Upper Madison River Fishing Report – 6-20-14 (by FishTales Outfitting LLC)
By angelamontana

Posted: June 20, 2014


  • Hebgen 705 cfs
  • Kirby 1,010 cfs
  • Varney 1,610 cfs

uppermad1VISIBILTY: Good at 3+ feet

The Upper Madison River has some green color but continues to drop and clear every day after peaking on May 31sth at 5,610 cfs near Varney Bridge. The Upper Madison River from Quake Lake downstream to Ennis Lake is fishing extremely well! Salmon Flies are getting ready to blow up and the nymphs are very active as they migrate towards the banks in preparation for their annual hatch.



We’re seeing the first few Salmon Flies between Varney Bridge (FAS) and Ennis (FAS) and it won’t be long before the hatch is full all the way up the river! The dry/dropper bite has been solid and we’re catching some on the big dry…they’re starting to look up!

  • Try a Rogue River Stone Fly, Carnage Stone, Turner’s Bank Robber, Chubby Chernobyl, Gypsy King, Kyle’s King Kong Salmon, MacSalmon or Improved Sofa Pillow in size #4-6.
  • Add a size #8 Pat’s Stone as a dropper under your dry fly pattern.


The streamer game has been decent with the river dropping and clearing. I like a fast strip and pause, but a tight line will catch fish as well. Color preference will typically track the color of the water. Bright when the water is off color, natural and muted when it’s clearer. Cloudy days will be your best bet for good streamer action, but the fish have been chasing streamers on the bright sun as well.

  • Try a Zonker in Natural, Copper, Mini-Loop Sculpin or size # 2-6, Trick or Treat, Olive Brown or Black Crystal Bugger, or Yuk Bug, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow in size # 4-8.
  • Try dead drifting your streamer under an indicator if the fish aren’t willing to make chase.
  • Add a big nymph dropper or second smaller streamer if you’re getting short strikes.


uppermad3Nymphing with two fly’s and strike indicator is still very productive as masses of Pterynarcis (Salmon Fly) nymphs migrate towards the bank to hatch and yeah… fish are looking for them. Do let your Stone fly swing at the end of your drift, as this often brings more strike’s than dead drift alone.

  • Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone, Bitch Creek, Chocolate Trout Retriever or Pepperoni Yuk Bug in size # 4-6.
  • Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Spankers, Prince Nymphs, San Juan Worms in red, wine or pink size # 6-10 are all good dropper choice’s.

TIPS: There is still a major log jam in the center channel just below the “ Mouse Hole” a mile above Eight Mile Ford (FAS) that is inpassable. Take either side channel immediately upstream of the log jam, or the east channel if you’re floating below Eight Mile Ford (FAS).

For more information on Montana fly fishing and guided fishing trips on the Madison River please contact Fishtales Outfitting.


(Report by Michael Stack of FishTales Outfitting LLC)

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