Montana’s star attraction during the sixties and seventies was the Madison River. Virtually every fishing publication during that time featured the wonderful fishing one could expect.
High in Yellowstone Park the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers join to form the Madison. Together with the Big Hole, Jefferson, Gallatin and Ruby Rivers these five streams combine to form the headwaters of the Missouri River at Three Forks Montana.
The Madison is a large, fast flowing stream that is not easily waded. Most anglers are more comfortable fishing from a drift boat as they have more access to the miles of classic riffles and runs that characterize the river.
On most days you can expect fast surface action as the river averages only a few feet in depth throughout much of its length. With such a shallow environment, the fish consistently look to the surface for much of their fare.
The Madison boasts one of Montana’s most prolific salmon fly hatches and if you’re lucky enough to hit it, it can be an incredible experience. Just imagine a dry fly the size of your finger fluttering across the surface triggering explosive rises from the Madison’s rainbows and browns! There is nothing like it in all of trout fishing! Healthy populations of caddis, smaller stoneflies and mayflies help to keep the trout looking up for much of the season. Plenty of Hoppers, ants and beetles make their way into the river and more often than not it ends up being a one way trip for most of them!
Floating the Madison should be on the bucket list for every trout angler visiting Montana. Hard charging rainbows and browns in the 12 to 17 inch range will keep you entertained as you float through one on Montana’s most dramatic high elevation valleys.
Small Stream Fly Fishing
Are you more comfortable fishing in a bit less water? Maybe your fondest memories growing up were spent on creeks and streams no wider than a rods length? In addition to our larger Blue Ribbon Streams, our area abounds with smaller streams and creeks that are chock full of rainbows and brook trout that are eager to rise to a floating fly. Be sure to ask about this opportunity. Our guides are familiar with these back country streams and are anxious to share them with you!