Fall run browns are beginning to show up in the Madison River above Hebgen Lake. Rainbows will follow soon. Fall green drakes (hecuba) are showing up in Soda Butte and Slough Creeks and the Lamar River making for another component for great dry fly fishing. Terrestrial patterns along with Epeorus life cycle patterns are also in the mix. Fall River Basin streams feature morning trico activity with terrestrial patterns taking over for action around mid day. Thunder showery weather will result in best action on all these streams.
Most reliable part of the river for fishing is the Warm River to Ashton stretch. During daytime hopper and chernobyl patterns trailed by a bead head nymph or rubberlegs trailed by a bead head nymph pattern bring action. Big browns are reacting to streamers early and late in the day. Evening and morning streamer fishing will become more effective as we move through autumn months.
In last several days the gulper activity has picked up on Hebgen Lake. Try #18 dun and spinner patterns. Action should be good, with Madison Arm best location, until wind kicks in or until around mid day.
Flow out of Palisades Dam is down to 8000 cfs with a water temperature of 64 deg. F. The recent drops in flow have been small, but they add up. Best strategy remains fish early, fish late.” Hopper patterns and chenobyl types trailed by your favorite bead head pattern seem to work best with most strikes coming to the dropper. Evening caddis hatches bring some action and streamers fished early and late can do the same. With streamers location is more important than pattern. Sounds a bit like a broken record, but changes are on the horizon as we move through September.
We are really excited about a new (to us) rod we now have in the store from Winston. The new rod is Winston’s BIII SX and it replaces the old BII MX. The BIII SX is a super fast, powerful, smooth rod that would be a great big nymph, windy day, steelhead, or streamer rod. I have cast this rod a few times and this thing is a cannon. Be sure to come down and check this rod out as we are approaching streamer and steelhead season.
Here is some additional information from Winston on the BIII SX
This breakthrough new series was designed to truly handle the most demanding and extreme salt and freshwater fishing situations. And while SX stands for “super” fast-action, the unprecedented power and strength of these rods does not come at the expense of smoothness and feel. Whether you are making long casts directly into the wind, throwing big bulky flies or wielding an aggressive sink-tip line in steelhead waters, these rods will come through. They are unlike any other fast action rod made. Boron III-SX rods feature a superlight matte black reel seat with R.L Winston Rod Co. engraved on the barrel. The trout rods are available with the same wood reel seats as our Boron IIIx rods. The 9’6″ 5 and 6-weight models have fighting butts for versatility and battling larger fish. All come with our graphite rod tube.
With 250 cfs coming out of Mackay Dam, wading is easy in the river below. This makes for a great choice for a morning visit as tricos are quite active. After they wind down go to terrestrial patterns and a great day of fishing can result.
With low, warm conditions most still waters are weeding up. So look for channels in the weeds on where to concentrate your efforts. If you see adult damsels lighting on the water for egg laying or breeding purposes (and rising fish), that’s a “no brainer” on what to use. Just waiting for a fish to take a dry damsel adult pattern can be about as interesting as presenting a mayfly dun pattern on a stream. Right now Springfield Reservoir is a good candidate for trying this. Look for the channels through the weed beds. Get off to the side of one (never locate on top of a channel), and put that dry damsel on its surface. We have dry damsel patterns here in the shop, the right tackle for presenting them, and ideas on fishing still waters this time of year. Stop by or get in touch for any of these!
Flow out of Palisades Dam is going down at a slow rate so far. But reservoir above is not far from 10% of capacity with inflow about half of outflow. So the flow out of the dam is certain to go down more quickly soon as irrigation season winds down and storage season begins. Jimmy floated from Cottonwood to Byington yesterday with good results pitching a chernobyl ant trailed with bead head. A few mutant stones were around, and the partly cloudy conditions helped bring good action.
Simms is always coming out with awesome new products to help us enjoy our time on the water better and the new “Slick Jacket” does just that. The Slick Jacket is designed to be very clean on the front of the jacket so nothing hangs up or catches while you are fishing. The jacket is made of a 3 layer gore tex pro shell and has the hidden cuffs like the classic “guide” jacket. This is an awesome jacket that would be a bulletproof steelhead, saltwater, or rainy day on the South Fork jacket. Come by the shop and check this thing out!
Here is some additional information from simms;
When rainfall powerwashes the Pacific Northwest, find returns of ocean-bright steelhead and seek fortress-like shelter in Simms’ new Slick Jacket. Propelled by GORE-TEX® Pro Shell fabric, with stretch, the Slick flows with your body for superior mobility, while the ultraclean outside-in design delivers snag-free performance from hood to bottom hem. Features include ample storage via large integrated chest pockets for fly boxes and tip-wallets, coupled with internal organization for river mainstays such as sunglasses, tippets, and leaders. Watertight, adjustable cuffs and a dual draw-cord waist keep the dank out, while plush hand warmer pockets with interior pass-thru zips allow you to access waders lying within, without breeching your external bulwark.
- 2 large chest pockets capable of storing a “6-pack” of fly boxes with internal organization
- 2 large hand warmer pockets with YKK® VT9 AquaGuard® VISLON® ultra water-resistant zips and interior pass-thru zips for access to inside of jacket
- Watertight adjustable cuffs & dual draw-cord adjustable bottom hem
- 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell fabric; 92% Nylon, 8% Elastane; 100% Nylon backer interior
- Approximate weight 27 oz./ 765 g
- S, M, L, XL, XXL
The South Fork is still chugging along through the dog days of summer. The river is right around 9,000 cfs coming out of the dam and is still fishing pretty decent for those willing to work for their fish. Fishing early in the morning and then again late in the evening has been producing best. Try throwing mutant stone patterns against the banks early and add a dropper or switch to nymphing as the day progresses. Streamer fishing has been okay with the best fishing on overcast days or early in the morning. Towards the evening try fishing with caddis emergers. If you have any other questions please contact us at the shop!