Fishing on the Madison River picked up last week as the water levels continued to fall. Water clarity has been good. The water coming out of Quake lake is a nice steelhead green. We have been seeing some big chocolate caddis, but not a whole lot has been happening on the surface. Two days ago we fished Ruby to Varney. Fishing was spotty but the fish quality was way up there. We got a 23” rainbow, four browns 18" to 20", and a smattering of 12" to 14". Admittedly we did go almost 3 hours without a strike.
That was a little hard to take, but when they finally started we had a really good two hours. Recent wave of hot weather has the immediate future in question. As a group we are undecided whether this 80-degree weather is going to blow the whole system out again? As of now water levels are starting to creep up again. Fished yesterday from Lyons bridge to Ruby Creek. The west fork has started showing color again so half the river was green half was greenish brown. Actually caught more fish in the dark side than the clear side, but in general fishing was not great. Good size but low numbers. We only got seven fish for a 9-mile float, one really nice 20 inch Brown and we went through every fly in the book. Madison river fish don't like rising water levels. I think we have one more bump which should last about a week then we should be in for a steady decline and some really good fishing Tight lines e
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.
Welcome to Southwest Montana's finest fly fishing adventures. Blue ribbon trout water is literally steps away when you visit us in the picturesque town of Ennis, Montana. You may spend ... morethe day on our home river, the world famous Madison or drive to one of our other local rivers such as the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby or the Jefferson. Whether you are a new angler or an old pro we have the expertise and patience to make your time on the water chasing wild trout a success.
- Full-day of professionally guided fly fishing for up to two anglers
- Lunch, drinks, and snacks
- Flies and other needed gear
With over 55 combined years of experience fishing the Madison River, we have the deep knowledge needed to guide you down this Blue Ribbon River. Located in Ennis, Montana, one of the ... moretop fly fishing towns in the world, Red Mountain Adventures is conveniently located to help you with your fishing experience.
Our guided float trips on the Madison River are perfect for:
First time anglers who come here first to get easy, effective, and mindful instruction on fly fishing
Novices to experts who gain from our deep knowledge and instruction on the Madison River
Anglers with particular needs including stalking monsters, increasing the score card, or "dries only"
Book with us today and enjoy the best in Montana fly fishing.