Randy Brown photos
Brace of Montana mallard duck ready for the roaster.
Nov. 11, 2014…Honoring the Vets!
Oct. 2014…Great day today on the Upper Madison with William and Clay…several big fish in the net including this whopper rainbow…we floated the Windy Pt. to Storey Ditch stretch…excellent on the RB Bunny and the Little Red Fly.
Monster rainbow caught today by William McGee on the Little Red Fly
Oct. 2014…A dozen more nice trout today on the “O-Leech”…only one brown trout, the rest rainbows. Felt cooler out there…water temps in narrow range, 51-54 degrees. Front coming this week. Getting ready for some big browns on streamers…headed for the Clay Bank Hole!
Oct. 2014…Excellent on the Flats again today…19 trout on the fly…16 rainbows, 3 browns…the hatches are pretty slim but a few fish are still rising…and if you can find them like I did today, THEY BITE!… Hard, fast, agressive bites. I had several that bit it on the strip, let go, then bit it again right next to me!
First fish of the day…a fine brown trout.
And it seems like the fish are bunched up…find one and you find a pile of them.
I beefed up to 2x tippet and a #10 fly and they still bit hard…And these fish are in fantastic condition…no snakes…no skinny fish…all fat, healthy and fired up!
One of several really nice rainbows to 19″ caught today on my olive leech.
My view from the Flats today…Lone Mtn. sticking up behind Fan Mtn.
My set-ups today for the Flats:
rod: Sage FLi 590-4
reel: Okuma SLV 5/6
rod: Winston 9/6 Glenn Brackett Custom
reel: Ross Gunnison G3
line: Cortland 444SL mint green, WF5F
line: Cortland 444 peach, WF6F
leader: RIO Powerflex tapered down to 2X
butt section: RIO Flouroflex 44lb. .023
fly: olive leech home-tie, #10
This fishery continues to amaze me how good it is. Waters temps today ranged from 52- 57 degrees…the water is cooling off and the temp range is narrowing as the days get shorter…I think this is one reason these fish are being so aggressive…they like the cooler temps and they are like the bears…getting fat for the winter!
Oct. 2014…Indian Summer is here…red hot session on the Flats…11am-1pm…nine straight fish on the olive leech…two browns and seven rainbows to 18 inches. Sunny, 73 degrees. light wind…perfect!
Called “blue-winged olive”, “gray baetis” and other names…this late season hatch is important and can produce great dry fly fishing when the weather gets crummy. Look for cloudy, miserable, blustery days for these flys to pop out at several spots in the Upper Madison…I have had bonanzas at the Comleyville Flats in Sept/Oct. where seemingly every fish in the river was rising.
And don’t forget the Lower Madison R. from Warm Springs to Gray Cliff around and among the weed beds where this hatch can get extremely thick.
Tie on a #16 Parachute Adams and go to work!
Sept. 2014…Fished with Don, Dan and Odin in the Varney stretch…the wind blew hard but we caught some nice fish!
Sept. 2014…Montana FWP electro-shock crew in the Varney stretch today…things are looking good! We caught them early in the run and they talked about a really “big bubba” that barely escaped the net on the east channel below Varney Br.
Preliminary and anecdotal estimates of trout populations are looking excellent in Varney and especially in the Pine Butte section. Seeing less Whirling Disease affectation in the rainbows. Good situation!
Thanks Tim and crew!
Sept. 2014..We fished all the water we could and then some…the olive leech, the RB bunny, the half back hopper and more…thanks Bill and Tanya!
Sept. 2014…Fun day with Andy and Noble on Monday including a 20 inch brown above Burnt Tree…then two super days on the flats…over 40 trout, mostly rainbows, from 14-20″. Now we have some more nice weather on the way…can’t wait!
Sept. 2014…Out on the Flats mid-morning…got to marked spot on my Garmin hand-held around 11AM…a few risers around…first cast, boom, 16 inch rainbow…then 8 more bows 15-19″ and a 17″ brown all in one hour. Water was chilly: 51 degrees @ 1PM, but fishing was good!
Sept. 2014…Brrrr!…chilly two days but we caught some nice ones…hard North blow yesterday and 22 degrees this morning…water temp down low was 48 degrees at 10AM….warmed up to 58 deg. PM…
Madison brown trout caught on #10 Dave’s Hopper
Sept. 2014…Saturday on the Flats…we were dying a slow death in the morning…fish were rising but they hated the fly…ready to pack it in at 1PM…putted out to a deeper spot where a pod of nice fish were rising to the smaller version calibaetis…no bueno…lots of risers, zero bites.
Going home for sure now when I looked down at my waders and a large, slimy squiggly thingy went dog paddling under water…a dark leech the size of a small lizard.
I had just tied up some olive leeches so what the heck?
First cast into a pod of risers and BAM!…eighteen inch rainbow…so much for matching the hatch.
My dark olive leech home tie: I fish this with 3X tippet.
Hook: Mustad 9672 Viking, 2x hvy. 4x long, #12…mash down the barb.
Tail: Wapsi dark olive maribou
Body: Wapsi leech yarn, olive
Collar: peacock herl
Head: Brite Bead, black nickel, 1/8
HOOK UPDATE…went to the Mustad 3906B 3x heavy 2x long, sproat hook #10…had a few issues with the 9672 opening on large trout.
Gamakatsu L10-211 #12 and Partridge G3A Sproat #8, #10 are also great hooks for this type of fishing.
The weather stayed hot and glassy all day…water temps from 53 deg. AM to 67 deg PM. A Montana September day to remember!
A great time of the year to catch a big trout…I like to beef up the leader…make sure it’s the proper taper and STRONG. Most 5,6,7 wt. fly lines mic out at .037 to .042 at the tip. Your butt section should be at least 50% or more the diameter of the end of your fly line so you have a smooth transition…this makes it much easier to turn over the bulkiest of streamers. Anything less than 50% and you have that annoying “hinge effect” that causes tailing loops, etc.
The butt section is the most important part of your leader!
I never use the loop to loop system on any of my personal leaders.
I like to use RIO 44lb. Flouroflex for my butt section. It has a .023 diameter and is soft enough to tie a nail knot to my fly line. Then I taper down to a 1X tippet to the fly, with the total leader length about a foot longer than my fly rod.
I always sharpen my streamer hooks with a hook hone or stone and mash down the barb to form a hump. The barb on large streamer hooks is usually too severe for good penetration.
My chinchilla zonker home-tie.
Aug. 2014…Awesome day for Cindy B.
Aug. 2014…A couple of nice ones this morning on wets then they hit the dries pretty good in the PM…ant patterns and half-back hoppers…thanks Mona and Gary!
Aug. 2014…Thanks Jay and Lee for a great day on the river…Mac to Vee, yessiree!
Aug. 2014…Fun half day with Alan and Tanya…first time ever fly fishing…nobody got skunked!…awesome morning…Palisades to McAtee.
Weather forecast calling for hot, dry weather the next few days. I will be looking for the ant hatch in the usual places!
A nice big, fat, very dead brown trout laying in the shallows by the McAtee Bridge boat ramp. No sign of injury, no scars, no hook marks…turning white and getting stinky…dead probably a few days…RIP.
Aug…2014. Good on the Flats…tricos early AM (duns)…then trico spinners mid-morning…then the large calibaetis hatch starts around noon…eight nice trout this morning caught on my PTC nymph and Sparky fly… water temps. range from 65 deg @ 8AM to 74 deg @ noon.
My home tie…”Sparky”
Jeff the rainbow
Ronnie rainbow on a muddler fly
There’s a moose somewhere…
My main man Penn!
Aug. 2014…Awesome morning on the Flats with the Sachs and McGees…seven nice fish this morning on P. Adams and my Red Zebra Midge…then a beauty of a rainbow caught by Margo McGee with Garrett Blackburn and Rainey Sachs…these girls can fly fish!
Bill Sachs is hooked up!
Patrick McGee with a nice bow!
a fine flats rainbow caught by Bill Sachs on a dry
Rainey and Margo…these girls can fly fish!
Aug. 2014…Fast action on the Flats mid-morning…heavy tricos then the big calibaetis came out around 11AM. Caught a large bank-feeding brown on the dry and then eight straight rainbows on the Parachute Adams and my Red Zebra Midge. A great morning!
nice rainbow caught this morning on a dry fly and released alive…got just a titch of cutthroat in him
Aug…2014…Fear “The Ladder”
Aug…2014…Picky fish this morning on the tricos…but rainbows like this one make it all worthwhile! My little #16 Red Zebra Midge home-tie did the trick.
Red Zebra Midge
hook: Tiemco TMC 2487 #16
body: black Krystal Flash
rib: red Ultra wire
thorax: peacock herl
head: black nickel Brite Bead
July…2014…Excellent morning…nine trout on the fly, 16″-20″…three on dries, the rest on my PTC fly…heavy midge and calibaetis hatch…water temps: 65 deg. AM, south end …72 deg. Noon, north end. Slick calm…nice.
July…2014…Go With the Flow Days. The river has been blessed this week with excellent flows and cool temps right in the middle of the hot weather. The folks at Hebgen have done a great job saving enough water to get us through the heat. Awesome catch, Caroline!
Nice one, Jerry!
Current: 1080 cfs/67deg. Hebgen…1270/60 deg. West fork…1420/63 deg. Varney. I took a 62 deg. water temp @ Ruby Ck. today at 11AM. These temps are acceptable and desireable for this time of year. We have water in the river and the trout are happy. The anglers are happy and the fishing guides are happy (well, some of them). Having a great Montana summer…wish you were here!
peace and love!
fat brown caught by Dr. Jerry Bell today!
Evening Hole… nice bow Jerry!
July 2014…Fun with
Ralph and Buzz…good on dries…#14 Ausable Wulff was the hot fly…these guys can fish!
July, 2014… Another great morning of fishing…sixteen fish, rainbows and browns to 19″ on my home-tie PTC…broke two big fish off on 3X…gotta tie some more! Nice midge hatch AM then heavy calibaetis starting at 11AM. Flats water temp at noon: 69 degrees.
Nice brown trout from this morning released alive.
July, 2014…Thirty five years on the Madison with these boys…Circle Valley Produce out of Idaho Falls…the best potatoes in the world are Idaho potatoes…and the best people, too! Thank you Raymie, Fuzzball, Hartless, Doug, Tim and Mark…you guys rock!
We took some really nice fish on the smaller caddis patterns…#16 elk hair worked best. We fished the Lyon Br. to Ruby Ck stretch.
July, 2014…Carly and Zane Taylor caught some nice trout on the Madison with me today…I’m sure their great grandfather Dub Taylor, grandfather Buck Taylor, “Gammie”Judy Taylor, father Adam Taylor, brother Cooper Taylor and everyone else would be proud…I know I was.
Judy Taylor and Randy Brown
Dub Taylor in “The Getaway” with Steve McQueen Buck Taylor as Newly in “Gunsmoke”
My set-up for Madison Flats…3X Rio to standard #12 Parachute Adams…12-14″ of 4X Rio to #14 PT Chironomid…use Adams for indicator and bite fly. I tie the chironomid as follows:
hook: Tiemco TMC 2457, #14, 16
tail: natural mallard quill tied long
body: Black Krystal Flash, 5 or 6 strands.
rib: Red Ultra Wire, sm.
thorax: ring-neck pheasant tail fibers, 5 or 6 strands.
dubbing: Hareline Hare’s Ear Plus, choc. brown, picked.
Water temps today…54 deg. at Palisades 10AM…60 deg. at Storey Ditch 3:30PM.
The dry fly fishing started to heat up in the afternoon when the sun came out…the adults started to fly and get on the water…the fish were ready, willing and able, both on the banks and out in the middle of the river. The fishing between 2pm and 3:30pm was outstanding. Hot part of the hatch was above McAtee down through the Storey Ditch area. Use 3x tippet and the sofa pillow of your choice and hang on!
June, 2014…Great day on the Madison today with Dan Perry…we floated the Lyon Br. to Ruby Ck. stretch and only saw two boats and a raft all day. River is very fishable, clear well out from the banks…was surprised to see Standard Ck. running clear with no mud! Best flies were the #6 Chez black stone and the red San Juan Worm….water temp at Geysers noontime: 56 degrees. I expect an early Salmon fly hatch this year if warm weather continues around here.
Big tom gobbler sneaking away from me.
I walked up on this baby whitetail fawn while I was hunting mushrooms. She froze just like mama taught her…waiting for danger to pass…hoping for her natural camo to save her.
May, 2014…OK, I know it’s not a fishing report but what the hey?…it’s just as much fun.
Found some nice oysters today (pleurotus ostreatus)…they like standing dead, stumps, fallen down or uprooted cottonwoods…but you can find them on live trees…sometimes large willows, but cottonwoods are their favorite…slice them and sautee in olive oil and butter for eight minutes and then turn up the heat to make them crispy!
Try to find them fresh and moist before the critters get to them…there’s a little black beetle that likes them but you can flush them out when you slice them…no worries, nobody ever got dead from a beetle!
Critters got there before I did today!
I got to these before the critters did! These oysters are prime.
Beavers left this chunk dangling. They’ll be back tonight!
Another good day in the woods!
May, 2014…More morels…and more…and more.
May, 2014…Awesome flush of Montana morel mushrooms today(morchella esculenta)…the nice light colored ones…they were everywhere…oysters, too (pleurotus ostreatus)! I picked six pounds and left a whole bunch to get bigger. Mushroom season is just getting started in Montana!
4/29/2014…Hebgen Dam Repairs in Final Stage? At a meeting last night led by Brent Mabbott of PP&L/Nwstn. Energy, officials are targeting summer, 2015 for the Hebgen Dam to be fully functioning and the return to a mid-flow release. Good news!
4/22/1014…Water temp. @ Varney Bridge: 45 deg….water temp. @ Ennis Lake, W. side: 45 deg.
4/19/2014…Good News!…Madison, Big Hole looking good for this summer.
#32 flashback midge shown in photo with #18 Parachute Adams and #20 Griffiths Gnat…now I have to find some really teeny fingers to tie that sucker on for me…thanks Jay Hyer!
3/25/14…2014 Madison River Regs: McAtee Bridge to Ennis Bridge, open entire year…Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge, Ennis Bridge to Ennis Lake open third Saturday in May which is May 17 this year. We are in “The Window”…the time between Winter thaw and Spring run-off…hungry trout! Snowpack is above average…flows look good!
2014 MONTANA FISHING REGULATIONS…FOLLOW THE LINK TO CHECK REGS, BUY YOUR LICENSE ONLINE, ETC.
The Madison River is buried under there somewhere…honest!
1/28/14…NorthWestern Energy must show “public interest” with purchase of dams in Montana.
1/15/14…Montana high court reverses stream access ruling on Ruby River…is Granger blockade of O’Dell Ck Outlet to Madison River next?
Man made dam on Granger Ranch blocking O’Dell Ck. outlet from flowing into Madison River. The question is..why?
January, 2014…we paid a visit to The Fort up river across from the Palisades…my friend Barry and his sons build this amazing ice tower every winter…it is truly a work of art to behold!