Madison River Fly Fishing

Madison River rainbow!

We’ve had a great summer here in Ennis, MT!! The river temperatures have remained cool throughout August and the dry fly fishing on the Madison River has been fantastic. Our Ennis, MT fly fishing guides have been enjoying the hopper fishing the past month and with a warmer temperature forecasted for the next week or so, the dry fly fishing should continue to be great on The Madison River.

Madison River Brown Trout on a dry fly

Our salmonfly hatch happened a little later than usual this past July due to a large snowpack and a very wet spring. We even had snow on June 21st in Ennis, MT. The hatch this year was fairly inconsistent partially due to the Trout gorging themselves on the stonefly nymphs. That being said, when everything was just right, the big Trout showed themselves and were very happy to come up to the surface and devour large dry flies! We at FishWater Outfitters typically see some of the biggest fish during the stonefly hatch and this year was the same. The golden stone hatch that follows the salmonfly hatch was, in my opinion, better this year than the big bug hatch. Our Ennis, MT fly fishing guides decided more often than not to throw smaller golden stone imitations to try and persuade the big brown and rainbow trout to rise to the surface on The Madison River.

Big Dry fly eating Brown Trout!

Throughout most of July we were able to throw the big single dry fly and when the trout didn’t want the big bugs, the smaller dries such as caddis and mayflies worked very well. Typically earlier in the morning a small purple haze or parachute Adams would work well and could produce some big fish in addition to lots of numbers. Fishing these smaller dry flies very close to the banks and around rocks will typically provide the best results.

Madison River Rainbow Trout on a small dry fly

Once August came around and the air temperatures started reaching the 80’s, the hopper fishing turned on and it has continued to be great throughout the whole month of August. Our Ennis Montana fly fishing guides at FishWater Outfitters have had great success throughout the past month with medium to big sized hoppers in tan and pink. We typically find the best fishing and the biggest fish floating single dry flies right down the middle of The Madison River. Our River has a lot of character in the middle which might not be very visible unless to an experienced Ennis MT Outfitter. The most difficult part of successfully catching the big trout on hoppers is figuring out the timing on the hook set. For the most part the bigger trout come up to the fly very very very slowly and if you’re not patient enough, you will definitely pull the fly away from the trout. This can be very frustrating but very rewarding once you can get the timing down. The Hopper fishing on the Madison River should continue to be good for at least the next week or so while we have some warmer temperatures.

Madison River Montana

Once the warmer weather turns to cooler days and more fall like temperatures and as the leaves all start to turn, the streamer fishing on The Madison River should really get going good!

Call Braden Powell with FishWater Outfitters to schedule a trip with one of our Ennis, MT fly fishing guides for the remainder of the season here on The Madison River!