September 2022 
UPDATED 9/16/2022 

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.

As with most of the West, we saw the 2022 heatwave come upon us with incredibly high temperatures for September. As of right now, it seems that we’ve made it through the high temperatures and are starting to see more seasonal ones in the mornings and afternoons. During the cooler mornings you might see some great midge or BWO action. We could end up seeing decent dry fly action with the current cloud coverage that is forecasted. Afternoons are going to get better as the day warms up for dry flies, hoppers and ants. Unfortunately, we really haven’t seen the great terrestrial bug life that  we’ve had in years past. There are a ton of little fish running around the river so the streamer game can be great with the larger fish targeting them and getting ready for winter. We could see great streamer action in the upcoming weeks if the water temperature can continue to stay warm

Moving forward, on the First of October NorthWestern Energy will drop flows toward their winter time/brown trout spawning water levels out of Hebgen Lake Dam. Due to this, the river level will likely become lower than it already is, making it all the more important to not bang rocks and be mindful of rowing quietly when you are out there. A great tactic this time of year is to get out and wade certain areas instead of focusing on floating. The Lower Madison, although currently very mossy, will continue to make its way into more of a fall fishery with the colder water temperatures. On the Lower you can definitely see some great BWO action along with good streamer fishing (as long as the moss isn’t too bad). Feel free to call in, 800-227-7127, or swing by the shop for advice on flies, flows and general life questions! Have a great weekend out there and good luck! 

Hot Flies

Nymphs: BH Serendipity Tan #16, Nyman’s Shop Vac #18, BH Prince #16, Jig Napoleon Yellow #14, Hot Spot PT Jig Chartreuse BL #14, Perdigon Nymph Black BL #16, T-Jigged Pheasant Tail Flash Butt #16, BH Serendipity Red #16, TBH Zebra Midge Black #18.

Streamers: Zonker Pearl, CH Ziwi Black, Cousin It Sculpin Jig, Chocklett’s Micro Changer Black, Delektable Single Screamer Black, Sculpinator Brown, Sparkle Yummy Olive, Dragon Bond Sculpin, Satkowski’s Usual Suspect Black.

Dry Flies: Thunder Thighs Hopper Yellow #10, Stubby Chubby UV Tan #16, Royal Ant #14, Bionic Ant 2.0 Egan Brown #16, Fat Angie Craven Cinnamon #16, Parachute Flying Ant Rust #14, Mini Royal Chubby #14.

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 Nick "The '99 All-State Arm" Peterson