With the past week being extremely warm, Eight Mile ford fishing access to Ennis Lake has been put on Hoot Owl restrictions, meaning that section of river is closest to all angling at 2:00 P.M. Due to the warm temperatures, NorthWestern energy has been releasing more water out of Hebgen Reservoir to cool our scaly friends down. That being said, the river at Varney Bridge is now running at roughly 1800 CFS compared to 1300 CFS last week. With this sudden shock to the river fishing has shut down recently, but the river will most likely begin to drop here in the next few days as air temperatures look to be in the 80’s this next week instead of in the 90’s. Typically when the Madison river begins to drop the fishing starts firing on all cylinders, especially the streamer bite which means large fish and lots of them!
There are still an abundance of PMD’s coming off in the mornings, tons of Caddis in the late afternoons, and nocturnal stones which are large look alikes to a golden stone that hatch at night. If you are looking to catch a BIG BUCK NASTY BROWN on a dry fly right now, the nocturnal stone is going to be your golden ticket to success. We typically begin to see the aquatic insect hatches dwindle here in mid to late August, so our main dry fly focus begins to be strictly terrestrials such as Grasshoppers and Flying Ants. Grasshoppers are starting to get a little attention out there but we haven’t seen it really turn on yet. However, if you're looking to throw a dry fly in the middle of the day, a Hopper and an Ant are going to be your best bet.
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 Rob "Rooster" Foster