September 23rd-29th | Madison River Fishing Report


To be clear… this year has been nuts!! In a great way, its been the craziest season we’ve seen in a while! The dry fly bite has been out of this world, the big bugs bites were on another level of eats this year. The stoneflies are huge and healthy in this river, and that makes for great sport with the trout. It always fun to see the big dry eat on the big bug.

The hopper season has been spectacular! This was the best hopper season any of us have ever seen. They were just everywhere. There was a mind bending hopper presence here in the valley. If you didn’t get in on all the hopper action, then you still may have a chance. They are still out there trying to hang on. Legend has it, they will be here until the second hard freeze. If you throw it, they will still hit it here and there and you might even be able to tease a piggie up to the top yet.

The snow has been falling in the mountains here in the Madison Valley area. It is archery season here and there are arrows flying, so be careful as you are wading around in the woodsier parts that you are aware that hunters may be present around you (it has happened to me already). Share the outdoors. The leaves will be turning bright yellow and orange soon and the colors on the trout will be changing with the season. In just a minute or two glorious colors will be seen. We have the privilege of living in one of the most beautiful places on earth and there are trout here. The fact that trout don’t really live in ugly places helps too.

The snow falling would indicate that fall is here, but we may have more good weather for us in store in the next few weeks, so hang on! The immediate weather report looks a little dreary, but that could also mean a good bite, so hang on! The bite has been a tiny bit squirrely, so like I said earlier last week, you have to have the bad days to balance out the other days or else would the good days really be THAT good? There were some days this week that were terrific on Hoppers, October Caddis, and Yes, Ants in the Purple variety. And then the other days were an interesting mix/experiment in what the bite would be.



As far as the bug report goes, Here’s a little list of the bugs we are using:


                Hoppers No. 10-12 in the colors Peach , Tan and Pink

                PMX Orange No. 14

                Bloom’s Stealth Ant Purple No. 16

                Delektable Chubbiness Olive/Brown No. 14

                Half Down No. 14

                Purple Haze No. 16 and 18

                Carlson’s Purple Haze No. 10

                Royal Cripple No. 16

                Delektable Twisted Sister Purple No. 14


                Delektable Prince Brandon No. 14-18

                Batman No. 16

                Delektable Sure Strike Purple No. 16 and 18

                Psycho Prince Purple No. 16 and 18

                Delektable Mega Prince No. 6-8

                Delektable Lil’ Spankers (Purple, PT and Silver) No. 16

                Nymphicator No. 16 and 18


                Sculpzilla Olive/Tan No. 8

                Trevor Olive No. 6

                Copper and Pearl Zonkers No. 6

                Bow River Bugger No. 6

                Delektable Double Screamer Olive/Black/Silver

                “              “              “                    White

                “              “              “                    Olive/Black/Gold




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September 16th – 22nd | Madison River

Some days are good… some days are not as good. When you have a bad day on the river, is it really that bad? Does it ever make you want to quit fishing? Maybe, but probably not. For there to be good days, you must have the “bad” days to make the good days seem “good”. Some people come into the shop and remind me that even the bad days need to be put in the “great days” category, because really, you are still on the river. Now is it really that bad?

I have seen good days and not so good  days on the river, as have you and many of our friends. Balance in this world is necessary and that also pertains to the thing we so dearly enjoy… fly fishing. This week had diversity with some more productive days and some less. Everyone worked more to figure out the correct fly for the bite. That is really what it is all about.

This year, in particular, has been FULL of great days!!! I have not seen this many great fish in my time spent on Montana rivers as I have this season here on the Madison. From the early cold days of spring with the Streamers and Big Stone Flies, to the Salmon Flies and Golden Stones, the PMD’s, the Caddis, and the hoppers so thick you can’t breath without possibly swallowing one…this year has been epic!

As we roll on into the fall months, we are still seeing great fish! The streamer bite has been on for the past couple of days and it’s been fun! The colder weather and the darker days have been bringing the bigger boys out to play, so you will see the sharks and little hawgs of the crick are hungry and that someone will need to tend to them. Also, your streamer game should not be limited to just the fall season. Brown trout and rainbow fish both will eat all the Baitfish and Sculpins they can handle, all year long. It’s just all this dry fly fishing that keeps us occupied during these summer months, we don’t even think of throwing a Streamer. The Dry eat is an eat that is unlikely topped by any other eat in fly fishing. It is soul food. The Dry Fly entertainment with missed hits, drive by’s, heavy hits, missed sets as we get excited seeing the bite, etc. As far as throwing streamers goes, put them in the water and they will eat it most days out of the year, not just the fall and spring. And….the tug can be such entertainment. If you need any tips on stripping streamers or picking the “right one” out, come on in to the shop and we will help you select a few of our favorites and maybe give you a tip or two on how we do it.

The nymph game is picking up to another level with this weather, the fish are eating the larger size Stoneflies that are starting to move more with this weather. They have also been keying in on the shiny patterns. The Lightning Bugs and shiny Nymphs such as the Silvie’s lightning bug, the Silver Lightning Bug and the Delektable Lil’ Spanker Silver are all good little shiny bugs that have been working well with the cloudy weather. Most of those would be in a size 14 or 16.  That Crystal Dip in a size 16 on that curved hook are working well. The Pat’s Rubber legs is a tried and true pattern that will get fish in the net for you, but if you wanted to wonder off the beaten path of big nymphs, we have a variety to choose from here. The Delektable Mega Prince Standard in a size 6 or 8 has been a go-to of mine for years and years and years in the fall months. That pattern has fooled so many fish over the years. The Delektable Hurless Stone in the Gray size 6 and 8 is a great pattern for the fall times with the water being lower and a little colder. I would also check out the Delektable Stonefly Candy patterns that work in a number of colors. The Twenty Incher is also a great Stonefly pattern that works well in the size 6 or 8. Mostly, try and get a drag free drift with any big black/brown/olive Stonefly and you will have pretty good luck here on the ole’ Madison with the stones.

The BWO’s are showing themselves with this weather and we’ve sold a bunch of patterns recently due to that very fact. People are coming in and grabbing Midge patterns and Emergers for the BWO in light olive and olive. The Purple Haze Cripple emerger is an excellent choice, it is one of my absolute all time favorite emergent patterns with that little bit of olive for a thorax and purple body. It can go for the PMD, the PED, the Callibaetis, the BWO, the Mahogany Dunn, Spinners, Psuedo Mayflies, it can cover a lot of little guys on the river.

One is faced with all these choices to fish with… to choose from… to be accurate and successful with. Choices for an angler. Choices for the fish. Choices. We face them every single day. We can be thankfull that these choices (problems?) are minimal and very first world. Haha. I wish you the best of luck in your choices! I wish you the biggest and prettiest of trout. I wish you a very happy fall. Its fall, we have no choice but to welcome it.

Happy Fishing!!! -DanG 


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September 9th – 15th | Madison River Fishing Report

Here we are again at the end of another great week on the Madison River! The hoppers kinda took a backseat this week with the rain and colder weather we have been having. The streamer bite has been picking up with the colder weather, but it looks like we may have hoppers back today or tomorrow with this short little heat wave. The thing about hoppers is that they are still everywhere. The fish may or may not be keying into them like before, but they are STILL here. The streamer game is always fun and trout are starting to specifically seek those out a little more. The fall spawn for brown trout is just around the corner, so keep in mind that you will soon start seeing redds everywhere, please be careful and mindful of the redds. Check out the following link to know more about what to look for and avoid!! ( It’s important as an angler to know what a trout redd is and spot one and know how to be cautious. This should go without saying, because it is the future of your next hawg! That being said, the trout fishing will be just swell in these parts as we move on into the fall months.


The nymphs you will be throwing will be getting smaller and smaller, except for the stone fly nymphs, they will still be about the same size (6-10). The fish tend to start keying in on the big stone fly again as fall comes. We like the Delektable Mega Prince Standard size 8 here at the shop, it just crushes. Some of the small nymphs we’ve been using here at the shop are the silver lightening bug in a bigger size (12), the electric caddis size 16, the Delektable Lil’ Spanker in the silver and pheasant tail size 16 and 18. We have also had folks do well right now on the Delektable Lil’ Spanker in Purple. The nymphicator size 16 and 18. Prince nymph on a jig head size 16. Batman size 16 and 18 should also be making an appearance if you haven’t thrown him yet. Another good fall small nymph pattern is the Delektable Sure Strike in the Purple size 14-18. If you don’t strip streamers much, don’t forget you can also put one under the bobber with a small nymph behind it. That will usually score well for you. Some small streamers to use for that technique would be the Bow River Bugger size 6 and 8, the Trevor’s Sculpin size 4 in the Olive. The Tan Trevor’s and the Black one work well, but the Olive one is usually the hot one. Once again, I would like to wish you a very happy rest of your summer and a splendid start to your fall!

Happy Fishing!!! -Dang 



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September 2nd – 8th | Madison River Fishing Report

This year’s hopper bite has been epic to say the least. The hopper action has been the best we have seen in years. We have so many hoppers in the grass, on the banks and yes, even in the fly bins still. When the wind blows and the sun is out, the hopper bite is the best. It slows a little when the clouds are out. More-Or-Less hopper in the pink size 12 has been one of the better hoppers for us this season. The tan Panty-Dropper-Hopper in a size 12 or 14 is a great hopper pattern that we have here at the Beartooth. It has been dwindling a bit lately even though there are still copious amounts of hoppers. There are other bugs out there if the hopper is not working for you. The mahogany dun in a size 14 or 16 has started to fly around. You could throw a brown or marigold Adams size 14 for that and do well. The tan caddis size 16 is still out and about. We may even start seeing the BWO with the next bit of rain and weather that is in store for us in the next 10 days. Pseudo mayflies in a size 18 to 22 are flying around and you can get those little flies here at the shop too. Let’s not forget the nymph bite is always VERY SWITCHED ON here on the Madison River. So, if you cannot hookup on the dry, give the ‘ole dirty nymph a try, you should have some luck, it’s always been a sure thing. Prince nymph in a size 16 with white CDC (Delektable Prince Brandon) has been the ticket for a lot of our guides. The Delektable Lil’ Spanker series has been a go-to for years and is still a heavy hitter, especially in the Pheasant Tail or Silver colors. Also there have been some spotting on the mahogany duns, which will be out in full force here in a minute. If you would like some more intel or just great fly fishing conversation, come on in to the shop and say hey to all of us here!!! We would be more than happy let you in on what’s working for us!  


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August 26th – September 1st | Madison River Fishing Report

So… it’s September… and it is still going on with the hoppers! I have never seen it like this in my whole short life. Hoppers everywhere. Holy hoppers. Hoppers. Wow. If you are trying to get your dry fly game going, throw a hopper. The ant has picked up a fish or two also, but for the most part… hoppers. We have seen some good days with the sun and heat and have been lucky with that, but when the clouds come out and they are not eating the hopper, they will eat the nymph and/or streamer. They are hungry. The river is in great condition and the fish are in top shape! It has just been soooo goooood this summer… ALLLL SUMMER LONGGG!!!

Flies that have been working for us here at the shop are as follows:


More-Or-Less Hopper size 12 and 14 in the Pink, Peach, Tan or Yellow

White Cloud Hopper size 10, 12 and 14 in the Yellow or Green

Mongo Hopper size 10 and 12 in the Tan, Peach or Yellow

Panty-Dropper-Hopper size 12 and 14 in the Tan, Pink or Yellow

Yeti Hopper size 12 in Purple or Red

Fat Frank size 10 and 12 in Orange, Yellow or Purple

Fat Albert size 10, 12 and 14 in ALL the colors

Morrish Hopper size 12 and 14 in the Yellow, Pink and Tan








                Parachute Adams size 10

                Circus Peanut 10 and 12 in the Yellow

                Delektable Twisted Baby size 12 and 14 in the Tan/Brown

                Delektable Twisted Sister size 12 and 14 in the Tan/Brown

                Delektable Chubbiness size 14 and 16 in the Cinnamon or Royal

                Tantrum size 12 in the Pink

                Purple Haze size 16

                Delektable Ant size 14 and 16 in the Cinnamon or Red

                Yeagers Ant size 12 and 14 in the Red



               Pheasant Tail

                Delektable Lil’ Spanker size 16 in the Pheasant tail and silver

                Silver or Pearl Lightening Bug size 12 and 14

                Golden Stone Tungsten size 8 and 10

                Shop Vac size 14 and 16 in the Olive and Pheasant tail

                Tung Dart Green 16         

Well, there are a few choices for you if you were having any trouble selecting a bug or two to throw at those wily trout. If you have any questions please feel free to stop by or give us a call! We hope you are having the best summer ever, now get ready for faaaaaall!!!

Happy Fishing!!! -Dang  

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