Upper Madison: Fall is officially here to stay. Cold, nasty weather has the river nymphing quite well again and this is going to be your most consistent method of catching fish right now. Small nymphs in sizes 18-20 are still working best. With said weather, we’re hoping that we will start to see some stronger emergences of Baetis in the not too distant future. Heading between the lakes this time of year is a good option with the Quake Lake fish running up.
Madison: Spurred on by cold temps and nasty weather, the fall run is getting stronger by the day. We’ve been seeing more and more nice fish being caught throughout the river all the way up to and through the junction. Swinging soft hackles has been producing some nice browns and rainbows and we’ve had some good days with fish chasing down actively fished streamers as well. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having one of these big fish attach itself to the end of your line during the swing. Do your best to not yank up like a normal hook set, rather try to do nothing and let them hook themselves, which is often times easier said than done.
Firehole/Gibbon: Baetis hatches on the Firehole the past few days have been bringing fish to the surface providing a great opportunity to fish some dry flies. Have some smaller soft hackles and streamers with you in case you don’t find an emergence. Fall run fish have worked their way up into the Gibbon and Firehole below their respective Falls at this point, so you can also target some lake run fish on these rivers.
NE Corner: Nothing much new to report here. Drake emergences have been relatively strong most days, but it’s been hard to get fish to commit. Longer leaders and lighter tippets will improve your chances at this point in the season and as always a drag free drift is essential. If you are wanting to fish terrestrials, ants have been most consistent as of late.
As the Madison in and around the Park gets increasingly more crowded this time of year, please be mindful of and courteous to your fellow anglers. Many anglers are working runs downstream this time of year and if you see someone who is fishing this way, it is general practice that you should not cut in below them. If you're fishing some of the more famous and congested runs such as the Barns Holes, make sure that you are moving through in a timely fashion in order to give others their chance to fish. If you're unsure of someone’s intent, just ask them. A little communication can go a long way towards avoiding conflict.
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