Ennis MT Fly Fishing Guides

Here at FishWater Outfitters, we have had a great June and the beginning of July on The Madison RIver!  We had a great snowpack and plenty of rain in the spring and in June with cooler temperatures allowing for the river to stay fairly high and providing us with a good salmonfly hatch.  We still continue to have good water levels and temperatures throughout the day.  Fishing has been good with every technique from dry fly fishing to streamer fishing. 

 Nice Madison River Brown Trout

Nice Madison River Brown Trout

FishWater Outfitters had great success throughout the middle of June on many different patterns but especially on girdle bugs as the big stoneflies were crawling their way to the banks to get ready for the big hatch!  At times, our guides would have 4 girdle bugs on at a time and the fish were chewing them up!  Tight lining two size 4 girdle bugs very close to the banks as the water was very high produced some very nice Madison River trout.  We also had a lot of caddis around during the time before the salmonfly hatch, and the prince nymph among other caddis imitations worked very well.

 Madison River Brown Trout

Madison River Brown Trout

Once the water dropped a little bit and cleared up, the big bugs started to hatch and the big fish started to eat big dry flies!  This is one of the best hatches of the year on The Madison River and its a chance to see some big fish come up to eat the dry fly.  We at FishWater Outfitters enjoy nothing more than throwing dry flies all day, whether large or small flies.  Thankfully, the Madison River salmonfly hatch moved slowly up river and some cold days and nights helped to create spot hatches well below the main hatch.  This allowed us to fish multiple different stretches of the river and still being covered up in big bugs.  There are tons of different patterns to choose from and most of the time, if the fly is in the right spot, the fish will come up and eat it.  A couple of our favorite flies include the Fluttering Stone and the Salmonfly Hedgehog.  Both of these are pretty old school patterns mostly comprised of hackles and elk/deer hair.  Our salmonfly hatch on The Madison River usually starts mid to late June and can last anywhere from a week to multiple weeks fishing different stonefly patterns.  Contact us at FishWater Outfitters to book your salmonfly fishing for 2019!

 FishWater Outfitters big Madison River Brown Trout

FishWater Outfitters big Madison River Brown Trout

Now that we are starting to transfer from the big bugs to smaller dries, we are still finding plenty of good fish throughout the entire river.  Thankfully, we still have plenty of water and it seems as though that should continue throughout the summer.  We are seeing a lot of caddis, yellow sallies and various different mayflies hatching throughout the day.  Some of our favorite patterns for post salmonfly include Royal PMX, Royal Trude, Para Wulff, Purple Haze and various different colors of Chubby Chernobyls.  As the water has dropped plenty the middle of the Madison River is starting to fish very well.  The banks get hit so hard during the early season that it is very nice to find the fish moving out into the middle river and eating dry flies.  

 Madison River Brown Trout

Madison River Brown Trout

We are very excited that Hebgen Dam has finally been fixed and we will have bottom release water on the Madison River throughout the summer!  This will provide us with colder water as the air temperatures remain high throughout July and August.  Hopefully, we will also continue to see many hatches throughout the summer instead of all our bugs hatching at once.  

If you're interested in fly fishing the Madison River with FishWater Outfitters this summer, please give us a call or email and we will be sure to set you up with a great guide! Also, if you are planning any winter travel plans, keep in mind that we are located in beautiful Charleston, SC from October to June and the lowcountry marsh is a great place to spend a day looking for Redfish! 

 Shore lunch on the Madison River

Shore lunch on the Madison River

Call or click now to book your Montana or South Carolina fly fishing vacation with FishWater Outfitters!!

Madison River Outfitters

Well, THANKFULLY, the Madison River proposed regulations on Outfitters will not make it to a public comment period!  Four of the MT FWP commissioners voted against the possible regulations yesterday in Helena after hearing from multiple Outfitters and reviewing the information that FWP had.  

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has not yet released any input on this decision and I'm not surprised.  I don't think that the three individuals who came up with this plan are too happy with the results from yesterdays meeting.  However, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle did write an informative article on the subject and hopefully we will hear more in the near future.

https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/fish-and-wildlife-commission-rejects-proposed-madison-river-outfitting-regulations/article_74917904-bde5-5c33-86d9-b9194246cfc9.html

As I stated in a previous post, I was not and still am not in favor of most of the regulations in the proposed plan.  The total commercial use from licensed Madison River Outfitters and Special Recreation Permit holders comprises of 13%-17% of total use.  For the FWP to reduce the amount of commercial use so drastically doesn't make any sense at all.  Yes, I agree that the river is seeing more use than in the past and yes, that is probably still going to increase in the future.  However, there has got to be a better way to go about this than to restrict the sections or river that I as an Ennis, MT Fly Fishing Outfitter am allowed to float on any given day.  Those proposed regulations would only increase the amount of crowding on the river.  We only have 38 river miles on the Upper Madison River and to close off one of those sections would greatly increase the amount of commercial traffic on the other stretches.  I understand that this plan may or may not have worked on the Big Hole River, but there is over 100 river miles to float over there so the amount of pressure can be alleviated.  

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Also, to think that MT FWP wanted to close off two entire stretches of river to all vessels is not Montana at all.  One of, if not the best thing about Montana is our public access laws.  If you don't allow a vessel to float through a navigable waterway, such as The Madison River, then that goes against our public rights.  Those two stretches of river are large enough and have enough river where a boat that floats through can access a lot of water that someone only on foot cannot.  So therefore, there is plenty of options for wade only anglers to still find water to fish and not be crowded out by commercial boats.  We at FishWater Outfitters, often float the Ennis to the Lake stretch and I usually don't even stop around the Valley Garden access point.  There are always people wade fishing in the general area near the access site so I continue to go further down the river where the wade fisherman doesn't want to go.  This way I am not interfering with wade fisherman at all and I still have tons of great river to fish.   

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I do agree that The Madison River is getting more and more popular and the use is increasing, but to put all the blame on Outfitters and not even recognize that the majority of the use is from the public is absurd.  I do understand that in the future something might need to be implemented but I think that FWP still needs to sit down and come up with a plan that actually helps the future of the river and continues to realize just how important the fishery is to South West Montana.  Not sure when they will come back with another plan but I am interested to hear it and hopefully it will be better for everyone. 

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If you are visiting Charleston, SC for business, vacation or live near by and are interested in an inshore light tackle and fly fishing charter with FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell please click below to schedule your trip!  

Also, if you are interested in fly fishing trips in Montana from the town of Ennis, don't forget that FishWater Outfitters and Ennis, MT fly fishing guides will be there from June to October fishing daily on The Madison River.  

Whether in the beautiful Lowcountry Marsh surrounding Charleston, SC or floating down the Madison River in Ennis, MT, FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell will help you have a great day on the water and hopefully catch that fish of a lifetime!

Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters

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Although we at FishWater Outfitters are still here in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC, we have been paying very close attention to all the snow thats been piling up in South West Montana.  We couldn't be happier with the amount of moisture that is in the mountains now and that will continue to come down throughout the spring.  It has still been snowing in Montana and it will provide everyone with plenty of cold water that will hopefully last throughout the summer!  Click the link below to see exactly where the snowpack is for the Madison River drainage.

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/mt/snow/products/NRCSEPRD1137464/

We are fortunate on The Madison River to have a dam to retain most of the good cold water that will come from all the snow this winter and thankfully, after many years, Hebgen Dam is fixed!  For the past ten years, all of us in South West Montana and especially in Ennis and West Yellowstone have been dealing with water that comes off the top of the reservoir instead of pulling from the bottom.  This has been dumping much warmer water from the surface versus the colder water from the bottom.  Which has had a direct effect on the river temperatures and in turn the fishing.  FishWater Outfitters is anxiously awaiting the upcoming season as well as many other Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters to see exactly how the colder water will affect our trout fishery.  I personally feel that it will only benefit the river, as the water will stay much cooler throughout the heat of the summer.  This will also help our hatches and hopefully will not only extend the life and duration of the hatches but will bring back some of the mayflies that we haven't seen in quite some time. 

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 In other news, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are trying to figure out a way to reduce the amount of commercial pressure on the Madison River.  There have been talks of this happening for a handful of years now and I personally was part of some initial meetings with other Outfitters and FWP trying to figure out exactly what would be a good way of going about addressing the issue.  Personally, I do not agree with everything that MT FWP has come up with in their new ideas.  Again, these are just preliminary ideas and they are possibly going for public input on April 19th.  Although I think it is unfortunate to cap the amount of Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitters, it also is something that might prove beneficial in the long run.  I highly disagree with MT FWP trying to close certain river stretches on particular days to commercial use.  If their goal is to reduce crowding (per their surveys) then not allowing Outfitters to use a particular stretch on a given day would produce more crowding on the other stretches.  I do understand that they are trying to alleviate some stretches for the general public.  However, The Madison River has plenty of different options to have a not so crowded day.  For example, don't go to Lyons Bridge at 9 am on any given day.  There are plenty of ways to get around the mass amounts of boats that operate on a daily basis, you might just have to wake up a little earlier or go later in the day.  Another major proposal is to close the two wade sections to all vessels, be it commercial or recreational.  This seems absolutely ridiculous to me as an Outfitter in Ennis, MT.  I'll talk more about this in another blog but, it seems as though their is something else going on in the decision process other than commercial use.  Their are many, many wealthy home owners along the banks of both these stretches of river and I can't help but think that they are making plenty of noise so that they technically have private water.  Ok, again, I'll post more about this in the future as we move into the public comment period.  For now, check out a good article written by The Bozeman Daily Chronicle that highlights some of the proposed changes and also has commentary from another Madison River Fly Fishing Outfitter, Joe Dilschneider.  

https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/montana-proposes-rules-limiting-fishing-guides-on-madison-river/article_f1b4f8bc-62fd-55e6-a2b6-7c82127bf6dc.amp.html

 

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If you are visiting Charleston, SC for business, vacation or live near by and are interested in an inshore light tackle and fly fishing charter with FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell please click below to schedule your trip!  

Also, if you are interested in fly fishing trips in Montana from the town of Ennis, don't forget that FishWater Outfitters and Ennis, MT fly fishing guides will be there from June to October fishing daily on The Madison River.  

Whether in the beautiful Lowcountry Marsh surrounding Charleston, SC or floating down the Madison River in Ennis, MT, FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell will help you have a great day on the water and hopefully catch that fish of a lifetime!

Charleston, SC Harbor Fly Fishing

It seems as though Spring is actually here in Charleston, SC.  The weather is starting to become more stable and our day time temperatures are in the mid 70's.  The water has also warmed up quite a bit, averaging temperatures in the mid 60's.  Unfortunately, the wind is still cranking almost daily but if you're able to get out early for the sunrise fishing it has been really nice.  Captain Braden Powell has had the pleasure of taking out some first time fly fishers recently and he had a lot of wind but was able to find some happy fish.   

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Ned Taylor and his father were visiting from Boston, MA this past week and called FishWater Outfitters for an early morning fly fishing trip.  It was a high tide at about 7:45 am so we met at the boat ramp at 7 to get a start on the day.  Thankfully, it was a beautiful morning with minimal winds but tons of gnats!  Always a good idea this time of year to wear long pants and long sleeves for fishing charters as the gnats will chew you up otherwise.  Once we were at our first flat, the tide was still coming in and the Redfish were following the water up into the grass.  We were really hoping to see some tailing fish, but due to water temperatures and lack of bait, the Redfish aren't tailing yet.  I would imagine that within the coming weeks, the water will continue to warm up and plenty of bait will return to the marsh and the fish will begin tailing.  After seeing a handful of fish floating just below the surface and getting some really good opportunities and casts at those fish, only for them to swim under the fly and not eat, Captain Braden Powell decided to move to another flat.

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After we ran up the Wando River about fifteen minutes or so, we came to another great flat were the water was still high but had started to fall.  Its always best to fish while the tide is moving, whether flooding or ebbing.  The fish are always more active when there is tidal current pushing bait around for them to eat.  We were happy to see more Redfish floating around in the top of the water column, easily showing themselves for a properly presented fly or lure.  Thankfully, the cast was great and Ned Taylor was hooked up to his first ever Redfish!  The fish fought hard and took a handful of nice runs to add to the excitement.  After taking a couple quick pictures, Captain Braden Powell released the fish back into the water to let him be caught another day.  All of our Captains and Guides at FishWater Outfitters practice catch and release and try to handle the fish that we catch with the utmost respect and care to ensure they swim away healthy.  We think that it is very important to practice ethical techniques for catching and releasing these fish.  We all want the fish population to be as healthy and strong as possible for future fishing!  

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If you are visiting Charleston, SC for business, vacation or live near by and are interested in an inshore light tackle and fly fishing charter with FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell please click below to schedule your trip!  

Also, if you are interested in fly fishing trips in Montana from the town of Ennis, don't forget that FishWater Outfitters and Ennis, MT fly fishing guides will be there from June to October fishing daily on The Madison River.  

Whether in the beautiful Lowcountry Marsh surrounding Charleston, SC or floating down the Madison River in Ennis, MT, FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell will help you have a great day on the water and hopefully catch that fish of a lifetime!

Charleston, SC Fly Fishing Guides

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We are still experiencing the Spring time weather fluctuations here in Charleston, SC but thankfully the water has warmed up a bit and when the weather is good, the fishing has been good also!  Captain Braden Powell has had plenty of tough days on the water recently, but there have also been some really really good times.  We have still been targeting the Redfish on and around the low tide and especially the am low tides.  It won't be long now until the fish are up in the grass feeding on crabs and waving their tails around for us to see!  

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We at FishWater Outfitters have been fishing some different water recently, looking for new spots and checking on old spots that we haven't fished in a while.  That is one of the best things about the Charleston, SC area.  We are surrounded by so much water that we don't have to fish the same small areas everyday.  A few days ago, Captain Braden took one of his local clients South of Charleston to the North Edisto river, out of Cherry Point Boat Landing in Rockville, SC.  This area is really beautiful with very few houses and mud flats and oyster mounds everywhere.  It is an area that we fished almost exclusively about four to five years ago.  This was the first time that Captain Braden had been down there in 2018 and the weather and tides were perfect for a sunrise charter on the flats.  We had launched the boat at 7 am just as the sun was coming up and the tide was almost at dead low.  The first flat that we went had a lot of juvenile redfish on it and a few good sized fish.  

After sight fishing to some of these fish we decided to go up the North Edisto River into Wadmalaw Sound.  The Sound is full of very fishy spots that have mud flats, oyster mounds, big creeks and small tributary creeks.  We ran over to a spot that we used to fish regularly and found that there was a big group of about 40 redfish bunched up at the mouth of a tributary creek.  As the tide was just now starting to come back in, these fish would hold in the current right at the mouth of the creek and wait for a meal to come floating by.  There were times that we could see fish tailing in the mud and other fish with their backs out of the water pushing around looking for food.  Thankfully, we were able to catch some here and then head on to the next spot. 

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As we continued our day, the tide flooded in really fast and the wind also decided to pick up and start cranking out of the South/SouthWest.  Being in a large sound, we weren't able to find as much lee from the wind as we would have liked but still were able to use it to our advantage and have the wind at our backs.  As the water rose, the fish also started to push up on the grass edges and float with the incoming tide.  Its always great to see 'floaters' as they are just a few inches below the surface and still provide great sight fishing opportunities.  Captain Braden Powell and his guest decided to try some soft plastic artificial lures that allowed them to pole up and down the grass edges casting for fish that might not otherwise be seen.  This technique worked very well and they caught a few more fish! 

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After 5 hours of great fishing and a beautiful morning they decided to head back to the dock to get home in time to watch The Masters.  Charleston, SC offers some of the best saltwater fly fishing and inshore light tackle fishing in the south and with so much water surrounding us, there is always a place to go and search for Redfish to be caught!

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If you are visiting Charleston, SC for business, vacation or live near by and are interested in an inshore light tackle and fly fishing charter with FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell please click below to schedule your trip!  

Also, if you are interested in fly fishing trips in Montana from the town of Ennis, don't forget that FishWater Outfitters and Ennis, MT fly fishing guides will be there from June to October fishing daily on The Madison River.  

Whether in the beautiful Lowcountry Marsh surrounding Charleston, SC or floating down the Madison River in Ennis, MT, FishWater Outfitters and Captain Braden Powell will help you have a great day on the water and hopefully catch that fish of a lifetime!

March 2018 Charleston, SC Fishing

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Well, its been a pretty typical March here in Charleston, SC.  We've had big temperature swings, with some days in the 70's to some blustery cold and windy days in the 40's.  Overall, this is pretty normal for early Spring here in the Lowcountry.  Recently we have been fishing for Redfish with both fly and conventional spinning gear.  Using soft plastic lures and also live mud minnows and shrimp.  The water temperatures have also been going up and down as the weather changes daily.  We were seeing some water temps in the mid 60's and recently it has been in the mid 50's.  Along with daily temperature fluctuations, the changing water temperatures really really affect the activity of the fish.  The fish aren't the only ones that are ready for some warmer consistent weather patterns!  

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On our most recent trips out, FishWater Outfitters Captain Braden Powell, has been fishing the early morning low tide.  We have been going out just before sunrise and poling the flats around creek mouths and oyster beds.  The Redfish will congregate not only in and around the small tributary creeks but especially where these creeks dump back into a larger flat or river.  Often times as the tide is falling, the redfish will slowly make their way out of the creeks and onto the flat to feed with the tide.  The fish are waiting as the bait also moves out of the creeks in search of more water and safety.  When the water is low enough an angler will be able to see the fish push or make wakes in the water as they are feeding.  This provides a great visual for sight fishing with soft plastics or a fly.

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The Redfish not only use the small creeks to move on and off of the flats but also to feed.  You can target these fish by casting artificials and live bait into the mouth of the creek.  The fish will also be on the edges of the creek mouth using the tidal current to bring the food to them, another great place to cast while searching for redfish.  Our Captains at FishWater Outfitters like to use popping corks with live mud minnows or shrimp underneath while we are live bait fishing.  If we are not sight fishing with a fly rod or blind casting soft plastic artificial lures, then we are using a popping cork to find the fish.  Using a popping cork works well when searching for fish and also when you are on the fish.  The copper beads on the bottom of the cork help to hold it upright when not twitching or popping the cork.  Also, the beads on the top and bottom help to make a noise to draw attention to your bait.  This is a great technique for covering water where you haven't seen any fish activity but you know they should be around.  We like to rig our corks with 15-20lb fluorocarbon and around 18" from the cork to a number 2 circle hook.  This will allow the fish to eat the live minnow or shrimp and be hooked in the corner of the mouth instead of swallowing the hook.  We always like to practice catch and release when fishing our inshore waters around Charleston, SC.

Targeting points and oyster mounds is another very important aspect when fishing for Redfish.  Casting your artificial or live bait within a few feet of the oyster mounds can be a very productive way to catch fish.  The fish will use the mounds as a form of structure to not only find food but to also protect themselves from becoming food for the bottlenose dolphin.  Points on any island or creek or in a back bay or flat will also provide great holding water for the fish.  They can use these points to ambush their prey as the current rips around.  Not only are the fish feeding but also trying to protect themselves in all of these situations.  Remember to always try and target small tributary creeks, oyster mounds, points and any other structure that may provide a vantage point and a safe place for the Redfish to hold. 

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  Whether you are in Charleston, SC for business or a family vacation or you live here and just want to get out on the water, FishWater Outfitters offers great fishing charters for the beginner angler or child to the most experienced fly fishing angler!  Please contact us today to schedule your inshore fishing charter.  

Also, remember that Captain Braden Powell spends his summers floating The Madison River in SouthWest Montana and offers full day and half day fly fishing trips from Ennis, MT!

Madison River Fly Fishing Guides

 Lower Madison River below BearTrap Canyon

Lower Madison River below BearTrap Canyon

The Madison River near Ennis, MT is our home river here at FishWater Outfitters!  We spend more time on this river than any other in the state of Montana.  It offers some of the best fishing in all of Montana thanks to shallow, fast and cold water.  The headwaters of the Madison River start in YellowStone National Park at the confluence of the FireHole and Gibbon Rivers.  It then flows down into Hebgen Reservoir and through the dam into a section called Between the Lakes.  This section refers to between Hebgen and Quake Lake.  Once through Quake Lake, the Madison River flows through a wade fishing only section and past the famous Raynolds Pass and Three Dollar Bridge access points.  Its great wade fishing up there with many large boulders and tons of pocket water and slicks that all hold fish.  Lyons Bridge is the next main access point and where anglers are allowed to fish from a boat.  The Upper stretch from Lyons to McAtee Bridge can be phenomenal fishing with dry flies, nymphs and streamer rigs.  

 Madison River Brown Trout

Madison River Brown Trout

From McAtee Bridge down river, the river begins to make somewhat of a change, going from large boulders to a very shallow riffle.  This section down to Varney Bridge access can be quite tough to figure out but once you get it, its one of the best parts of the river.  This section of The Madison River is a favorite of the FishWater Outfitters guides and we spend a lot of our time in here.  The river gets can get really shallow and it also gets it widest on the upper stretch.  Some of our favorite areas of the river are from Storey Ditch access to Varney Bridge.  The dry fly fishing is our favorite through this section of river.  Anything from Caddis to salmonflies to mayflies, our guides all enjoy and prefer to throw the dry! 

 Madison River Dry Fly Brown Trout

Madison River Dry Fly Brown Trout

The Madison River changes once you float under Varney Bridge.  Instead of the wide open valley, the river begins to drop in elevation and break into different channels.  There are big bends and deep holes in the river and some of the biggest fish are seen down here.  This is the closest stretch of river to our hometown of Ennis, MT.  The banks of the river are deep and covered with willows and you can expect some of the best streamer fishing here.  Thanks to some deep holes and lots of undercut banks, we have seen some really big trout chase a streamer out from the depths.  That being said, the dry fly fishing below Varney Bridge can also be unbelievably good at times.  There are certain times, if your fly lands within millimeters of the bank and is drifted properly, a large trout will come to the surface and either crush or simply sip your fly down.  The dry fly fishing down here can be challenging, but well worth the site of seeing that fish come out of nowhere on an undercut bank to eat your fly!    

 Big Brown on The Madison River

Big Brown on The Madison River

From the town boat ramp to Ennis Lake is also a wade only stretch.  You are allowed to float through but cannot fish from any watercraft.  This part of the river, also known as the braids or channels, offers some great fly fishing of all kinds.  Finding a deep hole and running a nymph rig through it or drifting dry flies under willow covered banks will be sure to produce some great trout.  Our guides at FishWater Outfitters have spent hours and hours exploring this stretch of river and it is usually where you might find a guide fishing on his day off.  The wade fishing can be tough during higher waters but once the river drops after the runoff and throughout the summer, its pretty easy to cross and find all the hidden channels that abound and are full of fish.  

 Wade fishing the Madison River

Wade fishing the Madison River

Below Ennis, after flowing through the braids, the Madison River flows in Ennis Lake.  The Lake is very shallow on the southern end and can provide phenomenal sight fishing to large brown and rainbow trout.  Throughout most of the summer months, the callibaetis hatch on the lake is in full force.  Depending on the wind, an angler can go to the lake and see thousands of bugs and hundreds of fish rising to eat them.  This can be very challenging dry fly fishing, as it often requires long casts to fish that are feeding in erratic patterns, but if done properly, you will be rewarded with a great catch! 

 Dry Fly fishing Ennis Lake

Dry Fly fishing Ennis Lake

The Madison River dumps out of Ennis Lake and through a dam, into The BearTrap Canyon.  This canyon is about as beautiful as it gets and offers really good wade fishing and float fishing.  However, there are some big rapids so whoever is on the sticks needs to know what they are doing.  The wade fishing from below the dam for a couple miles is great.  It offers deep runs and large boulders.  An angler could be very productive with a nymph rig in the deeper holes and dry flies on the ledges, boulders and slicks behind the rocks.  Once through the canyon, Warm Springs is the first boat access to the Lower Madison River.  The lower river is very different from the upper river.  It is much slower and with not nearly as many large boulders.  The lower river fishes very well in the spring and the fall as the water temperatures will get too high during the summer months for fishing.  Some of the best dry fishing of the year can happen on the Lower Madison River in early May during the mothers day caddis hatch.  Clouds of caddis are everywhere and fish are rising and eating constantly! Our guides at FishWater Outfitters really enjoy driving the short distance to the lower river during the fall and stripping streamers looking for the really big Brown trout.  Crawfish are in abundance down on the lower Madison River and they provide plenty of food for the trout to get big! 

 Madison River Brown Trout

Madison River Brown Trout

Whether you are interested in wade fishing below Quake Lake, drift fishing through the upper Madison River, sight fishing Ennis Lake or chucking big streamers in the fall, FishWater Outfitters experienced guides will help you have a great day on the water!  

Click above to contact Captain Braden Powell and FishWater Outfitters to schedule your next Montana fly fishing adventure!

Ennis, MT Fly Fishing Guides

Although we at FishWater Outfitters are still here in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC, we have been paying very close attention to all the snow thats been piling up in South West Montana.  We couldn't be happier with the amount of moisture that is in the mountains now and that will continue to come down throughout the spring.  

Check out this link below for a in-depth look at the snow pack levels for all of SW MT, but especially for the Madison River drainage.  This is a great site to check back on as we move closer to summer!

  https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/mt/snow/products/NRCSEPRD1137464/

 Madison River Brown Trout

Madison River Brown Trout

It's always a good thing to have plenty of snow throughout the winter and then also plenty of rain in the spring and early summer.  The more snow and rain equates directly to the amount of cold water we will have throughout the entire summer.  That being said, we are also happy to announce that Hebgen Dam has been fixed and we will hopefully be getting water off the bottom of the reservoir instead of the top.  This will help to keep The Madison River water temperatures lower during the heat of the summer.  Trout love cold water and with that cold water, we will hopefully begin to see our hatches last longer and continue throughout the summer. Ideally, within a few years the Madison River will be back to its old self producing lots of good dry fly fishing again.

 Healthy Madison River Rainbow Trout

Healthy Madison River Rainbow Trout

Just a heads up for all the anglers who enjoy exploring and fishing in Yellowstone National Park, they recently released a statement which bans all felt soled wading boots in the park. Look at the link below to read about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and how you can help to stop the transfer of them from rivers to lakes.

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/18010.htm

Our summer season is booking up quickly so if you haven't already contacted us about your Madison River Fly Fishing trip then do so now by using the link below.

If you live in the SouthEast or are planning a trip to beautiful Charleston, SC then don't forget to give us a call to book an Inshore Fly Fishing or Light tackle charter.  We offer 1/2, 3/4 and full day charters for anyone from the seasoned fly fisher to the beginner angler who just wants to see the waterways throughout Charleston and catch a Redfish!

 Charleston, SC Redfish tail

Charleston, SC Redfish tail

 

 

 

Charleston, SC Winter Fly Fishing

As we are all enduring the winds of March here in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC, I thought it'd be a good time to look back on some of the great weather and fly fishing we had in January and February. The old saying of In like a lion, out like a lamb has definitely been true for our Spring so far.  It seemed as though right as we turned into the month of March the winds started to blow heavily and daily.  All of us here at FishWater Outfitters were very thankful for really good weather through most of the winter months. 

 Sunrise on the Stono River

Sunrise on the Stono River

We had some chilly mornings out on the water but we also had some unbelievable and unseasonable weather too.  In mid to late February, Charleston temperatures were in the mid 70's with a some days that tipped out in the low 80's.  Although that is not very common, it sure was welcomed by everyone and everything.  The fish were very happy to see the water temperatures rise from the dismal 40 degree temps in the beginning of January to the upper 50's and low 60's in late February.  We had fantastic fishing on many of the early morning low tides using a variety of different flies.  As always, any combination of black and purple feathers worked well in addition to basic olive and cream colored clouser patterns.  White baitfish patterns seemed to work well also, especially while targeting Redfish in the oyster mounds.

 Redfish pushing wakes around oyster mounds

Redfish pushing wakes around oyster mounds

Generally while Fly Fishing in Charleston, SC during the winter months we are targeting Redfish around the low tides.  My personal favorite is a mid morning low tide where we can launch the boat at sunrise and fish 2-3 hours of the falling tide and then another 2-3 hours of the incoming tide before the water gets too high.  Once the tide gets too high, it makes sight fishing much more difficult. 

 Charleston, SC redfish on fly

Charleston, SC redfish on fly

As we continue through the brutal winds of March, the springtime weather patterns can't come soon enough!  Once we start to see more consistent day time temps in the mid to upper 70's here in Charleston, SC the fishing will only get better and better!  The water temperatures will become much more stable and a lot of the bait will return to the marsh.  This means more shrimp, crabs and other baitfish that our Inshore species love to eat.  

 Redfish Tail

Redfish Tail

Whether you are planning a trip for business or for fun here in the Holy City,  FishWater Outfitters can offer half day and 3/4 day Inshore Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Charters for your needs.  We cater to all families and corporate groups alike and are always excited to show a beginner angler how to catch their first Redfish!  Spring dates are booking fast so use the link below to schedule a charter with Capt. Braden Powell and FishWater Outfitters.

Thinking about your summer vacation plans already?  Don't forget that Capt. Braden Powell and FishWater Outfitters offer fly fishing trips on the legendary Madison River in the trout town of Ennis, Montana during the summer months!!

Madison River Trout Fishing Report - Aug 28, 2017

Madison River Trout Fishing Report - Aug 28, 2017

The Madison River has continued to fish well throughout the month of August. Here in Ennis, MT we typically have day time temperatures in the mid to upper 80's. This past month we have seen slightly lower than normal temps with many days only reaching the mid 70's. These temperatures have greatly helped the river and the fly fishing in general. Thankfully, due to cooler nights, the Madison River temperatures haven't reached over 70 degrees recently. This is keeping the trout much more active throughout the day. Here’s our Madison River trout fishing report for late August.

Madison River Fly Fishing Guides & Outfitters

The Madison River forms as the FireHole and Gibbon Rivers come together in Yellowstone National Park. After exiting the park, The Upper Madison River flows through Hebgen Lake and into EarthQauke Lake, then pours out to form what is commonly referred to as "The Fifty Mile Riffle." This shallow, fast stretch of boulder dotted river is set against a backdrop of classic high Montana mountains and is home to some of the finest trout fly fishing in the West. From beginners to experts, fishing this area with a knowledgeable Madison River fly fishing guide can be a great experience! This is the kind of stream that offers something for every angler from the nymph rig fanatic to the dry fly aficionado and the streamer slinger chasing 20 inch plus browns!

Fly Fishing the Madison River

Classified as a "blue ribbon trout stream," the Upper Madison River is loaded with Rainbow and Brown Trout averaging in the 10-15" range with many fish well over 20". As one of the more famous rivers in the west, The Madison has everything that a fly fishing angler could want, including large boulders, shallow riffles, grassy banks and long deep runs. Excellent fishing can be had using practically any fly fishing method you choose with both dry and wet flies. At FishWater Outfitters, we offer float and walk wade fly fishing trips on the Madison from June through September.

Summertime Dry Fly Fishing

As the weather warms up and the snow melt subsides, the bugs begin to really start hatching and the dry fly fishing gets really good! The dry fly fishing on The Madison will continue throughout the summer and into the fall with consistent hatches of stoneflies, caddis, mayflies and midges that provide dry fly fishing opportunities for anglers of all experience levels. If you’re not familiar with the right equipment or flies to use, don't worry, your fly fishing guide will have everything you need for a great day on the water. (If you would like to get your own gear, be sure to stop by an Ennis, MT fly shop or just give us a call at FishWater Outfitters and we'd be happy to recommend all gear and flies to use on the Madison River.)

One of the most exciting dry fly times on the Madison is the annual Salmon Fly hatch. Depending on the runoff, the water conditions and timing of the hatch can vary from year to year, but we will typically start to see salmon flies around the 16-20th of June. If you are able to time it right and "catch the hatch," the action can be legendary and the experience of casting large dry flies to eager trout will create an unforgettable trip on the river.

As the Salmonfly Hatch tapers off, the Madison River will continue to produce some of the best dry fly fishing in the state. The Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies and Nocturnal Stoneflies will continue to satisfy your dry fly fishing desires, and the Caddis and Mayfly hatches will continue throughout the summer too! As we get into August and early September, grasshoppers will flood the grassy banks of the Madison River and flying ants will begin to show themselves in thick clouds above the river. This is a great time to cast large Hopper patterns and small Ant patterns throughout the banks, boulders and riffles of the Madison, eagerly awaiting a large trout to slowly sip your dry fly from the surface of the river.

Fall Streamer Fishing

Starting mid to late September as the air temperatures begin to cool and the signs of fall begin to show, anglers seeking large trout head to the Madison River to throw streamer patterns. Streamer flies imitating baitfish such as sculpin and other small trout or whitefish will be fished with many different stripping and twitching techniques often enticing strikes from the brag worthy brown trout that the Madison River is so well known for.

Experience the Best Fly Fishing the Madison has to Offer

Anglers can benefit from the many access points along the entire length of the Madison, and there are two stretches of the river that are restricted to wade fishing only. These are great places to spend a peaceful day exploring the endless riffles and plentiful trout. For the full Madison River experience, there's no better way to fish this iconic river than casting from the bow of a drift boat.

Captain Braden Powell, owner of FishWater Outfitters, offers guided walk wade and drift boat fly fishing trips on the Madison River from June through September. If you’re planning a trip and are looking to book with the best Madison River fly fishing guides and outfitters, schedule a trip with Capt. Powell today. He'll put you on the fish!

March Fishing in Charleston, SC

Well, we've had some pretty typical March weather here in Charleston, SC.  Theres been some days in the upper 70's and some in the 50's.  The weather fluctuates often this time of year, but, the one thing we can almost always count on is the Wind!  In my experience it seems as though some of the Redfish are starting to break out of their large winter schools and feeding on the flats in pairs or small groups.  We've been fortunate in the past two weeks to have some great mornings on the water Fly Fishing for Redfish.  We are still targeting the fish on the mid-morning falling tide, fishing from sunrise through the low tide and for a couple hours on the incoming tide.  In addition to the falling tide, we have had good success finding fish feeding happily throughout the first couple hours of the incoming tide before there is too much water on the flats.

Charleston, SC Redfish

Redfish on Fly!

 I was fortunate enough to take Andrew Lincoln of Greensky Bluegrass and Bain Stewart, www.bainstewart.com fishing one cold and windy morning last week.  Although the temperatures dropped and the wind was howling out of the worst possible direction, Lincoln got a couple Redfish to eat the fly!  Lincoln is a great fisherman and a very talented light director for Greensky Bluegrass.  Bain is a very talented photographer and videographer and has thankfully shared some of the shots from the trip with us. 

The Inshore Fly Fishing in Charleston, SC should only continue to get better as the water and weather warms up.  We still have available dates throughout the spring, so give us a call to get out on the water  and enjoy The Lowcountry!

Andrew Lincoln with a great Redfish on Fly

Another great shot from Bain

Celebration after releasing the Redfish

Charleston, SC Winter Fly Fishing

It's been a pretty mild winter here in The Lowcountry and we have had some excellent low tide fly fishing.  As we start to move into spring in Charleston, SC the water temperature will begin to really warm up and the Redfish will continue to be very active.  We will start to see more and more bait fish returning to the marsh.  The morning low tide will continue to be the best time to fly fish for Redfish.  Soon enough we will begin to look for Redfish tailing in the grass!