Air temperatures in the Madison Valley are in the low to mid 90’s with nighttime temps dropping into the 50’s. The river dropped 100 CFS at Cameron bringing it down to 1420 CFS this week. Water temps are getting warmer by the day, so I recommend getting out on the water early in the morning. Fishing has been noticeably better in the mornings with the water being cooler and the fish being more aggressive. All types of bugs are working well beneath the surface with smaller dries working on top. At this point, we’re patiently waiting for those hoppers to come out! My best guess is that within 10 days it’s going to be worth fishing the hopper!
Nymphing continues to be an effective strategy at the moment. We have been throwing double nymph rigs as well as smaller streamers to a bead. My go to nymphs on top have been a larger Prince Nymph, a white or black Wooly Bugger, and as always, the Girdle Bug. A lot of stuff has been working off the back of the top fly. I've found success with the Yellow Spot, FB Pheasant Tail, gold or silver Lighting Bugs, and an assortment of different colored Perdigons. When using a smaller streamer to a bead, I’ve been using a Sparkle Minnow, Mini Loop, Trevor, Lil Kim, and the Dolly Lama.
Dry fly fishing has been pretty good this past week. I’ve focused on throwing a lot of different bugs. There are still Caddis, PMDs, Yellow Sallys, Nocturnal Stones, and a few Hoppers on the banks. My go to dries at the moment are smaller pink or royal Water Walkers, smaller purple or pink Chubbies, Iris Caddis, Fin Fetcher Caddis, Hairwing Yellow Sally, Purple Haze, and a Parachute Adams.
Looking for some fly tying material to create these patterns? Check out our fly tying collection online or stop by the shop! As temperatures warm up, continue to practice your best fish handling techniques. Avoid fish pictures for the gram whenever possible so that we can continue to have healthy fish populations for years to come.
- MTS Guide Nicko Opinsky