Lower Madison Fly Fishing Reports
Lower Madison Fishing Report 5/21/2021
When the temperature drops and the sky's darken it's time to put your waders on and hit the rivers. Under conditions like these is when the big browns take advantage of the overcast skys and low visibility to ambush small sculpins taking shelter behind structure or in the shallows. Streamer fishing isn't always the most productive - fish for fish -, however - pound for pound - your chances of hooking into a big boy increase significantly as they're out on the prowl. Tie on and swing through the eddies or slow strip off the bank an Olive McCune Sculpin - size 6 -, Black Baby Gonga - size 8 -, or even a Peanut Envy - size 8. If streamer fishing isn't your game, then give nymphing a go. You might find a BWO hatch going off, which if you do, then tie on a Batwing Emerger - size 16 - trailing behind Black Rubberlegs, Deaddrift Crayfish, or Red Gummyworm. The big swarms like the mothers-day caddis hatches are behind us, but that doesn't mean fish are aren't still keying into a green or tan pupa nymph. So put on a fleece and your raincoat, get off your couch, and go have a fun day on the river.
The lower should be on fire this week with consistent warm temps all week. Nymphing a light bodied crayfish, worms, pink sowbugs/scuds, baetis nymphs, and zebra midges will still be the most consistent option. Should be some increased dry fly activity over the next few weeks with midges and BWOs possibly March Browns soon. Streamer fishing should also heat up with warm weather, I would try a unweighted jj special, or some sort of smaller black or olive streamers.
Recommended Guided Trips
Fins & Feathers of Bozeman’s Montana fly fishing packages offer convenience and value by bundling our guided services together with lodging options in Bozeman. Check out the example pricing - based on double occupancy in the rooms and with one of our Bozeman fly fishing guides. Email us or fill out our contact form to make a reservation and confirm availability.
Please note that availability is extremely limited during the summer, we strongly encourage you to make reservations sooner, rather than later. Our deposit policy is the "friendliest in the industry" in that we don't require payment ($1.00) at booking and all reservations can be cancelled - with no penalty up to 10 days prior to your scheduled arrival date.
These rates are guaranteed until June 1, 2022 and are likely to increase as availability decreases in both rooms and our guides fly fishing servicesLearn More
Full Day guided fly-fishing trips are our standard offering and offer the best opportunity to truly get out and experience the fly-fishing opportunities around Bozeman that attract anglers from around the world
- Typical Full Day Trips Are 6-8 Hours in Duration
- 1-2 Anglers Maximum Per Guide/Boat
- Full Day Trips Are Generally Float Trips
- Full Day Trips Available on Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson rivers
- Drive Time Is Typically 30-60 Minutes Each Way
- Fishing Licenses and Gratuities Are Not Included
Fishing Licenses and Shuttle Info
For Shuttles on the Lower Madison Contact:
Lower Madison River Overview
The lower Madison River is considered to be the Madison River from below Ennis Lake, downstream to the headwaters of the Missouri River. This section of the Madison flows through the Beartrap Wilderness Area in a narrow gorge characterized by some serious whitewater and difficult access. Once the river leaves the Beartrap Canyon, the river dramatically changes character, becoming wider with a seemingly gentle flow all the way to Three Forks, where it joins the Jefferson River and Gallatin River to form the Missouri River.