Madison River Fishing Report, Fly Fishing Montana, Best Trout Rivers in the US, MRFC, Fly fishing, Fly fishing Montana

October 2021
Updated 10/21/2021

Temperature and water levels are dropping, but so are your indicators. With the Madison River getting into its winter routine, the water levels out of Hebgen are dropping to around 800 - 820 CFS. We’re still able to float every spot of the river but there are more consistent flows towards Lyons Bridge. Air temperature however, has been fluctuating day by day, hovering around 45-55 during the day and 25-35 at night. Every now and then we are getting a warmer day over here in the Madison Valley. Fishing has been more productive in the later morning and early afternoon, with fishing slowing down as the day progresses into the night.

As usual, this time of year has been hit or miss if you're looking for numbers. The bigger fish are showing themselves due to less pressure. Nymphing has been the most productive practice over the past couple of weeks. I recommend throwing out a double nymph set up. I’ve primarily been moving over to smaller gear such as #10 Black or Coffee Rubber Legs, down to a whole bunch of attractors. Here is a list of what’s been working:

San Juan Worms (Peach, Pink, or Orange), #16 or 18 Purple or Peacock Perdigon, #16 or 18 Hare’s Ear, #16 or 18 Three Dollar Dips (Red or Brown), #16 or 18  Zebra Midge (Red or Black), # 16 or 18 Jiggy Iron Lotus,  #16 or 18 Purple French Dip.

Onto my personal favorite flies for this time of year: streamers. If you're looking for “the one” or just enjoy throwing streamers, it's that time of the year. Throwing articulated streamers or standard single hook streamers with a bead head trailing behind it has been paying off over the last week. When throwing streamers I tend to like fishing slower and deeper holes. On the other hand, with the flows being so low they have been stacking up all over the flats as well. My go to articulated streamers have been as follows:

#2 Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, #6 Galloup’s Barely Legal, #2 Side Hustle, and #2 Dragons Bond Sculpin. On to the single hook streamers I like #4 Sparkle Yummy, #4 Sculpzilla, #2 Reefer Creeper, and the #4 Dolly Lama. With streamer fishing it's about the size, profile, and of course the color. So, I always like to have black, olive, white, and tan on hand to figure out what’s working best at any point during the day.

As always please keep warm, keep the fish wet, and keep a smile on your face!

Continue to be patient and help others out when you can at the ramp so that everyone can pull out in an orderly and efficient manner. As it gets colder in the year it can be easy to forget your safe fish handling practices. We urge you to wet your hands and keep those fish wet! Avoid fish pictures for the gram whenever possible so that we can continue to have healthy fish populations for years to come.

- MRFC Guide Nicko Opinsky