“It’s finally here!”


Written by: Phil Monahan

Salmonflies on the Madison

Salmonflies cluster on streamside vegetation along the Madison River above Ennis. The combination of dropping flows and huge bugs means killer fishing ahead.

photo by Toby Swank

After a wild and unpredictable couple of months, it now seems like things are settling down and our season is finally underway here in southwestern Montana. The runoff is almost over, and flows on rivers such as the Gallatin and Madison have been dropping at a rapid rate. Just a week ago, we were all wondering when it would happen, and then all of a sudden…it’s here!

We’ve got clearing water on the Madison, and salmonflies are hatching throughout much of the famed upper river between Ennis and Quake Lake. This is one of the most exciting times of year for everyone—locals and visiting anglers alike. The thought of big fish eating big dry flies while the air is filled with literally millions of enormous bugs is excuse enough to call in sick for many anglers.

It’s finally here!

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