This weeks guide report is fueled by a number of guide trips and a diversity of anglers. The big talk this past week in the valley has, yes you guessed it, been the Salmon Fly hatch. There have been several rumors floating around that the salmon flies have been scattered throughout the Madison. You know what they say; “A rumor can run round the world before the truth has time to put its boots on”. In light of these rumors we did some scouting on the riverbanks and found that the Salmon flies earlier in the week were closer to Ennis, with scattered adults emerging along the grassy banks and by the tail end of the week (June 20th) closer to Varney. Also in the mix of things has been a steady caddis hatch with a variety of sizes and colors throughout the day. Also present have been PMD’s, Yellow Sallies and Golden Stones all at once. What Dan anticipated early on as a “Smorgasbord” of hatches is now happening, requiring fisherman to pay more attention and experiment with different bugs. The hatch is definitely coming faster than average from past years due to high temperatures and other variable factors, so it’s time to baton down the hatches and get ready.
We have been getting reports in all week covering each section of the river from guides, customers, and small talk around town. The trend has stayed relatively consistent with better results above and below the big bug hatch. Water clarity has been great in many sections. Water temperature has been warming up with temperatures reaching up to 60 degrees in late afternoon at Kirby. There have been reports that nymph fishing in the morning and dry in the afternoon, when the water warms up, have produced the best results.
The hot patterns for this week have been Purple haze, and Delektable Chubbyness Royal, all size #14 and #16. Delektable Lil’ Spankers and Sure Strikes, Lightning Bugs, Prince Nymphs, Pats Rubber Legs, Golden Stones and Delektable Hammerheads have all been on fire! With anticipated water temperatures expected to be in the high 60’s by next week, a “small ball” combo will likely be a good choice. But then again if you choose the right dries they will work.
With the warm weather settling in and anticipated outside temperatures remaining in the mid 80’s with CFS levels slowly dropping, expect the Salmon Fly hatch to reach the backyard by the end of this week.
Some words of advice to leave you with for this week: Fish nymphs in the morning and dries in the afternoon, don’t be afraid to fish the small stuff, experiment with different flies, fish hard and as always get out there and have yourself a day on the river!
Keep Throwing Darts! Will