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