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Mosko on the prowl... Photo: Eric Paulson
Hank Bechard with a fine specimen... Photo: Brian Sienkowski

Wow.  The salmonfly hatch is absolutely epic this year.  The Yellowstone is now on fire, but at the same time the Upper Madison continues to kick out big brown after big brown… Where to go is actually a tough decision right now!  Just a few more tid bits of information and then you make the call… The Upper Madison is really low right now, so a raft is definitely a better option right now over a drift boat.  In general, we think your chance of catching a really big brown on a salmonfly dry might be better on the Upper Madison.  That being said, Jedwards sent two “rub-it-in” texts today with photos of back-to-back 20 inch browns.  CFS flows on the Stone are ideal right now, hence one reason you’ll be seeing a ton of boats on the water now.  We’ve now heard reports of some salmonflies showing up above Emigrant, although the goldenstones have been there for a week or more.  We’ve also heard a report or two that the fished seemed pretty gorged between Mill Creek and Loch Leven, most likely on salmonfly nymphs.  It’s hard to hit the bull’s eye on each an every float since you never quite know if the fish are in a feeding frenzy or if they feel stuffed (like we might after Thanksgiving dinner), so plan on getting out a few times to maximize your luck on the water.  As for which river is fishing better right now?  Take your pick and enjoy the ride…

Don Baldwin on the Upper ______. Photo: Hank Bechard