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Kate Pace setting the pace! Photo: Mitch Werbell
Catherine Wodey lands the one on a Salmonfly dry! Photo: Mitch Werbell

Salmonfly Fever is in full swing on the Madison right now.  There are tons of adult dries out right and the big fish have been gobbling them up.   Although water is very high (and still less than 6 inches of visibility) on the Yellowstone, the water levels on the Madison have been dropping quickly and are already super low.  Haha, which means bring your buddy’s hard boat or a raft if at all possible.  No surprise, the best topwater flies have been Paulson’s Flutter Bug (twitched or skated), Lawson’s Henry’s Fork Form Stone, or a Chubby Chernobyl.  Most folks have been fishing DFO (dry fly only) since it is one of the few times of the year that you can catch a really solid rainbow or brown on a dry fly.  We’ve been fishing with thick tippet, (0X or even O1X fluorocarbon) since you often need to have your fly as tight to the willows as possible.  The bugs have been most active during the afternoons, however with the right cast, drift, or twitch, you can catch fish on a salmonfly dry anytime.  We have heard some reports of fish feeling gorged (stuffed from eating so many flies) so you might try fishing a smaller dry or fishing ahead or below the main hatch.  As for where exactly that is you’ll have to ask your guide! Call us to book your trip now… 406-222-7130.

Skow with a buttery Upper Madison brown... Photo: Eric Paulson