Fall is starting to settle in here in the Madison valley. The leaves are changing, and the temps are starting to drop. The future forecast for the next few days is looking quite nice. Mid-day temps in the mid 70’s, clear skies and low wind should make for a great time on the river. The valley is noticeably less busy with anglers which always makes for a more enjoyable experience on the river. Now that the cooler weather has started to settle in the fishing has started to pick up. Nymphing and streamer fishing remains to be the most productive techniques with a little bit of dry fly fishing here and there.
Streamer fishing over the past few days has been fairly consistent. Olive and black streamers have seen the most strikes but don’t be afraid to work white into the mix as well. The Lil’ Kim, Mini Dungeons, Barley Legal, Sculpzilla and Sparkle Minnows have been our streamers of choice. Dead drifting and slow stripping have produced the best results. With the river being so low we recommend sticking with a floating line. If you feel the need to get down a little deeper in the water column you can always add a 7ft 3ips versileader to the end of your floating line. Remember to always rotate through different colors throughout the day to see what is working best for you.
Nymphing continues to be the most productive method throughout the day. Top flies that have brought success include red Squirmy Wormy, Jake’s Double Bead Rib Worm (#8 – #10), Red Wire Worm (#8 – #10), Pat’s Rubber Legs in both black and olive (#10-#12), and the 20 Incher Stone (#6 – #10). Successful bottom flies have been Lightning Bugs in both silver and gold (#16 ), soft hackle pheasant tail (#14-#12), and the Lil Spanker in red and silver (#12 – #16). If you’re struggling to produce fish while nymphing, add more weight to your line before switching to a new fly or size.
Continue to be patient and help others out when you can at the ramp so that everyone can pull out in an orderly and efficient manner. As it gets colder in the year it can be easy to forget your safe fish handling practices. We urge you to wet your hands and keep those fish wet! Avoid fish pictures for the gram whenever possible so that we can continue to have healthy fish populations for years to come.
– MRFC Guide John Kelly