Summer is in full swing, and July is bringing clear skies and a break from the rain. The Lower Madison River has recently been subjected to hoot owl restrictions, beginning on July 12th. This is three days earlier than the usual July 15th to August 15th period, triggered by water temperatures exceeding 73 degrees for three consecutive days. As a result, anglers are prohibited from fishing between 2pm and midnight until further notice on the Lower section. However, the Upper Madison River is looking good, with water temperatures peaking around 66 degrees and flows are currently around 1550 ft3/s while still adjusting to the changing streamflow out of Hebgen.
Currently, the water is teeming with bugs. Billions of caddis, PMDs, and yellow sallies can be found on the river, attracting the attention of hungry trout.
As the salmon fly hatch winds down, any remaining flies can be found further upstream between Quake Lake and Lyons Bridge. Similarly, golden stoneflies may still be present in those areas.
Regardless of your preferred tactic, whether it be nymphing, streamer fishing, or dry fly fishing, you can have success this time of year. Generally, dry flies have been working in the mornings and nymphs and streamers in the afternoon. If you are looking for some evening dry fly action, it is best to head way up river. With the abundance of bugs in the water, fish can be selective, detailed attention to the size, color, and presentation of your flies can increase your chance of tight lines!
Try to avoid fish pictures when you can out there. Everybody loves a great trout photo, but not as much as you think they do. We're in the midst of our annual Fly SALE. Checkout our SALE flies here for killer deals on your favorite patterns. If you're interested in what the river looks like here in town, give the live cam a gander below!
- MTS Guide "Laser" Elina Dilschneider