Lower Madison Fly Fishing Reports
Lower Madison Fishing Report 8/14/2021
The entire Madison River from the Yellowstone National Park boundary to the headwaters near Three Forks is on Hoot Owl fishing restrictions. This includes the Bear Trap section from Ennis Dam downstream. Hoot Owl restrictions mean no fishing between 2 pm and midnight every day. More information can be found here: FWP River Closures and Restrictions.
The lower Madison is starting to warm up again with the hotter weather. I would recommend waiting until the cooler weather rolls around before heading back out there. If you do go, bring hoppers, chubbies, and small caddis, mayfly, and perdigon style droppers. Crayfish will also be an effective method of fishing if you can avoid the weeds. Use a short leash from your indicator or hopper in order to keep the flies out of the debris.
The lower Madison has dropped in temperature significantly after the last few cooler evenings. Fishing should be pretty good with hoppers and small attractor dry flies. Nymphing with Perdigons, midges, and caddis nymphs will be good as will crawfish or sculpin patterns. A large hopper in tan trailed by a natural colored Perdigon is my favorite rig this time of the year. You may see some tricos in the morning and some caddis flying around throughout the day. Don't head out there without patterns to match these insects.
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.