Hole River from Saginaw bridge to the mouth of the North fork and from Notch Bottom to the confluence with the Beaverhead, The Lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to the confluence with the Big Hole, The Lower Madison River from Ennis Dam to the mouth, The Lower Gallatin River from the confluence with the Madison to Sheds Bridge, The East Gallatin River from Spring Hill Rd Bridge to the confluence with the Gallatin and last but not least, The entire Jefferson River. These locations will be closed to fishing from 2 p.m. until midnight as long as water temps remain high.
The fish are fighting extremely hard so bring your a-game if you want to land them. Salmon flies and golden stoneflies are a thing of the past at this point but the Ants, Caddis and PMD’s are doing just fine at getting the fish’s attention.
Dry fly fishing is still best in the evening but we’ve also been sucking them up in the middle of the day on the #16 Bloom’s Stealth Ant. They’re still on the caddis in the evening as well as the spinners. To imitate those we’ve been using Delektable C.D.C. Elk Hair Caddis Tan #16 and the Goddard Caddis in size #16. For the mayflies it’s the Parachute Rusty Spinner or a Parachute Adams in either #14 or #16.
As always nymphing is the way to go in the middle of these bright and hot days we’ve been having. Some of our guys have been picking fish up on #10 olive brown Pat’s Rubberlegs but other than that they’ve been on the small bugs. #14 Princes, #16 Hare’s Ears, #16 gold Lightning Bugs and some #14 Shop Vacs and a variety of PMD or Yellowstone or Yellow Sally Nymphs should be plenty to get the job done any time of day.
Streamer fishing has been on the tough side, haven’t heard of much coming for the big stuff but we have had a few good reports on the small stuff. Swinging small sculpin patterns will probably be your best bet if you’re looking for a meat-eater. I’d recommend tan Zonkers, natural Sculpzillas or a Sheila’s Sculpin and get out there early while water temps are low.
Lastly, don’t forget to come by the shop next weekend for our fundraiser for the Montana Hope Project. Great food, good people, fly tying and casting clinics all for an amazing cause. That’s Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th. Dan’s going to be making elk chili and Marty will have his famous Cajun Gumbo as well as some fantastic deserts from the Country Bumpkin Bakery and Elle’s Belles. All proceeds will go straight to the foundation in addition to a percentage of all retail in the shop. We hope to see you there!
Brian, Kevin, and the Delektable Crew