Streams Outside Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

Destinations Outside Yellowstone National Park Series

Madison River - Slide Inn to Lyon Bridge - Salmonfly Hatch - 3

Fishing the Madison River in the area from Slide Inn to Lyon Bridge during the
salmonfly hatch is a thrill. It starts with the nymphs and ends with explosive action on
the egg laying females. The large nymph imitations you use are heavily enough that it
doesn't hurt to increase your gear a weight level or even two. I use a six weight but I
have noticed a lot of other anglers using 7 weight outfits.

Remember this is a wade  or fish from the bank section of water. Fishing from a drift
boat is not permitted. Most of the water is wadable but there are areas you could get
into trouble fairly easy. The thing about fishing the salmonfly hatch during the time the
trout are feeding on the nymphs is that you really don't have to wade to catch fish. In
fact you would probably do much better fishing from the bank.

As I have previously mentioned, the nymphs crawl out of the water on the banks and
sometimes, the rocks and boulders near the banks. I fish upstream making a lot of
short cast. Of course the trout are facing the current in an upstream direction and you
can get fairly close to them without spooking them. I stay on the bank and cast slightly
out from the bank and upstream. Most of the time I am not right at the edge of the
water. It is best to stay back away from the water a few feet. Trout will line up right near
the banks looking for the nymphs. Your chances of spooking them before you get the
nymph in front of them is less if you stay well back away from the bank.

Bring the nymph all the way back to the bank right on the bottom before casting again.
It depends on the current, of course, but in most areas along the Madison you have
current near the banks and sometimes right against the bank. When you cast
upstream and slightly across, your fly will end up directly perpendicular to your position
on the bank when you get the fly back to the bank.

I usually don't cast over twenty feet. There is no need to cast the heavy nymph a long
ways out in the river or a long ways upstream. You can control the nymph and set the
hook much better if it is close to you. By the way, you want have any problem detecting
the strike. The trout will let you know or otherwise they may take the rod away from you.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh