Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report 9/18/18

by Tom Forsberg September 18, 2018


Upper Madison: The terrestrial bite is hanging in there pretty good, although recently it seems to be mostly limited to hoppers. While ants had provided some really good consistent fishing the past few weeks, they haven’t produced quite as well over the past week. Attractor flies such as Purple Parachutes have also been working well lately. On overcast days we have been seeing baetis coming off in good numbers so be prepared with some small baetis dries and nymphs if the forecast looks at all cloudy. Nymphing remains good throughout the day. Smaller baetis and midge imitations are still the most consistent producers, however we have been getting some fish to eat the larger rubber legs again as of late.

Flies: #10-12 Morrish Hopper, #12-14 Thunder Thighs, #16 Arrick’s Ant, #16-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Biot Czech, #18 Shop Vac, #18 Guide Dip, #16-18 Green Machine, #18 Black Krystal Dip, #16-18 Black/Green Lightning Bug, #18-20 Zebra Midge 


Hebgen/Quake Lake: Hebgen is definitely starting to lack consistency at this point. You can still find fish working to trico spinners and callibaetis in the mornings, it just hasn’t been an everyday occurrence. If you’re looking for something a little different, Quake lake has been fishing well with tricos and suspended zebra midges. 

Flies:  #16 Turkey Callibaetis, #20-22 Trico Calf Wing Spinner, #16 Pheasant Tail, #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun, #18-20 Zebra Midge


Gallatin: Cold nights mean there is no reason to get to the river early. Water temps are right where they should be and we have been seeing some decent baetis activity. This should only get better if the weather cooperates and gets cloudy. Dry fly fishing has been good in the afternoons and evenings with baetis and small Parachute Adams. Nymphing has been good with the usual small midge and baetis patterns. Tossing a streamer around has also been getting a few fish to chase as of late.


 * Our special thanks to the crew over at Gallatin River Guides for providing us with the most up-to-date info on the Gallatin.



NE Corner: Slough, Soda Butte and Lamar continue to fish well. Drake Mackerels have been coming off with relative consistency. You can also count on seeing some baetis on overcast days. It’s definitely easier to get these fish to eat something a little more natural than something big and foamy this time of year. Tungsten head droppers are always a solid choice if need be also.

Flies: #12 Slough Creek Comparadun, #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #14-20 Olive CDC Comparadun, #10-12 Parachute Hopper, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant, #14-18 Royal Trude, #14-18 Parawulff, #14-18 Rusty Spinner, #14 Red Neck, #14 Orange Bullet, #8 Sparkle Minnow 


Madison in YNP: While there are a few lake run fish in the river at this point, the numbers are probably not quite to the point to justify fishing it hard yet. Hopefully with some of the stormy weather we are slated to get this week and continued cold mornings things should get rolling soon.


Firehole: Look for White Miler Caddis on the warmer, sunnier days and baetis on the more overcast days. If you can’t find either, swinging a soft hackle is a great tactic.

Flies: #16 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #20 CDC Biot BWO, #12-14 Partridge & PT, #12-14 Partridge & Orange

Tom Forsberg
Tom Forsberg


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