The Mother Madison has many different faces on its floatable and fishable stretch, starting at Lyons bridge where the river runs its way through pine trees towering above the banks, is fast and boulder strewn and as you approach your takeout you have fished possibly the most scenic float on the river. Once past Mcatee bridge, the water starts to widen and shallow up a bit as you reach the valley floor. A few miles past Mcatee you will Reach the "Cameron Flats" where you lose the trees and vegetation and feel like an ant surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges. These flats run until you get a mile from Varney bridge, then you hit the "miracle mile" nuff said. The river from Varney to town ends in maze of twists and turns, full of deep holes and cottonwood covered banks. This stretch holds the biggest fish in the river. You wanna see it all? You can!! Montana Fly Fishing Trips will take you down all 30+ miles of floatable and fishable water that the Madison offers in just three days. Different sections offer different insects to match, different techniques and a chance to learn how to fish many different types of water. THIS is how you learn the Madison.
- Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Mt.
- Access to top of the line fishing equipment
- Wonderful streamside lunches every day
- Floating and learning the famous Madison River with a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Rod & Reel
1 - 2 anglers
If fly wranglers were gossips, the “Blue Ribbon” Madison River would likely be their primary object of attention. Arguably it’s the most talked over, written up and frequented river ... morein the entire state of Montana – and that’s saying something. What’s more, no one has anything bad to say about it and that’s for a good reason. There’s nothing bad to say. Its scenic journey begins in Yellowstone National Park at the convergence of the Gibbon and Firehole rivers and continues for 19 miles through parkland. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and sorry to disappoint, but it’s catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters the Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.
Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hegman releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.
Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintain relatively low water levels and provide wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.
Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.
Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
What do you think of when you hear "Montana?" Small towns? Cowboys? Cows? BIG TROUT?! The answer is D, "All of the above"! Montana is still the place it was 80 years ago, where a man's ... morehandshake means something and big trout thrive. Located in the "Trout Mecca" of Southwestern Montana, our location and our guide's experience allow us to guide on a number of world class rivers; the Madison, Jefferson, Ruby and Yellowstone rivers are arguably the best trout streams in the lower 48.
Whether you have never held a fishing pole in your life or if you've been fishing since you could walk, the versatile, select guides we employee at MFFT all live on, and spend all they're free time on, these select rivers. They know how satisfy ALL of our clients, from novice to pro.
But Montana is so much more than just a trout haven. With picturesque mountains, abundant wildlife and under a million people, you actually have to try to not enjoy our beautiful state. As longtime client and friend Don Patton once wrote me after a trip, "fish count is only one criteria, there are many more markers for success. We hit them all." Here at MFFT we strive to give our clients much more than just a fishing trip, we want to share our passion for fishing and our love of Montana with all of our guests and new friends.
Charles P. Graham
Owner-Montana Fly Fishing Trips
Montana Fishing Outfitter#10349
Fishing was good!! We put in at Lyons (only car there!) about 9:30 and floated to the Ruby Creek boat ramp (appr. 12 miles). I whacked a few with a girdle bug and prince under the ... morebobber so I ensured I didn't go scoreless then took the sticks and let Art chuck his 6 inch monster streamers. We saw a little movement here and there on the streamer but not many actual "eats." Then, it warmed up that 1 extra degree that made them put there mouth on it. We moved fish consistently all day after the first hour. Arts best streamer was a lighter green, white flash, heavy headed streamer fished on an ARC medium sink tip line, WITH 6.5 ft. of 1x to his fly. I fished a gold, crystal flash, cone head, bugger/streamer concoction of Arts and never took it off. Since it was a single hook streamer I did trail a bead head 16-18 inches behind the streamer and caught fish on that, also. I never changed the bugger but I did change the bead below a few times. Good 'ol sz.16, bead headed Pheasant tail was my best trailer nymph. I fished a 7 ft leader to 2x with two bb split shot (I should have just used a 3/0). Even though we had much different setups we caught fish in the same places with the same techniques. We would give it an initial mend to sink it, bring the line tight, then short strips/tip twitches. They didn't seem to want to chase too far or too fast. A good portion of our fish were caught in the slow to medium slow back eddy/slicks along the bank. We did move quite a few fish in the "pillow", just upstream of a rock and a few twitching streamers next to the rock. Some chases and short bites in the slicks below the rocks but no real consistent action there. I know that nymphing has been good in the middle but they had no love for the streamer out there.
20 fish or more
- Cancellations made 30 days before will be fully refunded.
- Cancellations made 15 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
- Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.