AUTUMN'S NOT THAT COLD
Montana FWP will be conducting their Fall shocking of the Upper Madison on the following dates:
Pine Butte: September 8th, 9th, 12th and Septemper 19th - 21st.
Varney: September 14th - 16th and September 22nd, 23rd and 26th.
Much to the relief of anglers and trout alike in the Madison Valley, the summer heat has begun to give way to fall and the fishing continues to improve accordingly. Water temps have barely climbed out of the 50s for the past week, so it's time to go dig your waders out of the closet.
While we may see an early fall resurgence of terrestrial fishing, the most effective fishing will be with nymph rigs and streamers. Lately the old standard nymph rig with a black or coffee colored Pat’s rubber legs paired up with a small dropper like a Flashback PT, Duracell, or a Perdigon of your choice has been putting a few in the net. Nymphing is consistent, but what we’re all here for in the fall is streamer fishing. With the browns getting ready to spawn and cooler weather on the way, a streamer can be just the ticket for aggressive hungry trout. With the lower flows of fall, it's a good idea to focus your streamer fishing around structures like undercut banks, wood, boulders, and mid river buckets. Sculpin patterns like the Mini Loop or Sculpinator will still pick up their fair share, but the bigger more aggressive flies like the Dungeon, Boogie Man, or Drunk & Disorderly are starting to turn some bigger fish.
The browns aren't spawning yet, but it's never too early to be mindful of redds this time of year. Keep an eye out and let them do their thing. As always, play them quickly, keep 'em wet and have fun!
Looking for some fly tying material to create these patterns? Check out our fly tying collection online or stop by the shop! As temperatures warm up, continue to practice your best fish handling techniques. Avoid fish pictures for the gram whenever possible so that we can continue to have healthy fish populations for years to come.
- MRFC Guide "Heart Throb" Bob Hogue