River : Fly Fishing
Madison River Fly Fishing Guides & Lodges
Discover the secrets of fishing the Madison with Montana's top guides. Montana Angler Fly Fishing offers guided trips and world class lodging packages on the Madison River and many nearby waters. Outfitter #10770.
Despite its well-publicized battles with Whirling Disease, the Madison
River in Montana still provides excellent fly fishing. After declining
to less than 300 rainbow trout per mile in the mid-1990's, the Madison
has since rebounded. Recent estimates put the number of rainbow trout
of 10 inches or more over 1500 per mile. While this is below the historic
reached in the mid-1980's, the number and size of rainbow trout currently
in the Madison River still rank the river as one of the premier rivers
in Montana. Additionally, the brown trout in the Madison River, as elsewhere,
were largely unaffected by Whirling Disease. As a result, anglers can
expect solid fishing action for both decent sized rainbow trout and very
large brown trout in what may be the prettiest fishing river in Montana.
There are several distinct sections on the Madison River. Each are covered
Madison River : Origin to Hebgen Lake
For most of this section, the Madison River flows in Wyoming through
Yellowstone National Park. A summary of this section of the Madison River
is provided below. For more complete information, please see our Madison
River in Yellowstone National Park section.
The Madison River in Yellowstone
National Park has extremely good fly
fishing. The active geysers of Yellowstone keep the Madison River very
high in fertility, and also keep the temperatures of the water warm.
Fishing is seasonal in nature, with the best fly fishing being during
early summer and again in the fall. The high temperatures of summer will
frequently warm up the Madison River to temperature levels that require
the park to close off all fishing.
Yellowstone National Park opens for fishing in late May. The best early
fishing on the Madison River tends to occur, depending on water levels,
in mid-June with the arrival of excellent caddis hatches and Salmon Fly
During the fall, this stretch of the Madison River comes alive again,
this time with large brown trout that migrate up from Hebgen
time of the year is a very good time to fly fish the Madison River in
Yellowstone National Park, as the vast bulk of the crowds are gone. Just
be prepared for cold weather.
It should be noted that most of the Madison River in Yellowstone National
Park flows through a heavily burned area. The fires of 1988 rippped through
this section of the park, destroying most of the canopy (much of which
was dead or dying anyway due to beetle infestations). As a result, don't
expect to find the pristine scenery that is located elsewhere in Yellowstone
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