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Madison River Beaverhead River Report Big Hole River Report

Fall is Here

September 23, 2016

This Madison River fishing report marks the official beginning of the fall fishing season in Montana. And looking outside its arrived in classic fashion as we are currently seeing cool temperatures and a bunch of rain. The forecast though looks wonderful as we start to clear up and see some warming temperatures in the 10-day.

Nearly all fishing restrictions have been lifted in the state except for drought closure on parts of the Big Hole River. The Upper Madison River flows have fortunately bumped back up to 1,000 CFS after about two weeks of 800. You can read more here about closures and re-openings.

The streamer fishing has been stellar to say the least. There are no signs of that changing any time soon. Anglers have been reporting excellent catches for big brown trout as they spread out and feed in preparation for their spawn. This is a good time to find some aggressive meat eaters in the shallow water that surrounds the buckets. Walking back to the truck the other night I spooked 3 or 4 large fish in 6" of water. It will surprise you how skinny these browns will sit, so don't overlook the shallows. All white or black articulated streamers are good starting point and will surely move some pigs. Of course, everything in between may work as well, but it changes day to day, spot to spot, and fish to fish.

BWOs came out as expected. They are blanketing the Lower and any soft stuff on the Upper. The Beartrap has them pretty thick. You've got to lighten your tippet and lengthen your leader as they are in the 18-20 size. This is a good time for the the 4-weight. Definitely a treat if you find some fish keying in on them. Anglers have had some success with smaller parachutes as well.

Nymphing still works and will likely continue to do so until the end of time. The fish have been taking the girdle bug better as of late and just about anything in the 16-20 size range should produce. Midges have been catching the cookie cutter rainbows, and copper johns and lightning bugs have also performed well. Try one of these under a sculpin for a good mix of streamer eating browns and rainbows.

That's it for now. We've got just about every streamer ever tied currently in stock. Please stop by the shop to give us a report too. We always enjoy hearing how its going for y'all out there



Upper Madison River Flows near Cameron, MT

Water Level Graph for USGS Station 06038800 Source

Upper Madison River Water Temperature near Cameron, MT

Water Temperature Graph for USGS Station 06038800 Source

Stay tuned for continuing River updates!

If you are in town, stop by the shop and ask us about the right bugs and stretch of river. We’ll hook you up with the best of both. We guarantee we have the best and most innovative patterns you’ll see anywhere!

Contact us for a copy of our famous Madison River Fishing Company's 2016 Fly Fishing Catalog featuring dozens of spectacular new fly fishing products! Give us a call at 800-227-7127 or email us at and we will send you a copy.

We also offer Montana fly fishing schools and Montana guide services.