September 9th, 2019 -
After a truly special summer and outrageous season of hopper fishing, times are a changin’. Conditions on the river are still top-notch. With plenty of rain and cooler temps, the river (and fish) are healthy. But along with the changing of the season comes the likely need to change up our strategy. It is with a heavy heart that I say “hoppertunities” are beginning to dwindle. But don’t despair, the fish are still going to eat... they just might not eat your hopper.
That being said, the hopper is still an option and the possibility of success is still definitely there. If the sun comes out and temperatures rise, break it out and see if they get keyed in on it a few more times. Unless you find yourself really getting into them on the hopper, I would be prone to keep a nymph dropped below (#14/16 attractor pattern) and anticipate most of your eats coming from that.
Fall is definitely a season for streamer fishing. From hunting a big one with an articulated streamer to a more productive method like a zonker with a nymph trailing behind, streamers are a go-to. A Zonker, Woolly Bugger, Sparkle Minnow and Sculpzilla are all great options to fish under an indicator as well.
The next major hatch to be expected will be the fall Baetis hatch. Typically this hatch starts in late September and can run through October. Smaller BWO flies are a good option already and will continue to improve if you’re looking for a dry presentation to go to right now.
Come enjoy what has been an epic year here on the Madison, there’s still plenty of fish that need catchin’ this year. Stop in the shop for more day-to-day info, I assure you we’ll be out there. Hope to see you on the water!
For the latest updates on how the Madison is fishing, check out our Madison River Fishing Report.