This was quite a week with all varieties of weather, bugs, and people. We had some really big storms come through. We had some big lightning strike highway 287 where you see a cone on the road. We had salmon flies near Ennis which stayed stalled for about a week due to the weather. Then the salmon flies started to move a bit and the people started to follow.
The people came to chase the big bug and the river became busiest this week from Varney to Ennis. The big bugs were there and the fish were eating them. Our guys would grab a handful of mud under rocks in the river and would come up with a bunch of Salmon and Golden Stone wet flies.
Early in the week Jim and Lee had great results fishing with big dark stonefly nymphs and smaller nymphs such as the Delektable CDC Prince, the fly formerly known as Prince, and a variety of caddis emergers, Delektable Mega Princes, and Pat’s Rubberlegs in most of the dark colors in bigger sizes. They also had some results with Salmon and Golden Fly Dries and nymph trailers.
Our Dan Greene and his buddy John worked the streamer action all week and caught some really nice trout on streamers. They would experiment every day tying different variations and would test it the next day. Various colors worked including Olive, White, Tan, Black, and Chartreuse. They were trying to imitate the sculpin and other fish in the river and did a good job of getting the bite on their creations. At the end of the week, they changed to dries and got some good results early in the mornings with big caddis and with Salmon Flies.
A great group of guys we shall call “Friends of Hienie” who is are neighbor, were fishing with us all week. They had all the varieties of conditions including big “W” factor and they all caught some really nice fish. They were using some of the big dries and were also trailing with nymphs. Fish were caught on both. As the week went on, the hatch started to move and by the week’s end, the big bugs were around McAtee.
Mid week the Fully Wild Group experienced a pretty wet storm on their float. The fish were eating the nymphs pretty well during the rain and when the rain shut off, the bite was less. It wasn’t easy for some of the beginners but they still managed to catch some nice fish. The dry fly folks had less action in the storm.
Nancy and Jeanne from Rainbow Valley Lodge had their historic day off float with Gunnar. Jeanne was slaying them on the nymphs. She caught more fish that day than any other day she fished the Madison. Nancy tried a variety of bugs starting with dry/dropper, shifting to streamer/trailer/emerger, then back to dry dropper, than dry/dry. Nancy was catching some fish but not the magnitude that Jeanne had on the nymph action.
Later in the float Nancy started catching more with the Secret Salmon Fly and A special Royal Chubby. The dry action really changed and picked up closer to McAtee where the big bugs were. It was a really great day off and both girls screamed all the way down the river. 🙂
So…..the week was productive with lots of fish caught. Towards the end of the week, the Caddis hatches on the upper river really started popping.
We also started to see PMD’s, and some Yellow Sallies. The Golden Stones and Salmon Flies traveled a short distance during the week. The fish were eating big bomber style caddis pretty well and really started to eat the big bugs towards the end of the week.
Dan and Marty floated from Lyons and had some great action on Caddis on the upper river and again on the nymphs too.
The people part of the hatch really arrived over the weekend and as it warmed up, the Salmon Fly hatch started to move again. Most every day, we have had good fishing reports and fun on the river.
Go Fishing! Nancy