As I said in my Montana post we only fished a few flies on the Madison River during the week, and in fact, these are pretty much the same flies I have been using the last week of July on this river for years. This year the river was in great condition thanks to a good snow pack in the drainage, and since Hebgen dam has been repaired, the steady flows and cooler water temperatures have resulted in better than average hatches the last couple of years.
First up is the Missing Link Caddis. In this case a size #16. I think I fished the fly shown below every day that week. It may be the first time I have fished a fly successfully over many days without loosing it, or having it get chewed up beyond use.
As most of you know, the Iris Caddis is one of my all-time most successful emerger/dry patterns over the last 25 years or so. In the evening, as dusk fell over the valley this pattern produced night after night when the trout were on caddis. I fished this pattern the most and lost probably a dozen or so over the 6 days of fishing. This one is well-chewed from the final evening of fishing.
At various times during the morning hours and again in the evening, the trout were on spinners and all you needed was a rusty spinner. This one is tied using a single strand of clear zelon, and the next one it tied using two strands of clear zelon.
This is the rusty spinner with two strands of zelon tied in for the wing. On the Madison River, some stretches of the riffles are fast and choppy, so we fish a two strand zelon wing spinner. It floats well and it is very visible right up until dark. The fish are seeing it from below and don't really seem to see the thick wing above water - this one got chewed pretty well and still held up.
And finally, we have a couple of nymphs that took the majority of fish during the daytime hours when nothing was happening on top. Here's a Serendipity in dark brown, which is the color I use 90% of the time and do quite well using a size #16 or 18.
And here's Kelly Galloup's improved Blue-winged Olive nymph. The one shown here uses Senyo's lazer dub for the gills, however, we also tied and fished some that uses pearlescent ice dub for the gills. Both seem to work just fine.
Here's we are in the late afternoon fishing the wade section below Quake Lake.
Sharpen your hooks!