Summer and Fall on the Madison

Madison River Fishing Report/Forecast

Montana summer is fading fast, and it has been one for the ages. We are very grateful for so many wonderful friends and clients who have helped make this summer great. We would also like to thank Mother Nature for being so benevolent! Once again, here on the Madison we find ourselves in the sweet spot of Montana’s best fly fishing. We had good fishable flows during May, June and the Salmon Fly hatch while many of the region's other rivers and creeks were so high that they were virtually unfishable. Then as things dried up quickly through July and many rivers were put under Hoot-Owl closures (many still remain restricted), the Upper Madison hung tough with good flows, cool water and consistently good fishing.

The Lower Madison remains on the list of restricted rivers for the time being, but the Upper Madison has no restrictions. In fact, in the past 23 years we have never seen Hoot-Owl restrictions on the Upper Madison. A Hoot-Owl closure means that you cannot fish from 2pm until midnight each day. We don't really know the origins of this term, but would love to hear from you if you do!

Flows are still juicy on the Madison and the bite remains strong. A variety of tactics have been productive lately throughout mid-day into evening. Hoppers and Ants, streamers and nymphs are all catching fish at different times of the day. We expect the Madison will stay strong as we transition into fall soon. All indications are that flows will remain above their long-term historical averages making for very good fishing and floating conditions. 

Streamer fishing usually kicks into high gear sometime in late September as the water cools with shorter days and the first hard frosts. Brown trout become more aggressive as they enter their pre-spawn mode. Of course we will also

 begin to see fall Baetis hatching on most area waters making for some very good dry fly periods as well. 

We still have plenty of openings in October, so give us a call to make some plans. Perhaps a little Cast & Blast? Hope to see you here soon! (406) 682-5150