Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report 8/17/21

by Nick Toller August 17, 2021


Upper Madison: Keep in mind of the Hoot Owl restrictions going on right now through this section and many other rivers in Montana, which means fishing is closed from 2PM until midnight each day. Fishing remains good on the Madison, and nymphing continues to be a solid option throughout the day. Lately we have been running smaller flies (#16-18) and really focusing on getting good drifts. Terrestrials have had fish looking up from mid morning up until the 2pm buzzer goes off, so don’t forget your favorite hopper and ant patterns. Dry dropper rigs with a nymph a couple feet under a grasshopper have been finding a few fish as well. Streamer fishing has picked up for those willing to get on the water early, switch up your retrieve until you figure out what they like.

Flies: #16 Holo-Point, #16-18 Guide Dip, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Iron Lotus, #12-14 Tan Morrish Hopper, #12 Pink Chili Dog, #14-16 Hi-Viz Ant, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow, #4 Black/Purple Slap and Tickle


Hebgen: The fishing on the lake has been getting better over the last week or so, and there have been plenty of callibaetis out. Low water levels have had fish extra spooky, so try to be stealthy with your approach. If the action on the surface is slow, try tying on a pheasant tail or turkey callibaetis nymph just underneath your dry fly. Nymphing a tandem rig below an indicator has been good when the wind picks up or when fish stop rising.

Flies: #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Callibaetis Sprout,#16 Parachute Adams, #16 Rusty Spinner,  #14-16 Hi-Viz Ant, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis #12 O.S Opal Buzzer, #16-18 Pheasant Tail, #14 Olive/Red Nugget, #8 Olive or Black Simi Seal Leech



All of Yellowstone Park rivers are under Hoot Owl restrictions also, meaning NO fishing after 2pm.

Gallatin: The Gallatin has been a good choice lately in stretches both in and out of the park. Not much left for bug activity, so terrestrials and attractor patterns have been the name of the game here. A small hopper trailed by an ant/beetle or a Royal Cripple has been a safe bet the last few days, and fishing a small single attractor dry has been effective too.

Flies: #14 Purple Thunder Thighs, #12-14 Parachute Hopper, #16 Cinnamon Ant, #16 Royal Cripple, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #16-18 ParaWulff, #16-18 Parachute Adams, #14 Red Foamulator


NE Corner:  Storms in the forecast the next few days could have the Lamar and Soda Butte blow out, so keep an eye on the Lamar gauge before making the trip over. Slough Creek tends to stay pretty clear throughout rainstorms, watch out for some small baetis mayflies to be hatching. Attractor dry flies and small streamers are in play here also.

Flies: # 16-18 Olive Comparadun, #18 DOA Cripple, #18 Tilt Wing BWO, #16-18 Purple Parachute, #16 Renegade, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #6 Flash-a-Bugger


Nick Toller
Nick Toller


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