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Old 10-16-2013, 12:13 AM
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Default Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Being new to the game I hear the phrase "match the hatch". I understand the term and it's logical. Throw what "bugs" are on the menu any given month.

I was on a Montana fly shops website and they have a list of dates broken out into varying lengths of weeks from early Spring to late Fall. Within these date they have recommended what flies tend to have success during these given time periods. Seems as they are sort of "matching the hatch" for the bugs they have in their region, I assume.

My question is: Will this recommendation of flies typically be similar from year to year for the same time frames? Will what they state that has been working, say in Aug 2013, most likely be the same/similar fly recommended for Aug 2014?

I ask this because I already have a cabin reserved for 2014 to the Madison River. Got a place right on the water. I'm trying to plan ahead with some of my purchases for the trip (because this hobby is so $$$$$$) and want to order some flies for three fisherman before hand. also because our cabins is about 30 miles outside of town where these recommended flies are sold.
Thanks
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Simple answer: yes.

Keep in mind that conditions can make hatches early or late. Usually it has to deal with weather and water flows.

Dennis
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

The " standards " usually work at certain times and seasons, because nature is fairly consistent year after year. However, climate changes will affect hatches. A dry year, a cool spring, early thaw, high runoff, etc will have a dramatic effect on what flies you need to carry to match the hatch. My suggestion would be to order what usually works for when you will be there, plus what would be used a few weeks before and after that timeframe to compensate for Mother Nature's tantrums.
It also seems like every local shop has a few flies " du jour " that they think will be the new hot item for the season. Talk to a shop or guide service in the area. Ask the guys here on the forum who fish the area what works for them, and you can get a quick idea of what you need. Do your homework now, and have a great trip later !
P.S. Don't forget the universal patterns, like an assortment of Whooly Buggers and some flies you already use and have confidence in.
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Last edited by siege; 10-16-2013 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Good advice given above. The "usually" rule applies. Throw in a drought or a heavy runoff and all bets are off. Me, If you don't tie I'd hit Cabelas or some place like it and stock up on the usual suspects. Buggers, bead head prince and pheasant tails, Copper Johns, parachute Adams and elk hair caddis, as well as some stone fly nymphs and a few ant and beetle patterns. All between 16 and 12 as your defaults, and then match the hatch according to what you hear when you get there.. Tell us when you're going and where you're going to fish on the Madison and I can be more specific. My best advice not knowing that? Use a small nymph under a dry and figure out what they're hitting. If its late summer try hoppers, if its fall go with streamers, but the classics work.

PS Try Madison River Outfitters in West Yellowstone. They're good folks and won't steer you wrong. Good guides as well.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

As said above, PLUS don't forget that time of day matters too (e.g., terrestrials are more active later in the day, etc.).
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Also... the good news.. it's almost impossible to be more than 15 miles from a fly shop on the Upper Madison (assuming that's the one) - and since 287 is 70mph - you're always pretty close to something in case you forget

All the shops there will have the most common patterns and supplies
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skrap View Post
Being new to the game I hear the phrase "match the hatch". I understand the term and it's logical. Throw what "bugs" are on the menu any given month.

I was on a Montana fly shops website and they have a list of dates broken out into varying lengths of weeks from early Spring to late Fall. Within these date they have recommended what flies tend to have success during these given time periods. Seems as they are sort of "matching the hatch" for the bugs they have in their region, I assume.

My question is: Will this recommendation of flies typically be similar from year to year for the same time frames? Will what they state that has been working, say in Aug 2013, most likely be the same/similar fly recommended for Aug 2014?


Thanks

There are several issues at play in your question.

The first issue is that you are a novice and I assume you have NEVER fished these waters. The second is that you are going by a list of recommended flies according to a certain fly shop a year in advance. The third is that the fly shop's fly pattern recommendations are based on a generalized hatch chart for an average year with average flows.

The other replies have addressed some of these issues and pointed out that things can vary with local river conditions and weather.

What has not been addressed is that aquatic insects prefer certain types of habitat, usually based on the river gradient and flows. For example, stoneflies are =found in faster water flows with a rocky bottom. Mayflies have three body types = clingers, crawlers, and burrowers that inhabit fast, moderate and slow flow portion of a river respectively. Caddis can be net builders and case builders.

What this means is that, although the hatch charts can be accurate, you need to be at the right kind of water at the right time for the flies to "match the hatch."

Another important issue that has not been mentioned is that the need to match the hatch ONLY occurs when the fish are feeding selectively on the hatch that needs to be matched. Most of the time the fish will be feeding opportunistically and the fish will take many types of flies if they are presented in a correctly in a natural manner.

My suggestion is to buy flies that will work in almost any situation and location and then go to the fly shop for specific patterns when you arrive. I would stock up on X-caddis, iris caddis, parachute and comparadun mayfly patterns, flashback pheasant tail nymphs, serendipities, prince nymphs, etc in the proper colors and sizes.

For example if the pale morning duns are going to be the mayfly that is hatching get the parachutes and comparaduns in the correct color and size for the pmds.

Then get flies that may needed for the time of year or for a specific hatch that is not matched by the general flies above. Hoppers, ants, beetles, tricos, and midges would be examples.

The flies above are general patterns that can be used all over the country and you can likely use them when you get home.

Then when you get to Montana, see what "killer" patterns the near by fly shop recommends.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Here is a little more detail as to my location we will be. Upper Madison and about 1/4 mile down stream from a bridge that has a place called WestFork Cabin Camp next to in on a map. Also, looks like it's about a mile North of the Grizzly Bar Restuarant.

Not sure how describe the actual water type/condition on that stretch of river. I assume shallow, moderate speed and rocky bottom. The home has about 1000'+ of riverfront so a lot of my fishing will be done there but also a little up and down the Madison too.

I spent about two weeks on the upper Madison some 30 years ago fishing and from what I remember we used mostly Adams, Royal Coachmans, Hairs Ears and Black Buggers, as well as one or two others that were productive and caught fish. I don't remember any of these being on the recommended list I refered to in my OP.

Lots of great info from everyone and some of it foreign to me that I need to study up on. Thanks all.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

Basically that section of the Madison River will be mainly riffle type water with caddis flies as the main insect but it can have stonefly hatches (Salmon flies and Golden Stones) at the right time of year. Mayflies will be the PMDs, green drakes and pink ladies (Epeorus).

You didn't say what time of year you will be there.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Same flies for same stretch of river year after year?

You're about in the middle between these 2 shops:

http://www.beartoothflyfishing.com/
Kelly Galloup's Slide Inn Fly Fishing Lodge

Either one, will get you set up, or any of the shops in West Yellowstone or Ennis

If you have a general fly box with a decent selection of trout flies that work in state X, they'll work fine here too.

August.. not a prime time to be here...

Are you flying into Bozeman or ??, or driving?
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