Madison River | Montana

Madison River Fly Fishing Information

Madison River MontanaThe Madison River, in Montana, is arguably one of the most famous Blue Ribbon trout streams in the world.  The Madison begins it’s journey in Yellowstone National Park and makes it’s way through Montana and joins with the mighty Missouri River.  The Madison can be fished in Yellowstone National Park, where it is a much smaller river, and all the way down to Three Forks.  Some of the more famous wade fishing access is below Hebgen and Quake Lake, which is considered the Catch and Release Section.  The Lower Madison River, near Ennis and Three Forks, is best fished from a drift boat, but can be easily fished from the bank as well.

Slide Inn Madison RiverSlide Inn, Reynolds Bridge and Three Dollar Bridge are some of the more famous wade sections of the Madison River.  Slide Inn is the section of river below Quake Lake.  This section of river ROARS and fishing is done right on the bank in small pockets and slicks.  Here fish hide in fast pocket wader, but do not be fooled, large fish exist in the fast moving section of river.  High oxygenated water makes for amazing stonefly action.  Rubberlegs and stonefly imitations are great flies for spring and early summer.  This section of water also sees incredible caddis hatches in late spring and early summer.

Madison River Three Dollar BridgeMadison River Fly FishingReynolds Bridge and Three Dollar Bridge are two amazing sections of the Madison.  Here the Madison River mellows out after Slide Inn and the river takes on a more familiar look.  Riffles, Seams and Pockets are great holding water for Rainbow and Brown Trout.  Whitefish do call the Madison home as well and are often caught while nymphing.  Average Trout size in these sections is 14-18″, with many browns and rainbows reaching sizes 20″ and up.  The larger fish are most often caught on streamers, but they often come out to play when the Salmonflies begin to hatch.  From Lyons Bridge to Ennis is great water to float out of a drift boat.  Fish in these sections respond well to dry flies during the spring and summer months.

Rainbow Trout Madison RiverMadison RiverMadison Brown Trout
Madison River Hatches:

Spring: Stoneflies, Caddis, Blue Winged Olives, Midges
Summer: Caddis, Stoneflies,Pale Morning Duns, Midges, Drakes,Hoppers, Beetles, Ants
Fall: Hoppers, Ants, Midges, Tricos, Blue Winged Olives
Winter: Midges

Madison River Flies:

Madison River Gear:

  • 4-7 Weight Fly Rod – 9 Feet Long
  • Weight Forward Floating Line and Sinking Line for Streamers
  • 3-5X Tippet
  • 9 Foot 3 and 4X Leaders
  • Floatant
  • #AB-04 Split Shot Weights
  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • Waders
  • Wading Staff

 

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Madison River Lodging and Guides:
Slide Inn – The Slide Inn is located on the banks of the Madison River, one of the most famous blue-ribbon trout streams in the world. Our 1,100 feet of river frontage provides some of the finest fly-fishing in Montana. During the beautiful days of Spring and Summer, you can literally step out of your cabin and catch some of the largest Rainbow and Brown Trout that inhabit the Madison. You can also get valuable fly fishing instruction from the best fly fishing guides on the Madison River.

Slide Inn
150 US Highway 287 South
Cameron, Montana 59720
(406) 682-4804

Upper Madison River Map

Upper Madison River Map

Madison River Map


One Response to Madison River | Montana

  1. Joe Kosters says:

    I enjoyed your site. My wife and I have rented a cabin in the Sunwest ranches in late Sept of this year 2013. The cabin is within site of the Madison. We have most of the equipment for wade fishing along the 3 miles of river in front of the cabin. The cabin has an address in Cameron Mt.
    I’d like to know more about this stretch as far as the rules and regulations and what to expect the water depth and other details I should be aware of.
    I have to pickup a few more flies,net,licenses, and I’ll be stopping into see you when I get there. Any information would be much appreciated and any supplies I need I’ll pickup in your store.
    Thanks Joe