July 1st, 2019 -
All eyes are on the Madison River as the fabled world famous salmonfly hatch is underway. The huge Pteronarcys californica stoneflies are God’s gift to anglers who are fortunate enough to partake. Every dinosaur in the river at one time or another will be had on the big dry over the next several weeks. The Big Bugs showed up in town around the 27th. As we speak they are moving up daily and are hatching in the Cameron Flats between Story Ditch and Varney Bridge.
That being said, it’s by no means a “gimme.” It takes a ninja to crush a wise old pig. The casting needs to be on point. Dead-drifting often times proves to not be enough to fool a wary old fish, who’s likely seen 100 lines float over him. Skittering and twitching is often the ticket to prove you’re not an imposter. Patterns such as the Henry’s Fork Foam Stone, or the Waterwalker Salmonfly skate well, and with a little practice can pay big dividends. Foam bugs like Chubby Chernobyl, seem to float better in the fast riffles of the Maddy, and are more visible. Sizing down can sometimes be the ticket as well, Orange Stimulators in size 6 or 8 may look like a more manageable meal to a spoiled fish that’s been doing nothing but gorging itself all day and night on the big bugs and their nymph counterparts. The trout in the Madison River procure up to three-quarters of their protein intake for the year during the salmonfly hatch.
Caddis are also extremely prolific right now. Changing up to a simple elk hair caddis pattern like a Purple Teaser can entice a fish to rise. There are also Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies landing in the water. Gould’s Half Down Golden, and yellow stimulators in size 8 & 10 are fishing well.
Check out the latest Madison River Fishing Report here.