Upper Madison (Hebgen-Ennis)
Flows this week have been on the low side, currently coming out of Hebgen around 700cfs. The good news is that the weather is forecasted to be wet and cold, just how it should be in mid-September. Fish are certainly turning on to larger patterns, we've seen more and more big fish eat #10 Olive/Black Sili Legs, #6 Black Flash-A-Bugger, and The Swinger leech in black as well. If you're fishing under an indicator, make sure to have a good selction of smaller patterns as well; #16 Guide Dip, #18 Black Crystal Dip, and #18 $3 Dip have been reliable. Your best nymph fishing will be in the pockets and slicks, has been tougher to find them in the riffles with the low flows.
If you find yourself on the wade or float sections and the weather clears/warms up, the dry fly bite should be pretty good. Floating Windy-McAtee last week found plenty of interested fish on #16 Royal Trude, #14 Royal Wulff, #16 Missing Link, #16-18 Para-Wulff.
And yes, this weather is money for throwing streamers. Don't sleep in, get out early and stay our late to fish the low-light periods of the day. The Browns are active and starting to put their fall costumes on. Tan and Yellow patterns have been solid this week; MT Mouthwash, Slap-N-Tickle, and Sun Fire.
**Update 1:00pm** Barns Hole downstream to YNP Boundary now open!
As of this morning, the Madison is still closed from the Barns holes downstream to the YNP border due to backburning. So, expect everything upstream to Madison Junction to be pretty busy as all the Fall anglers are packed into a smaller than normal area. Folks are certainly catching a few Hebgen run fish, but keep in mind it's still early. Great days can be had in mid-September, but late October is the peak. Swinging soft hackles and streamers is our preferred method, a few favorite softies are the #10 Peacock, #12 Pheasant Tail,and #12 Orange. All three are tied by Rick Welle, so you know they're good.
For the die-hard Firehole anglers, the wet and dark forecast is a welcome sight. Hatches have slowly started to turn on, but we're all expecting this to be the week this gem really gets going. White Millers and Baetis should be your most reliable hatches. Skating #14-16 White/Tan Caddis has been effective for the Millers. Have a good variety of Baetis dries and emergers to present; #18 Sprout, #18 Vis-A-Dun, #18 DOA Cripple, and #16-20 Purple Parachute.
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