McAtee Bridge July 6, 2008

The flow of the Madison is 1,940 CFS and has been stable for the past 5 days: Upper Madison Flow at Cameron. The Hebgen Conservation Pool is 100% full and the reservoir outflow now exceeds the inflow, so the last big wave of the melt is now over.

The Upper Madison has cleared up, with the West Fork adding only a little green. Indian Creek turned from brown to green yesterday, so the entire river is fishing very well now. This has resulted in enormous pressure throughout the entire river. Salmonfly Madness is upon us.

It’s a good idea to line up your shuttle early in the day or even the day before. There is no longer any shuttle service at the West Fork. The three shuttle services in the Valley have not been able to keep up with the demand the last several days.

The major part of the salmonfly hatch is now between Palisades and Varney.

The surface salmonfly activity has been only sporadic so far. Nymphing is what has really been red hot–with large stonefly patterns, caddis emerger patterns all the way from size 14 to size 6, and PMD nymphs, size 16 and 18.

The heaviest part of the salmonfly hatch has resulted in very slow catching. The fish are gorging themselves on the nymphs washing into the current as they work their way to land and are getting full quickly. Marty was guiding just below Mac on Monday when the salmonflies were so thick they were hitting him in the face and landing everywhere in the boat. They then went for about 4-5 hours without catching a fish. So it is a good idea to try to be above or below the major part of the hatch, if you can be smart enough and lucky enough to do that.

There is a smorgasbord of hatches coming off now, in addition to the salmonflies–several species of caddis, most of them dark brown to chocolate, several species of PMDs, as well as pale evening duns, golden stones, yellow sallies–with marked variability as to where on the river they are happening. So have a lot of bugs in your arsenal and keep cycling to find out what they’re eating.

The streamer fishing is quite good, if you’re on the river early or late.

Recommended Flies

To see the Delektables™ go to: Delektable Flies Gallery


Delektable CDC Baby–definitely a hot fly right now–#14 all the way to #8; Pat’s Rubberlegs Brown #6,#8–also hot; Delektable Mr Rubberlegs Yellow Olive, #6,#8,#10 and Epoxy Back Yellow Olive #6, #8, #10 Delektable Hurless Olive, Gray #6, #8; Delektable Mega Prince #6, #8; Delektable Lil’ Spanker Silver or Lighting Bug #16, #18; Tungsten Beadhead Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle #16,#18

Delektable CDC Baby

Riverborn Fly Company

Delektable Lil’ Spanker

Riverborn Fly Company

Dries :
Your favorite Salmonfly dries–keep trying; Orange attractors; PMDs, Little Yellow Sallies, Caddis–with the caddis varying all the way from size 8 to 16, in dark brown and tan. Delektable Halos, Delektable Sparkle Bugs, Delektable CDC Elk Hairs #16, #14, or bigger…and Yellow Stones, Bruce’s California Blonde; PMD cripples and emergers #16

Delektable Halo

Riverborn Fly Company

Delektable Sparkle Bug

Riverborn Fly Company

Delektable CDC Elk Hair

Riverborn Fly Company

Delektable Screamer Yellow and Brown, Olive Black, Olive and Yellow, Badger, Single and Double, #6, Conehead Bow River Bugger Olive #4, or your favorite pattern.

Delektable Screamer Olive Black

Riverborn Fly Company

Dan Marty Nancy Brad

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