Upper Madison River Fishing Report – 10.9.14 (by FishTales Outfitting)
By angelamontana

Posted: October 10, 2014


  • Hebgen Dam 880 cfs
  • Kirby Ranch 1,140 cfs
  • Varney Bridge 1,320 cfs

ftoutCONDITIONS: visibility is great at 3 to 4 feet. Very clear.

Now that fall has arrived, southwest Montana and The Madison River is in prime condition for some great pre-spawn brown trout fishing. The flows have remained fairly flat since last month.  Current weather patterns have made for some incredible ‘Indian Summer’ October days. We know it’s not going to last so get out there and enjoy it while it lasts.

STREAMERS: The Streamer bite is still really good. The classic strip and pause is getting the bigger fish moving. Tight line with a spilt-shot and no indicator; or dead drift under an indicator and minimal mending is your best bet for good streamer action. The big brown trout are in their aggressive pre-spawn stage and are looking for big protein right now, sculpins and baitfish patterns are bringing the ‘right fish’ to the party!

  • ftout3Whitlock’s Hare Sculpin, Sheila Sculpin, Stalcup’s Sculpin, McCunes Sculpin, Exasperator Sculpin, Trevor’s Sculpin, Big Gulp Sculpin, Mini-Loop Sculpin and Zonker’s in Natural and olive and brown size # 4-8.
  • Don’t forget to add a small beadhead dropper 15-18″ tied off the bend of your first fly.
  • Beadhead Prince’s, Psycho Princes, CDC Princes, Psycho May’s, Micro May’s, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails,
  • Silverman’s Caddis, Green Spanker, Lawson’s Electric Caddis, Serendipities.
  • Lightning bugs in silver or gold, Red Copper John’s size # 14-18.

ftout4DRIES: The dry fly bite has tapered off and most of our fishing is down stairs.

  • Chubby Chernobyl’s with the wing trimmed down in gold, olive and UV tan size #10-12
  • Goddard Caddis size #14-16, Elk Hair Caddis size # 14-16. Iris Caddis size #14-16.
  • Royal Wulff, Royal Cripple, Royal Trude size # 12-16.
  • CFO Chernobyl Hopper in tan or peach, Morrish Hopper in tan, yellow, or pink, Clodhopper in peach size # 8-12.

NYMPHING: Nymphing two flies under an indicator is also still very productive.

  • Try a Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone in black, brown, olive or tan size # 6-10.
  • Tungsten Golden Stone size # 6-12.
  • George’s Rubber Leg Brown Stone size # 6-10.

Good second fly choices include:

  • Beadhead Prince’s, Psycho Princes, Psycho May’s, Micro May’s, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Silverman’s Caddis, Delekta’s CDC Spanker in Pheasant tail, silver, green and red. , Lawson’s Electric Caddis, Serendipities, Red Copper John’s size #14-18.

TIPS: October is brown trout spawning season so watch your step and stay clear of bright gravel! For more information on the Madison River and guided fishing trips on Montana’s Madison River please contact Fishtales Outfitting. Happy Angling!


(Report by Michael Stack – FishTales Outfitting LLC)

New Podcast!